Leap Year Speakeasy 2024 at Garnet Station

I attended an event called Leap Year Speakeasy 2024 at Garnet Station on 29 February. Mayor Wayne Brown attended as well as many who wanted to stand up and talk with regards to concerns with Auckland Transport, Eke Panuku and the removal of trees from out of volcanic cones.

It was the first time I had met the Mayor. During one person’s articulate speech on the removal of trees, I was disgusted with the Mayor talking to the person beside him with comments of, “Is he going to go on all night?” or “Who cares about the #### trees.”

When another stood up to put her point of a four year battle to save trees in her area and the lack of care of Auckland Council, again the Mayor carried on talking and muttering rude comments.

He did , however, hug her and thank her for the work she has done over the last four years. One ex Local Board member for North Shore spoke and the Mayor decided he had more than enough and only came “for the party.”

He announced his intention to leave before others had the opportunity to talk and the evening was drawn to a close early. I was disgusted with what I heard and saw of the Mayor. The language used I could have excused due to his consumption of too much alcohol.

I could not, however, excuse his rudeness, nor the insults thrown about him “working with idiots” who do not support him. An appalling example from a Mayor of this country’s biggest city. No wonder nothing has been achieved in the last 15 months and I sincerely hope he will be a one-term Mayor, with the attitude I witnessed that night.

Any talk of answers of concerns raised was met with babble of it’s everyone else’s fault except his own and went on to blame governments from the past. Most definitely not a man to lead our biggest city.

He admitted he only cares about what he campaigned on but as we watch our rates squandered, it might pay for Mr Brown to remember the old saying, "look after the cents and the dollars look after themselves" — sadly other people’s money is not spent very wisely.

The positive news was upon asking the Mayor why were Auckland Transport funding Bike Auckland, he said, “We are giving no more funding to Bike Auckland.” We shall see.

I would like to thank the hosts and organisers of ‘Occupy Garnet Road’ for putting on the event and especially thank Gael Baldock for her work in recording the evening and attempting to bring the Mayor into some sort of order before his early departure. It was a pleasure meeting Gael who has a wealth of knowledge on local politics. She really is a breath of fresh air.

Tracy Ryan, Herne Bay

PS: LOVE the Ponsonby News, thank you to all staff!

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Published: March 2024