Brown May Scrap Transport CCO


SuperCity Mayoral candidate Len Brown promises to review the new Auckland Transport CCO within two years of being Mayor as he’s still not convinced it’s the way to go.

“I disagree with the establishment of the Transport CCO because I’m not confident it’s the best structure to run out the mayor and council’s vision for transport.

I will, therefore, call for a review of the statutory Transport CCO after two years if I am not  satisfied it is working well, with the option of promoting legislation to amend or repeal it.

He also promises to ensure Auckland Transport and other new CCO agendas are made public and to strength accountability.

In the wake of the government’s final decisions on the new local body governance, Mr Brown has outlined what he would do as mayor to improve the structure saying he sensed still considerable community concern over the establishment of CCOs.

Len Brown is proposing making sure the Auckland Council’s CCOs are effective and are held accountable for their performance through:

  • rigorous statements of intent that include key performance indicators
  • regular monthly meetings with the mayor
  • open lines of communication
  • the publication of board agendas prior to meetings and, unless absolutely necessary, the requirement for boards to hold open meetings and publish draft board minutes as soon as practically possible after the meeting.

“My experience of CCOs in Manukau has been positive because we have paid a great deal of attention to putting good governance mechanisms in place. The community is right to demand high standards of performance and ultimately we, the Council and principle shareholder, will be held accountable to the public.

“The Auckland Council has the power to appoint the directors, the chair and the deputy chair of each CCO. I intend to make sure these people are appointed on merit and are committed to working in the interest of local communities. I disagreed with the government appointing initial directors, but I don’t believe the best way for the Auckland Council to get off on the right foot is to start firing directors. However, it is important that the people who are appointed retain the confidence of the full council.

“I will make sure the Auckland Council and/or Local Boards have the final say on CCO bylaws and activities that will have a significant impact on local communities and I’ll ensure all CCOs give effect to the Spatial Plan and other Auckland Council plans and policies.In the end we need leadership to make sure the supercity changes work for local communities. It’s up to Auckland now.”




  1. Chris R says:


    Len you already had my vote, but this cements it in place!

  2. ingolfson says:

    Sounds good. Though I am not sure how much success he will have in Welly. They can just tell him to go away - the CCO’s are enshrined in law and he can’t just change it. But at least we wouldn’t get so much “secret squirrel” stuff.

  3. John Dalley says:

    Welly is going to find themselves between a rock and a hard place. Annoy the punters of Auckland too much and they may suffer a backlash in the next election. As others have said, Auckland could become a nightmare for this government and future ones i8f the people feel screwed over.

  4. DanC says:

    Who ever nails down a better public transport system for Auckland will get my vote.

  5. Matt L says:

    I actually think that a transport CCO is a good thing, overall ARTA has done a pretty good job and having all transport functions in one place, slightly independent of political meddling, has its advantages. To me the major problem with the way it is being implemented was some of the stuff around the transparency and accountability. There were a few other minor issues but that doesn’t mean the whole idea should be thrown out.

  6. bob says:

    @ Matt L - ummm, what you call “political meddling” Matt, we call democracy! Your attitude is exactly why we should be afraid of the CCOs - because the Boards of the CCOs often see the public as ‘interfering’ when we start telling them about the transport, etc that we want them to build and run. Vis ARTA telling Mike Lee and the ARC - their owners, and our democratically elected representatives - to bugger off over Kingdon St rail station demolition.

    But to the main post - sad to say it, but I would get any promise from Len Brown in writing. On the Manukau mayoralty election campaign, he promised to ‘review the Manukau Water CCO’ due to public concern over cost blowouts. He didn’t do it, or even raise it as an issue (everyone gave him slack over the heart attack, but he could have delegated, and has been working as mayor for 2 years out of 2 1/2 years).

    Spot the Lenspeak - Len will “call for a review of the statutory Transport CCO after two years if I am not satisfied it is working well”. *Call for* (not do)….IF *Len* is not satisfied…. plenty of wiggle room there if Len likes the CCOs after all, but the public hate them.

    Note too the 2nd and 3rd bullet points - both are about Len personally being in control, not the public. The mayor having private chats with the Transport CCO Board is not the same as the CCO being accountable to the whole council, and public!

    If you think I’m being harsh on Len - recall just a month ago, Len was trashing Rodney Hide appointing the initial CCO directors for the first 2 years (and rightly so) - now Len says “I don’t believe the best way for the Auckland Council to get off on the right foot is to start firing directors”. So we get saddled with ACT’s pro-roads directors. Thanks Len.

    Len also promises stuff already being done or committed to being done. Len says “I’ll ensure all CCOs give effect to the Spatial Plan” - but it has already been agreed by the existing ARC, so must be given effect to already. Len promised Onehunga rail and Manukau rail lines - after they already had been agreed to by Kiwirail & govt and ARC (not to mention he promised the already funded 2nd motorway Mangere Bridge, and promised a 2nd Pakuranga motorway bridge - latter funded as part of AMETI !@#$!)

    Siiigh. And I have been a strong Len supporter in the past. Just that his record is: ‘Change….my opinion after the election’ (to paraphrase Len’s Obama style campaigning). Or perhaps ‘Change…you can’t believe in’.

    Still better than Banks, but.

  7. Matt L says:

    Bob - Kingdon St is a perfect example of a bad situation of political meddling, Mike Lee was campaigning hard for this to be retained. He did this without looking ahead to see that a few months later Grafton would be opened within spitting distance of Kingdon St.

    As a regular Western line user I find that these days the end change at Newmarket isn’t that long and while it is annoying I think the benefits out weigh it.

    Another example is the location of the proposed Parnell site, my understanding is that ARTA has done studies to determine the best site for the station and came up with a location near Parnell Rise, this makes complete sense when you look at it on a map. The ARC however wants the station a few hundred meters south at the Mainline steam sheds to tie into future development there because they seem to like the idea of having a train stop right outside it without actually looking at what is best for the area.

    Having said all of this I do think that politicians should be involved in the high level stuff but the implementation should be left up to people that know what they are doing. In the Parnell example it would be the council saying they want a station in the area and that they plan for xyz to happen/be developed. The transport CCO would then go and determine based on all of the facts the best place for that and then build the station.


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