Bad Look


The Mayor needs to get back on the trains.

He is playing into the hands of the anti-rail critics who said his much-publicised trip on a train was a one-off PR stunt.

This is on the southern motorway and by the Ellerslie train station.


Hat tip Gotcha




  1. Len Brown says:

    Amazed (and slightly amused) to see my train commutes are getting so much attention. Just for the record, I’ve caught the train every week but one since I announced I would be taking public transport regularly. I love doing it and really enjoy catching up with ordinary Aucklanders along the way.

  2. Jon C says:

    @Mayor Thanks for letting us know. We enjoy seeing you on the trains.

  3. Len Brown says:

    I actually saw it myself on the way to work this morning. Had a little chuckle.

  4. Len Brown says:

    I should add I was on the train at the time

  5. Jon C says:

    @Len they say any publicity for the cause is good publicity!

  6. Feijoa says:

    Good on you, Len, for getting out there and keeping the focus on Auckland’s transport needs. You might be up against nearly every other politician, but all the Aucklanders I know supports your policies on proper transport systems, rapid rail, etc. Keep up the good work!

  7. Nick R says:

    @ Len Brown,
    How about offering all Auckland council staff monthly Discovery Passes as part of their salary package, in lieu of ‘free’ carparking or associated benefits?

    The centralised location of most council offices in the CBD or near major train/bus interchanges at Manukau, Hendeson etc should make public transport quite attractive to many staff.

    Good to see the boss leading by example, but the mayor is just one person! Lets see the whole council lead by example.

  8. Jon Reeves in Switzerland says:

    Excellent to read the Mayor is leading by example. Anyone bother to let the Herald know about this?

  9. Doloras says:

    Are the Tui advertising people in thick with Cameron Brewer and/or C&R?

  10. Cam says:

    “Excellent to read the Mayor is leading by example. Anyone bother to let the Herald know about this?” - More to the point would they bother mentioning it if someone did?

  11. Randy says:

    The Tui guys are always having a joke, i doubt there’s anything to be offended by here! Good work Len!

  12. Luke says:

    I would hope that Council staff use Public Transport to at least get between the council offices, especially once they have 20min frequencies all day, and the Manukau Branch opens.
    Would be good to have pool cars based at the offices and PT used to get between them, Means staff could work on their laptops, smartphones on the bus/train.

  13. anthony says:

    Great to hear from you Mayor Brown, i think you are doing a fantastic job at turning Auckland’s PT system around after years of neglect, it is good to know that (even though you have to drag government kicking and screaming) we are making progress.

  14. Feijoa says:

    I agree, it is tongue-in-cheek… in the spirit of this, and to keep the crowd here happy I’ve made a ‘more wrong’ (which is more right) revision:

  15. Matt says:

    The issue with offering transport passes is that they attract Fringe Benefit Tax. Parking doesn’t. The Greens wanted to get a law passed to at least equalise the situation, if not reverse it, but didn’t manage to get it on the agenda before 2008.

  16. Commuter says:

    @ Feijoa

    Sadly, and characteristically, you’d never see Steven Joyce on a train to make that observation. It’s good to hear that the mayor uses PT and Matt’s comment about fringe benefit tax is something that needs immediate action; it’s these apparently innocuous legislative things that ultimately define us as a car addicted society.

  17. Principal Skinner says:

    How much progress is actually being made in improving alternatives to the private motor vehicle? The Mayor of Akl rides the train. Yeah and? PT is still not the prefered choice of transport in Akl. And it won’t be while Lord Joyce is running the show and favouring his roading buddies. The Mayor of Wellington rode her bike to the airport and got ‘done over’ by the media. It all feels like tinkering at the edges. When will it be safe for me to ride my bike in Akl? Some time this century? So really, how much progress has been made?

  18. Feijoa says:

    @Commuter That’s the point, and hence the need for “Yeah right.” :) I love the double irony that Len Brown first saw the ad while on the train himself with the current version though.

    @Matt — the current fringe benefit rule is crazy, promoting car dependency while other more enlightened cities like, well, Los Angeles, have put in policies to have the opposite effect.

  19. romy says:

    that’s our mayor! doing not just talking…

  20. Juana says:

    If the Mayor’s car is being driven by someone else to the station and then makes the journey to where he works while he is on the train and then makes the return journey home, what pray is the point of the exercise other than publicity?
    Saving the Planet, taking cars off the roads? Yeah Right.
    ( And yes I am Whaleoil’s wife but I do have my own opinions being a grown up and all ;)

  21. sj says:

    Is there any proof that commenter “Len Brown” is actually Len Brown, and not just some random internet troll?

  22. AKT says:

    @SJ Yes it is definitely the Mayor. There was also some chat with his office via email.

  23. Commuter says:

    @ Juana

    Aside from anything else, by taking the train, even if his car is ‘being driven by someone else to the station’, the mayor is experiencing at first hand the frustrations and pleasures that commuters face in their daily travel, something, I guess, National party hacks like Whaleoil rarely, if ever, experience. There are more effective ways of taking cars off the road and building motorways ain’t one of them; building a decent public transport network is though.

  24. Jon C says:

    Trolls get very short shift here and comments purporting to be from someone well know get checked by me. it would be irresponsible for me to allow a comment purporting to be from someone like the Mayor without checking it was the right person. So it’s a waste of time someone trying to be smart. Wellington’s Mayor also commented here the other day.

  25. Rene says:


    have you caught the bus since becoming mayor?

    I suggest you may see the need to improve our roading system to accommodate better bus transport which many of us “ordinary people” use.

    While rail is nice better bus services are what will make the real difference in Auckland.

  26. Patrick R says:

    the real question, SJ, is are you the real SJ?

  27. Nick R says:

    @ Juana

    There is really nothing to it apart from ‘publicity’, that’s all that one man can really do. What is wrong with a mayor publicising his vision for Auckland first hand?

    Better that that sitting back in the limo pontificating about rapid transit!

  28. Feijoa says:

    This billboard has made it into Stuff today:
    Mayor caught up in Tui jibe

  29. Urban Local says:

    @ Nic R: Waitakere and North Shore City Councils both had a fifty percent subsidy deal for all staff to get to and from work. This is currently being negotiated between the Public Services Association and Council for its continuation. There has never been any worry about fringe benefit tax.
    My department within Auckland Council has tickets available for staff to get from Henderson to the city and back.


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