Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wasting money, and maybe a sacking in the offing?

He wasted $1343 of rates money on a private campaign against Auckland Mayor John Banks. What more can we say. This is completely embarrassing. You can read the Herald article here.

If he has even a shred of decency, he would pay the money back.

Further embarrassments like this are going to embolden the new Minister of Local Government to make some hard choices once the Royal Commission is announced.

If Williams' mission to protect the current North Shore setup has been a complete failure (as we have every reason to suspect it will be), and if Williams is true to form and launches a series of blistering personal attacks and threatens to be obstructionist, the Minister of Local Government will have only one choice:

Section 254, 255 and 256 of the Local Government Act 2002 - the removal of Williams as Mayor and the appointment of a commissioner to run North Shore through the transition. Don't laugh. It's a likely prospect if Williams threatens to hurt the process.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Williams' "provocative"

Understatement of the year by the North Shore Times, but their piece is an accurate reflection of the week's events.

Good to see some sensible, pragmatic commentary from Cr Darby at the end of the article.

Shore mayor Andrew Williams is being heavily criticised for making "unnecessary provocative, patronising and potentially damaging comments" over petrol tax changes.

Newmarket Business Association head Cameron Brewer reportedly used these words to criticise the mayor and said he had damaged Auckland’s relationship with the rest of the country.

On Monday night during a television news item other mayors and residents from around New Zealand criticised his comments.

Mr Williams’ comments follow a government announcement that a 9.5c Auckland fuel tax will be dropped in favour of a national 6c fuel tax.

In what appears to be sarcasm, Mr Williams expressed his "heartfelt thanks to people in the provinces" to helping sort out Auckland’s transport problems.

"I would like to extend my thanks to the people from the likes of Gore, Timaru, Hokitika, Waipukurau, Stratford, Opotiki, and Kerikeri for contributing in the future to Auckland’s transport woes," he says.

"I hope as many people as possible from around New Zealand will visit Auckland in the coming years to take advantage of the improved public transport that they will have paid for."

In a raft of press releases Mr Williams questions the government’s ability to sort out public transport problems.

And so forth. We at "The Mayor is Mad" are not always in alignment with David Thornton of the No More Rates ticket, but we think he's hit the button on his suggestion of a recall for politicians in regard to Williams' appalling behaviour this week.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Andrew Williams embarrasses us again

For the love....

...of God.

Sorry about him New Zealand, we'll get rid of him in 2010.

Friday, March 6, 2009

More shame for our shore

The Mad Mayor has had his comeuppance on national television this morning.

On Breakfast TV, Williams was awarded "Egg of the week".

Fast forward through to around 1 minute and 50 seconds to see the clip (you will need to let the advertisement run through first)

The hosts and panellists couldn't conceal their contempt for the idiot in charge of North Shore, calling him "more plonky and prattish every month".

They must live locally.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

No more free lunches, but rates are disgraceful

We missed the story about the Mayor and council cutting back on their free lunches.

Big deal.

They should have kept their lunches and cut their spending further instead.

It would seem that both Waitakere and Auckland City can manage to keep rates between 2 and 3%. Why not the shore? Where are the real priorities on spending reductions?

No wonder the Mad Mayor and his little coterie of minions cut back on lunches when they overspend on finger food and drinks!

Another symptom of the problem

We missed this one earlier - how the Mad Mayor decided to unilaterally strip Cr Darby of his urban design champion role, though there was no good reason to.

Williams apparently felt that Darby was "undermining" him, though of course, to any rational watcher of local politics, it's pretty obvious that the Mayor's biggest enemy is in fact his own self.

Should any ugly buildings get built in the next few years, you'll know who to blame. Just send the Mayor a late night email, he'll get the message sure enough.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Too many parties, too much wine?

Sorry for the delay in posting friends, but we've been busy with other matters. Still, the hot summer has been a boon to us all, bar those who get heatstroke and behave in odd ways.

For the North Shore council though, they've been well hydrated over the last two years with the news released in the latest Aucklander that there has been $70,000 spent on parties, functions and ceremonies.

A local businessman, Mr David Martin, emailed the odd and abusive Mayor, only to get short shrift.

One resident who's aghast at the seemingly
endless rounds of tea and biscuits is David

The Takapuna resident has become
increasingly concerned at the attitude of Mayor
Andrew Williams.

Mr Martin is an accredited business mentor
who attended a function with the mayor late last
year at which mentors were praised.

However, Mr Martin was surprised to discover
how much money is going into city knees-ups.

The 59-year-old emailed Mr Williams with his
concerns last week, saying he supported reviewing
expenditure and cutting costs but did not like
some of the personal politics the mayor was
engaging in.

Mr Martin was admonished in a response
from the mayor.

``This has been a huge exercise to reduce wast
age of spending across the bureaucracy, get more
accountability into the systems, prioritise the
needs vs the nice-to-haves, and basically run it as
you would run your own business,' Mr Williams

Mr Martin says: ``The lips are moving but the
feet aren't lining up with the mouth.'

Figures obtained by The Aucklander show the
council's Civic Functions and Ceremonies
budget for the 2008/09 financial year is $56,441.

The actual spend in that budget for the period
July 1, 2008 to January 31, 2009 is $72,255.

It's no surprise to hear the Mad Mayor is opposed to cracking down on the council grog. We think he seems to do such a good job of showing he enjoys it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ruining the development levies golden goose

We have received an interesting email the other day from a local developer, disgusted with the lack of financial accountability by the current hierarchy. Now, we have to be fair here - Angry Andrew didn't cause this. However, he is perpetuating this ruining of the golden goose that funds so much of our wonderful infrastructure. Read on:

The North Shore City debt is out of control and there are new valuations, Auckland Regional Services Bill ARC Fuel Levy etc all coming forward for paying. The Developers Levies policy is in tatters because they have frozen out the Building Industry to a standstill and North Shore City is buying up new expensive Parkland in advance with borrowed money while telling the public the public they are using Developers Levies. I have been told the kitty for that has been bare for some time now but you offset that by borrowing to politicize the issue and don’t tell the truth. Williams does not answer incoming emails at all (unlike George Wood did). Therefore lets hope Andrew is only a single term Mayor.

Borrowing money offset against future development levies? That's madness....

Monday, January 19, 2009

Crazy about Qingao

What's not very well known in North Shore City political circles is that we now have a sister-city relationship with Qingdao in China.

That's not particularly controversial, nor is it particularly edifying. It is unlikely this will deliver more than student exchanges and education receipts (arguably we can be greatful for those benefits), but what is of interest is the Mayor and his trip to Qingdao in 2008.

It's well known that there are human rights issues in China. Some on the council wanted Andrew Williams to deliver a letter on human rights issues to our new sister city.

We're mixed on this, because you don't go causing problems with your new best friend for starters (raising human rights issues would better come with a maturing in the relationship). On top of that, local businesses on the shore who are already established in Qingdao and could see some benefits to a sister city relationship pleaded with the council not to get involved in what is a central government matter.

Sigh. Nothing so hamfisted as local government part-timers playing at Henry Kissinger...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Odd and abusive say the NZ Herald

Imagine our amusement finding that the Herald were to describe our beloved North Shore Mayor as "odd and sometimes abusive".

The Herald reached this conclusion when looking at potential mayors for a new supercity. Now, we have mixed feelings about the merits of a supercity. But we have no quibble with the description of Williams:


It will be a miracle if Mr Williams stands for the job. He has been the loudest voice against a super city and is likely to spend all of this year lobbying against change. His odd and sometimes abusive behaviour in the past year has seen him lose credibility locally and at a national level.

Oh yes, that's Andrew Williams - and to have summed him and his dubious term up in only 55 words so comprehensively is ever the more delicious.

But more importantly, the Herald also sums up the consequences of Williams' behaviour - the Shore is now on the outside when it comes to the new Government. We doubt John Key will listen particularly closely to Williams over the Royal Commission recommendations.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The consequence of not being on the ball

If Andrew Williams spent less time abusing people and more time showing good financial ledership, then he wouldn't have to deal with journalists asking questions about why rates are higher than they should be.

I don't know why he is picking a fight with the Reserve Bank governor either. Is this another sign of his anger management problems, or is the Mayor of North Shore City fiscally deluded?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Another community group abused by Williams

Here we go again, dear readers: Andrew Williams has abused another community group that's come to see the council. First he abused the Youth Town organisation, now he's shaking fists and going "ballistic" at Basketball NZ and the North Shore Events Centre trustees.

Outbursts by Shore mayor Andrew Williams have sparked com-plaints about his behaviour.
Several sources told the North Shore Times the mayor went "ballistic" at North Shore Events Centre trustees shaking his fist at them and speaking angrily.
People who saw the incident on Tuesday were stunned by his behaviour outside the council chamber after a parks committee meeting.
Trust board chairman Wayne Miles was contacted by one of the centre’s senior managers about the incident and hopes the mayor will apologise.
"It was a rather astounding reaction and I cannot understand it."
The trustees contacted didn’t want to comment.
But trustee and Basketball New Zealand president Barbara Wheadon has been reported as saying she was stunned by the incident.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Cr Miles vs the Mayor

Another councillor who has been standing up to the antics of the Mayor is Margaret Miles of Albany, representing the Northern Ward. Miles, who would be best described as centre-right politically, has been a dignified voice against some of Andrew Williams' antics on council.

Her husband is Wayne Miles, who has been on the brunt of a Mayoral temper tantrum back in October of 2008.

We can count on Miles to keep a dignified pressure on Mayor Williams to ensure better standards of behaviour are kept at council meetings.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Does he have a problem with late night emails?

Late night emails, reputedly of an aggressive and angry nature - what's this an indicator of I wonder?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Andrew Williams threatens a blogger

The Whaleoil Beef Hooked blog isn't exactly highbrow commentary. But it is a useful hub of information on NZ politics.

Williams simply can't deal with criticism, and threatened the Whaleoil blog with legal action if a post describing Williams as "mental" wasn't removed.

It turns out that the Whaleoil blog won't be threatened easily.

Quotes Whaleoil: "Andrew Williams is a fool. He would have been better to STFU and not raise the ire of me. He has now guaranteed that I will take a constant and deep personal interst in him and his silly antics. Numpty twat!"


Cr Darby vs the Mayor

We are not alone in the fight against the Mad Mayor of North Shore. On the council itself, there are a number of politicians acting as stalking horses to "mark" Williams.

Chief protaganist is Cr Chris Darby, who has earned and returned the wrath of Williams on a number of occasions.

Key to this particular relationship dynamic is that Darby doesn't lose his temper. While Williams jumps up and calls Darby a "smart arse", the councillor from Devonport carefully avoids provocative statements while baiting the stroppy and cranky Williams into losing the plot.

Darby, a good family man, reputedly doesn't seek the mantle of Mayor, but we are sure that a vastly different looking council with a more moderate Mayor would surely need an experienced and level-headed Deputy.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Williams shows he is out of touch

Here's a great example of how our beloved leader is out of touch with local residents - he's reviving hugely unpopular proposals that cost his predecessor George Woods a good number of votes.

The Northcote Point bus depot was a bloody dumb idea now being revived by a bloody dumb Mayor.

Simply unbelievable.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Andrew Williams abuses Youth organisation leaders

More evidence of the Loony Mayor's personal problems - he abuses Youth Town representatives - a group who came to present to our council.

Why on earth would he do something like this? We remain convinced Andrew Williams has issues that run deeper than just that of anger.

Here is the text from the Herald article in October 2008.

Prominent North Shore citizens are upset after a "ticking off" from Mayor Andrew Williams, who said they were letting down the city's youth.

Mr Williams confronted members of the North Shore Events Centre's board of trustees after they spoke out at a council meeting on Tuesday against Youth Town's bid for a home base next to the centre.

Mr Williams told the trustees, who included Basketball New Zealand president Barbara Wheadon, they had let down youth by opposing Sunnybrae Bowling Club's wish to sublease surplus land to Youth Town.

Council approval was recommended by councillor Callum Blair and seconded by the mayor, but it was defeated in a 7-6 vote.

The trust says the move cut across council's assurances in May.

But its members would not talk publicly about being on the receiving end of a tirade from the mayor.

Mrs Wheadon told the Herald only that she was shocked.

She had been awarded a New Zealand Order of Merit honour for her contribution to getting sports facilities on the North Shore.

Other trustees in the events centre's deputation were Bob Jay and Michael Thomas.

Inquiries were directed to trust chairman Dr Wayne Miles who said he missed the meeting. "But I have to say I was amazed at what I heard about the [mayor's] reaction."

In the presentation, the trust said it was supportive of Youth Town and its activities.

"But it appears the trust and Youth Town are being set apart and are against each other and that's not true.

"What we are against is the process."

Although the centre was splitting at the seams with demand for indoor court space for basketball and gymnastics, it supported a strategic development plan being developed for using A.F. Thomas Park and nearby public land. "But it seems a deal was done behind closed doors,"said Dr Miles.

"It was surprising and unfortunate and I think we will try to do our bit to undo what could be some damage."

Mr Williams said yesterday that the bowling club had had an empty paddock for 25 years and Youth Town, with a temporary arrangement to run its programmes at the Onewa netball courts, planned to locate a portable modular building there.

"It seemed a good fit and it was presented to the events centre board four to five months ago," said the mayor.

"But they didn't seem to pick it up and do anything about it.

"It came to the committee yesterday and suddenly the trustees turned up all aghast that this was going ahead.

"I said I was very disappointed because 3000 young people a year go across the bridge to Auckland City for Youth Town programmes and the events centre have chosen to see this as opposition to their future expansion."

Monday, December 29, 2008

Mayor has run in with ambulance staff

Was Mayor Williams exhausted, or was there some other factor behind the Mayor's assault of ambulance staff trying to help him?

An Auckland mayor who collapsed at a Navy function on Friday was taken to hospital amid allegations of a run-in with ambulance staff who treated him. North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams said last night he had no recollection of the incident but was exhausted and dehydrated from an illness contracted during a council trip to Asia.

St John confirmed that a 50-year-old man was taken by ambulance from the Devonport Navy base to North Shore Hospital at 7.30pm with breathing problems and discharged later that night.

Assistant regional operations manager Murray Holt said the ambulance officer filed an incident report, which are used to flag any concerns. "In that report, he recommends no further follow-up be taken in relation to the incident. We supported him in that decision," said Holt. He declined to reveal further details.

A caller to the Herald on Sunday, who did not want to be identified, said he was at the hospital emergency department on Friday night. Staff were talking about how the mayor had had an altercation with ambulance workers who treated him, forcing Navy staff to intervene. Navy spokeswoman Lieutenant Commander Barbara Cassin declined to comment.

Williams is recuperating at his North Shore home.

The Aucklander asks: Is the Mayor Mad?

Bless Ed Rooney and The Aucklander for their indepth interview of Andrew Williams.

To ensure the article lives forever, we cut and pasted the transcript below.

M E E T . . .

By Edward Rooney

His behaviour is described variously as
overbearing, controlling, heavy-handed.

The man about whom these words have
been used doesn't flinch as I put the
descriptions to him.
He does, however, twitch. A lot.

Andrew Williams has been in the job for 12
months and had time to stamp his style on the
mayoralty of New Zealand's fourth largest city.

He left his role as Trade Commissioner representing
Belgium in New Zealand when he was
elected in October last year.

In his short stint at
the helm, the 49-year-old has been at the centre
of some strange episodes.

In August he famously collapsed after a couple
of wines during a naval reception in Devonport
and came up, fists swinging, at ambulance
officers trying to revive him.

He issued a press release denouncing a media
conspiracy against him and the mayoralty after
the Sunday Star-Times asked how much he had
paid for new couches for the councillors' lounge.

His late-night emails - reporting everything
from a Lamborghini parked on yellow lines on
Hurstmere Rd, Takapuna's main drag, to a cafe
that failed to recognise the mayor and mayoress -
have been widely circulated. To guffaws and

More recently, he confronted trustees of the
North Shore Events Centre after they opposed a
Youthtown bid to set up a new venue.

He clarifies a few matters as I revisit these
episodes, such as the fact that patients frequently
lash out when given sternum rubs and the cafe is
next door to the council headquarters. But he is
unrepentant about his outburst to the events
centre trustees.

"In my view, they don't have a vision that is
compatible with other members of my
council," he states.

"I've had a lot to do with Youthtown, I've been to a lot of their events, they are the sort of organisation we want to encourage."

I point out that Basketball NZ president Barbara
Wheadon was "shocked" by his behaviour.

"They got a good ticking-off," he nods. "They
were being selfish. She probably doesn't like
having fingers shaken at her."

Is that the way the mayor should talk to
people? "When I know people are right out of
line and being selfish."

His side of the conversation took about "a
minute and a half". He wanted to point out that
the board had let down the youth of North
Shore. "I said: 'You really need to take a look at

Seated in the Mayoral Lounge at the city
council chambers, I can take a good look at

He's formally dressed in a suit, with a red tie
that has been over-tightened. He clutches a sheaf
of papers in his right hand. His left hand makes
karate-chopping motions on the armrest to
underscore his comments.

The mayor's legs are stretched straight in front
of him, crossed at the ankles. He's never completely
still and there's a frequent jerking spasm
right down his legs.

I ask him if he is mad. He sighs and looks at
the ceiling before returning to my gaze with a
goofy smile and a shrug.

"Ah, I guess everyone would say you have to
be kind of mad to want to be a mayor."

He frowns, and his boyish look morphs into something
much older.

I ask if he has the support of his council
officers and managers and whether they share his

"It's coming," he says. "It's getting
there. It's filtering through."

His shrugging and wavering eye-contact
undermine the confidence in his words. But he
comes into much firmer focus when talking
about his political opponents.

"They are very active," he says, darkly.
"They have some of the media behind them. Factions
are running to the Sunday Star-Times and they
are making frivolous accusations."

How does that feel, Andrew? "I get pretty sick
of it."

He talks about making big progress across the
city. He talks with pride about gains at Albany
Senior High School and Birkenhead Library.

Both were held up by Environment Court action
but he happily claims credit for their eventual

I ask if he's overburdened himself by making
every citizen's concern his personal responsibility.

"I probably took on more than I probably
should, but I don't believe in farming it all off."

I ask about the wisdom of sending emails late
at night, and whether some of his comments
might be better kept to himself.

"I work 24 hours. If I'm awake, I'm active. I've
been in international trade for 30 years, working
in different time zones."

Williams refers frequently to his mayoral
predecessor George Wood. Most is
uncomplimentary. But he also talks in similarly
unglowing terms about people on the current
council, three in particular.

"I don't have a lot of patience for fence-sitters
and procrastinators," he proclaims.

He describes these same people as "very
active" in their campaigns against him. But he
will "gradually immobilise them".

His secretary knocks at the door and enters
quietly to tell the mayor his next appointment
has arrived. He thanks her and continues to
outline several projects that have benefited directly from his intervention.

Our strict 30-minute interview has taken all
but an hour by the time I make to leave. Instead,
he insists I view the couches the Sunday Star-
Times inquired about.

I suggest he should put a plaque on them to
mark their significance.
He doesn't laugh.

The case against Andrew Williams

Since his election in 2007 to the Mayoralty, Andrew Williams has been both giving trouble and getting into it.

His behaviour at council and committee members has been appalling.

His treatment of staff members and some members of the public is unacceptable.

His late-evening antics have also raised eyebrows.

He has brought shame upon the office of the Mayor through his behaviour.

This blog will categorise his failures and personal behaviour to make sure the media in the North Shore and the Auckland region keen on top of this "danger to shipping".

We'll also be making recommendations on who to back to get rid of Williams at the next election. Until then, we'll act as the stalking horse to undermine this nasty individual.