Thursday, July 1, 2010

SuperCity Race: Parallel Universe Edition

That is, the parallel universe where John Banks isn't right-wi... sorry, "business-friendly" enough to be mayor. Take it away, Fran O'Sullivan, as usual on her knees (pun most definitely intended) before the Business Roundatable:

Wanted: A new mayoral candidate with plenty of verve, business smarts and charisma to sharpen the leadership contest for the new Auckland Council.

That is the clear message sent by a big swag of Auckland's business power-brokers in the Herald's 2010 CEO survey.

Oh, by the way, I've downloaded this amazing new piece of software to help with my blogging: it's called 'Euphemism-O-Detector', and it automatically bolds any use of euphemism in blog text. I thought I'd see how it went on this article.

"Most Aucklanders were expecting a tough challenge for this role," said Auckland Regional Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett. "So far they have been disappointed."

[...] Neither main candidate achieved a particularly high rating from the respondents on whether they had the "vision, drive and execution skills to ensure the Auckland Council succeeds".

[...] "If Auckland isn't efficient then growth aspirations won't be met," commented a the [sic] head of a professional firm.

[...] A law firm head described Banks as a "proven performer" in managing complex change and demonstrating vision and leadership. But others noted that he polarises opinion. "The first mayor needs to be a consensus builder so that the various factions can move towards common ground," said Foodstuff's Tony Carter. "Balancing that, the mayor needs to be a consensus builder as a weak person won't achieve anything."

[...] Another said both Banks and Brown were much more politically interested than policy-oriented, and, questioned whether either would have the pragmatism to deal with critical commercial issues like the Ports of Auckland shareholding.

[...] The new candidate should be "someone with guts, who can take some hits (and has taken some hits), someone who understands business, someone with good relations to Wellington, but not someone who is a career politician," said a finance CEO.

[...] Given the lack of overwhelming confidence in either Banks or Brown, it's perhaps not surprising that more chief executives say the Auckland Council's CEO, rather than the mayor, will be more important to the Super City's success.
Can someone please untangle the logic of that sentence? Given that I don't like any vegetables, it's not surprising that I think I'll satisfy my nutritional requirements by dipping streaky bacon in chocolate.
[...] Setting a clear vision for Auckland was important if the new council - which wraps together the present eight local authorities of Auckland into one structure - is not to become bogged down in factional fighting and local concerns.
[...] Among comments were: "too many of the existing crop have declared their interest in standing"; "the democratic structure does not allow for selection on skill matched to job requirements"; and "even C&R has too many has-beens who never were". A clear majority - 56 per cent - believed there were "too many retreads" at the expense of new blood; 40 per cent were unsure.
Presumably leaving 4% who thought there were "not enough retreads". Sounds like a great survey.
[...] Just one-third of chief executives think the new council-controlled organisations will have sufficient independence to do what's best for Auckland.
Leaving just... everyone else in the region upset that CCOs will be largely unaccountable to elected representatives.

Well, that worked quite nicely, didn't it, valued readers?


  1. I like that after months of the Herald bleating that MOST AUCKLANDERS don't want a SuperCity at all, now most of us are supposedly intensely interested in the political race to be elected figurehead of the same thing we didn't want in the first place.

  2. "the democratic structure does not allow for selection on skill matched to job requirements"

    WTF???? And what might? A right wing authoritarian dictatorship?

  3. Presumably they'd prefer a worldwide headhunting recruitment process to find a CEO, to be approved a Board of Directors appointed by the major shareholders.

    Hmm... maybe we'll have to privatise the city...

  4. I haven't seen today's front page, but the sheet they use on the street vendors carts reads "Amazing Picture: Croc v Shark"

    Suspiciously, they've used a separate photo of each animal to illustrate the idea of a crocodile and a shark. I guess if I want to see them in the same picture I actually have to buy the paper?

  5. They could have used a picture of 2 journalists scrapping on a Friday night down the Shakespeare.

  6. Hi, me again.

    I might be going a bit mental, but is this story attempting to blame two recent deaths on vampires? Or just overexposure to R-Pats?

  7. I got that impression too, although it's slightly better than the Stuff article, which mentions the death as an incidental event in between a description of the film's storyline and the amount the film has made so far.

  8. I imagine the victim was wracked with indecision over who's hotter, the vampire or the werewolf, and couldn't live with either choice.

    What's really surprising is that no-one has died watching Sex and the City 2.

  9. I hope they didn't have to suffer through the whole film before they died.

    "Twilight death not suspicious, say police"

    Wait, did that say NOT suspicious? Now I'm even more suspicious, this has cover-up written all over it.

    Maybe his death wasn't suspicious, but a 23 year old male watching a Twilight film alone... something's not right.

  11. DOG NEWZ!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. "Wait, did that say NOT suspicious? Now I'm even more suspicious, this has cover-up written all over it."

    Was there a red ribbon around his wrist?

  13. Apparently he was a 'transient'.

    So the story doesn't matter any more.

  14. It's interesting how one incidental aspect of a serious story - to wit, the movie being new and heavily promoted - has become the key framing for the story, complete with a still from the movie itself. I wonder what would happen if this method was applied to other subjects deemed worthy of promotion in an otherwise serious news story?

    New Zealand Herald reader's death cause expected today

    The death of a man beneath a copy of the latest edition of the New Zealand Herald is being described by police as unexplained.

    The 23-year-old was found with his palm firmly over his face, but with no obvious injuries, after an early morning purchase of the well-respected New Zealand Herald on Tuesday.

    Paramedics were called, but he could not be resuscitated.

    The man, described by police as a "transient" New Zealander who lives in Auckland but travels throughout the country, appeared to have read the widely anticipated new edition alone, before utilising it as an impromptu outdoor blanket.

    CAPTION: Garth George and Deborah Hill Cone subediting the Tuesday edition with crayons at the New Zealand Herald offices on Albert Street, Auckland. Photo / Supplied

  15. Hmm, Editing the Comments.


    Finally, a Herald article that states ONLY the relevant facts of the story, and doesn't include misleading and irrelevant information.

    Funny how this one was buried deep in the website and the other one was the top story on the site for several hours though. I can't imagine why?

  17. Also, this isn't really the Herald's fault, but if I read the words "Party Central" in another news article, I think I'm going to go mental.

  18. I think you'd better avoid all news media for the next...10 years then.

  19. Interesting headline here:

    Surely you'd be hammered by a hammer, or belted by a belt. Do they get their sub-editors from sports journalism school?

  20. The right word is "nailed", surely?