My first post on the port drama discussed the ideas of privatizing the port and how Auckland Council needs to own this problem and show leadership. Aucklanders' prayers were answered this morning by Len Brown going straight to the front page of the Herald and telling everyone that "I would encourage [POAL] to do everything they can as loyal Aucklanders to resolve this issue without any further unnecessary time wasting."
What I forgot to mention in my first post about the port was that Len Brown was not just a member of the Labour Party, but had also received political donations of $2000 back in 2010 from MUNZ (Maritime Union). Cactus Kate said on Twitter that "Len Brown suddenly looks like a [two] term Mayor. For a Labour man [to] stand up [to] a Union its [sic] like pigs flying [over the] Skytower!" And as unbelievable as it is, the man is finally starting to take responsibility and step up to the plate as the mayor of Auckland.
While on Twitter, Cr Cameron Brewer was late with the right wing stabs at Len...
The Herald Says...
Mr Brown - a member of the Labour Party who received a $2000 donation from the Maritime Union towards his 2010 election campaign - yesterday said the board and management of the 100 per cent council-owned port company had his full confidence but he refused to express confidence in the union, which he was not responsible for.
Mr Brown said the donation did not mean he was in the pocket of the union.
In a sign that he is standing up to the union, which is set to strike again tomorrow for 48 hours, Mr Brown said it was time to review some of the decades-long work practices to reflect the increasing and changing trends of the international shipping market.
However, he has ruled out the idea I wrote about last time about partial privatization:
Mr Brown dismissed calls from members of the right-leaning Citizens & Ratepayers councillors for partial privatisation of the council-owned ports company, saying it was a critical piece of infrastructure which he had a very clear mandate to keep in public ownership.
He said a debate on ownership of the port company was one for an election campaign and had no plans at this stage to change his position.
C&R councillors Christine Fletcher and George Wood have suggested a partial sale of the ports company along the same lines as the National Government's "mixed ownership" model.
Still, credit where credit is due. Len Brown is taking back the port for the people that got him in power.