Mayoral candidate Wayne Brown was unable to sufficiently answer questions from the floor, or from opposing candidate Lord at the Massey and Birdwood debate Monday night.
question from the crowd was directed specifically towards Brown, asking how Ports of Auckland Limited would fund his day-one policy of $400 Million per year in rates for using the waterfront land, given that POAL currently struggles to provide dividends.
Brown went into a diatribe explaining how the land was valuable and forcing such a payment would make POAL earn their keep, plus mentioning how much of the current POAL land would be better suited for something else if they were unable to achieve his financial policy.
Brown was then further challenged by a member of the crowd on his $400 Million rent fee, who said “So you’re asking each and every person of Auckland to cough up $200 per year to cover this rent?”
Brown was flustered and unable to provide a succinct response.
This immediately prompted Lord to ask a rebuttal question “Are you therefore, saying you will move or sell the Ports? If the ports were to move North do you have hidden agendas, northern properties or vested interests that you are not sharing with us all?”
Brown was lost for words by the question and once again struggled to provide any clear answer.
Pressed again by Lord who asked the crowd if they would like to hear an actual debate on the matter, the moderators allowed the discourse to continue.
“Tell us the truth!” exclaimed Lord.
Brown begrudgingly confirmed that the land was better suited to other purposes.
Lord believes the hidden agendas need to be brought out into the open.
“It certainly seems as though he has the intention of trying to force POAL out by making their existing operation financially untenable. It’s quite deceitful really, and Aucklanders deserve to hear the truth about what a Mayoral candidate has planned - especially so when it involves a Council-owned asset” says Lord.
However, this wasn’t the last exchange between the two parties.
On a different subject, Brown used a throwaway line as a joke saying how character homes in Christchurch weren't an issue - as they are in Auckland, due to the fact that they all fell down during the earthquakes.
Lord told him the joke was inappropriate and he needed to change it, which annoyed Brown to the point where he told Lord “To go F*^k himself” producing shocked gasps from the crowd.
Whilst Brown did offer an indirect mumbled apology, he was clearly agitated by the comments, but Lord will not be backing down during the rest of the debating tour.
“The voters want to hear about the candidates and their visions, but they also need to hear the truth,” says Lord, “alongside that, they need to see how the candidates perform under the pressure of a debate. They need to see who they are really voting for and tonight was a clear indication”
My thoughts, ideas, visions and policies.