We found it: the stray cat who’s ruining Auckland

We found the the evil goblin sabotaging Auckland’s future. It’s an adorable cat who lives in a bus stop in Northcote Point.

Why is it so hard to make good things happen in Auckland?

Every positive project proposed for the city seems to have to hack through a horde of perma-frowning objectors. Everyone from Mayor Robbie to Len Brown has had to navigate a gauntlet of violently nostalgic greybeards to get approval for anything resembling a good thing.

It’s like there’s a force holding the city back. A psychic overlord working to maroon us in a 1940s time prison.

If you think that’s far-fetched; think again. Today, we can reveal the true identity of Auckland’s villainous hope thief.

We found the culprit after he slipped up and appeared in the sparsely populated back channels of YouTube, in a video starring one of his supplicants, councillor George Wood.

At exactly 3 minutes and 23 seconds into his anti-SkyPath propaganda film, Wood does something seemingly unusual: he approaches a cat for advice. “We’re now further down Northcote Point. I’m just having a talk to one of the residents here,” he says, gently stroking a message out of the animal’s feline mind.

At first it seems concerning that a sitting councillor is taking advice from a cat. Should a man charged with deciding the future of our largest city really be taking telepathic transport tips from an animal with a brain the size of a walnut?

But watch the clip.

Think about what the cat’s saying.

Its quote could be the bugle call for every angry ratepayer in the last two decades; the fiery sigil of House Boomer.

It’s a perfect, concise summation of everything that’s holding Auckland back.


Look at the City Rail Link: a transparently necessary project held up for years by people who said it was too expensive, unpopular, or unfeasible.

Were Gerry Brownlee and Steven Joyce making candlelit pilgrimages to Northcote Point to prostrate themselves before the glowing eyes of their cat lord? The answer is undoubtedly yes.


Or SkyPath – perhaps the most obviously good project in New Zealand. It was approved last week after roughly 14,327 hours of inexplicable debate. A man gave up nearly every second of his free time for a decade to make it happen despite being written off as a “cycling freak”.

In the end, almost everyone relented to sanity and agreed the project should go ahead. Everyone but the NRA in Northcote Point, where the cat’s whispers resound the strongest, echoing in the clatter of car wheels outside Bridgeway Cinema; whistling through the streets with malign force.

It’s the same with just about every major progressive project.

Britomart. Cat.

Wynyard Quarter. Cat.

The HOP card. Congestion charges. Trains on the second harbour crossing. Cat. Cat. Cat.

Now the Unitary Plan is coming up to its final hurdle. A summary of the document – perhaps the most important  in Auckland’s history – is set to be presented to council on Wednesday.

Already the cat is mustering his forces.

He performed his dark dance across the minds of his staunchest supporters in a council meeting back in February.

But that was just a skirmish. The real battle for Auckland’s future begins this week. He will be opposing density, saying you can’t have houses for poor or young people in Herne Bay; or that three-storey apartments would sully the untouched beauty of places like Mission Bay or Kohimarama.



He must be opposed. This malevolent cat lord has held our city in his vice-like grip for too long.

It’s time to take it back.


Crisis, what crisis? Announcing The Spinoff’s great millennial big-spender hunt
An inspiring cross-party address on the housing crisis, by John Key and Andrew Little


The Spinoff is made possible by the generous support of the following organisations.
Please help us by supporting them.