The brand desired by few

Auckland City has a new slogan apparently – The City Desired by Many.

That sounds awful to me, and it seems to a lot of others. The price tag is awful too.

NZ Herald: Auckland’s new $500,000 slogan not so desired

Auckland council bureaucrats have spent $500,000 on a new city slogan…

The new brand is the work of the council’s promotion arm, Ateed.

…was worked on by 115 council staff over two years.

That’s almost 6 staff members per letter of the slogan – but that’s just the short version, there is more to it:

Its full title is Tamaki Makaurau, Auckland, The Place Desired by Many. Folklore has it that the people of Ngati Whatua o Orakei know Tamaki Makaurau as “Tamaki the place desired by many”.

Explaining is losing when it comes to slogans. That sort of thing is ok somewhere on Wikipedia, but it’s not exactly catchy.

There has been a somewhat dissatisfied reaction to this waste of time and money is

…which has already been condemned as “outrageous” by some councillors and does not have the support of new mayor Phil Goff.

Mayor Phil Goff has received an initial high-level briefing on aspects of Ateed’s Global Auckland rebranding project.

A spokeswoman said the rebranding or marketing of Auckland was not a project the mayor was interested in championing.

I’m not surprised.

Goff has promised a crackdown on council waste, greater scrutiny of council-controlled organisations (CCOs) such as Ateed and phasing out former mayor Len Brown’s slogan The World’s Most Liveable City.

I’m not surprised “the world’s most livable city” is being ditched, but switching to the most laughable slogan is not a joke.

Dick Quax said he was dumbfounded.

Councillor Desley Simpson, deputy chair of the finance committee, said the project was another example of where the council has to tighten the decision-making of CCOs, “when you can see a mile off it is not a priority for ratepayers”.

Said councillor Fletcher: “It is arrogance in the extreme. It is disrespectful to the ratepayer and a complete waste of money.”

Has the ‘brand’ has been chosen without the councillors input or approval?

Ateed accounts show $517,000 had been spent on Global Auckland to the end of June this year.

Documents leaked to the Herald show work on the brand project has included focus groups, interviews, surveys and social media. Advertising agency Colenso BBDO and brand gurus DNA were used. A total of 115 council and Ateed staff attended workshops.

Does the cost include internal staff costs or just external costs?

In a statement, Ateed boss Brett O’Riley confirmed that the literal meaning of Tamaki Makaurau, “the place desired by many”, had come through as a strong theme from the Global Auckland project but no final decision had been made on the proposition.

Decisions about how the research and narrative will be used will be made in consultation with the council and private sector, O’Riley said.

So they spent two years and half a million – so far – and don’t know what they are going to do with it?

No date has been set to reveal the brand.

It looks a bit revealed now. It looks like someone has blown the whistle on it. That may save more money being spent on it.

No wonder the Auckland City Council wants Government money for less important things like transport and housing.

This is the sort of ‘politically correct’ elitist committee driven bland waste of money that people in other parts of the world are fed up with and revolting about, but council staff are safe from being dumped by voters.

Leave a comment


  1. Goff’s focus on killing Ateed’s nonsense is a good start. Under Len Brown the council paid for a water park in Manukau. For 80 quid I can now go white water rafting on a man made course beside the Vodafone centre. Yipee!
    I’ve already paid my share of the $60 mill is took for council to build. Damn that Len Brown. Worse still management rights were sold to Len’s cousin Ian Ferguson. Make of that what you will.

  2. Gezza

     /  12th November 2016

    Gak ! 😖 Absolutely positively awful. Ateed’s staff should be placed in the stocks.

    If Auckland had its own wizard they should all be changed into frogs for a week.

    What’s wrong with City of Sails?

    • Gezza

       /  12th November 2016

      Pete Kane, Bj, Lurch & I wouldn’t put up with this kind of nonsense in Welly. We all gave Wellywood the fingers. Heads were rolled.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  12th November 2016

        I came to say ‘What’s wrong with ‘City of Sails ?’ What is wrong with it ? It’s a nice bit of alliteration, it’s descriptive and it’s memorable.Other cities stay with a slogan when it’s a good one. Desired by Many ? Spare me. It’s conceited and unmemorable and it says nothing at all about the place. It’s just silly.

        Gezza, did you see the send-ups of the proposed WELLYWOOD sign ?

  3. That’s a bargain that new ‘Brand’!!! Imagine if they’d outsourced it …?

    What does the logo for “The City Desired by Many” look like?
    Oh Jeez … I hate to think!? *DESIRE* …

    Phil Goff’s off to a good start eh? As they say, always “start out as you mean to go on” …

    Ateed is incorrectly named. It should be F^^keed!

    Here’s the neoliberal world functioning exactly as its supposed to. The highly paid ‘Salariat’ dictates to the lowly [and lowly paid] Precariat what they should think and how they should feel about their place … their sense of belonging … and simultaneously evidences “money well spent” which could have been applied on solving real problems … The salariat pretends they are achieving something … the precariat pretends not to care …

    The catch cry of ‘post-truth’ politics surely must be “We Get What We Deserve”!?

    • PDB

       /  12th November 2016

      All we are seeing (well not you) is a left-wing dominated Council pissing money up against the wall and instead of doing their jobs are busy voting on such things as ‘deep sea drilling’ whilst costs continue to spiral out of control. No worry though as they can just go back to all those rich p***k ratepayers for more dough. Pants down brown Mk2 (Goff) will be no better for the city.

      “The City Desired by Many” hardly runs off the tongue and lacks any meaning whatsoever.

      I prefer ‘Auckland – Where Karl meets Marx’.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  12th November 2016

        How about ‘Auckland-More MoneyThan Sense’ ?

        • Gezza

           /  12th November 2016

          “Auckland – postively indescribable” 😳

        • Corky

           /  12th November 2016

          How’s about- ‘Auckland, It’ll skin you alive.’

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  12th November 2016

            ‘Auckland-City of Supremely Silly Slogans’ ?

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  12th November 2016

              Desired by Many sounds like a cheap novel blurb.

              Aucklandina….desired by many, wanted by multitudes, craved by countless numbers, …she sprawled wantonly along the harbour shores, her unblushing charms available for all to see, Could any man tame her ? ….Or was this girl too far out of control to be subjugated ? One man was sure that he could master her, that he would succeed where so many had failed. Enter Philip, the man who would break the proud beauty to his strong will-he said.

            • Gezza

               /  12th November 2016


              Have you been bingeing on wine gums Kitty?

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  13th November 2016

              No. I don’t like them-or any sweets except peppermints.

              I decided to give the birds a treat & bought them some ‘chocolate bullets’, not knowing that these have licorice inside them. The birds wouldn’t eat them.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  12th November 2016

              Touche’ Kitty, well put 😀

  4. Trevor

     /  12th November 2016

    When will the ‘research’ findings, in FULL, be available please? Paid for by public money, this research should be available to all – not an abbreviated summary either please.

  5. Blazer

     /  15th November 2016

    ‘ratepayers money
    Desired by many
    Reserved for….few’


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