John Banks took the frail hand of his old foe Penny Bright at her bedside in Auckland Hospital today and held it for a good 15 minutes.
“I haven’t met anyone with more fight than you,” said Banks, who knew he was in her good books when she telephoned and referred to him simply as “John”.
“Whenever you referred to me as John Banks I knew I was in trouble,” said the former mayor of Auckland City Council.
“I only keep good memories and I have good memories of you and when you called me John this morning, you made my day,” said Banks, who recalled driving along Quay St earlier this year and seeing Bright protesting at the removal of trees for a cycleway in the pouring rain.
But Penny had to be Penny.
Asked if she would take Banks’ advice and put things behind, Bright said: “Absolutely not. What has happened to me is scandalous and it can’t happen to anybody else. The big issue here is who is holding Auckland Council accountable to the law? It’s the Wild West.”
“What has happened to me” is that the council went throught the proper legal process to obtain the rates they were legally entitled to. She went out of her way to sabotage the process, which ironically would only have seen her lose out.
She really is such a small person that, even facing death, she can’t just let things go.
It’s sad really.