web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Auckland in search of democracy

Written By: - Date published: 12:59 pm, December 24th, 2013 - 29 comments
Categories: accountability, auckland supercity, class war, democracy under attack, infrastructure, transport - Tags:

In keeping with the dominance of political game playing that has been prevalent since the 1980s “neoliberal revolution” recent focus on personality politics has diverted from, and masked the very real structural problems of Auckland Council.  These problems relate to the limitations in local democracy, and the way national, and international business-oriented competitiveness obscures the destructive impact of vast inequalities.

The issues for Auckland and Aucklanders are far bigger than the misdeeds or the mayor or any one councillor.  Changing the people in these positions will not fix the structural limitations on democratic representation, nor will they prevent further abuses of power within this set up.

As Virginie Ribadeau Dumas reported in September 2010 when comparing changes in Paris and Auckland, the biggest concerns around the then planned supercity structure had to do with limited democratic representation or accountability.  local boards are too weak, while the unelected and unaccountable CCOs have too much power and control.

The local boards in Auckland however will not function on such a representative basis. They have no representative link with the Council. In the end, local boards will have no say in the services that are delivered by the Council, or by the CCOs – according to Auckland MP Phil Twyford, the Labour Party representative at the Auckland Governance Legislation Committee.

[..]

As set out in the Bill establishing the future Auckland Council, major functions (such as transport, water services and Auckland waterfront development) are to be devolved into CCOs ruled by unelected boards, operating at arm’s length from Council. This separation – as argued by backers of the move – had become necessary due to “local politicians [having] failed to deliver the results expected of them.”

The extent of the plans for outsourcing were criticised with some saying the supercity structure was that of a corporate entity and not a democratic city.

Since 2010, the role of local boards has been strengthened a little.  However, the local boards and councillors have limited powers, and that includes their ability to reign in the activities of the mayor. The mayor has presidential-like status, whlie also having limited powers in comparison with the CCOs that manage a lot of the council’s operations.

More concerning that the misdemeanors of the mayor are the criminal activities of some people in senior positions within the CCOs. See for instance, the Herald On Sunday article of 22 December, in which Bevan Hurley reports:

Thousands of dollars worth of roading materials destined for a ratepayer-funded project were delivered to home renovations of a senior council manager, a whistleblower claims.

[...]

When the driver raised concerns with the manager, he said he was told to shut his mouth or he would be “chopped off at the knees”.

The driver also alleges tens of thousands of dollars worth of materials were diverted from one project contract to another job.

It comes as a third Auckland Transport employee has left after being investigated during an ongoing inquiry into potential misuse of public money.

The Herald on Sunday understands the employee was from the northern area road maintenance.

The Serious Fraud Office is examining hundreds of millions of dollars worth of contracts awarded by Auckland Transport.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is assessing the latest claims made by the driver as part of the office’s investigation into allegations of corruption involving Auckland Council roading contracts.

Auckland Transport at the centre of these SFO investigations is one of the unaccountable Auckland Council CCOs. Why is this blatant corruption not getting the concentrated media attention that has been given the personal and/or ethical (but not criminal) failings of Len Brown and Cameron Brewer?

media and democracy

The recent AUT investigation into the 3 years of the existence of the amalgamated Auckland, show some confusion among residents as to how much control the NAct government has over Auckland compared with the Auckland Council.  Aucklanders tend to measure their satisfaction with the council according to their personal circumstances.

According to the AUT report (published before the 2013 election), the general statistics tend to mask the vast inequalities in the city. Youth unemployment, and the struggles of people on low incomes, especially those from Maori, Pacific and Asian backgrounds, tend to get masked by the statistical averages.

Most noticeable in the report is the failings with respect to democracy.  The elected representatives fail to fully reflect the diversity of Auckland’s communities, while the CCOs are even more unrepresentative:

The diversity of elected representation in Auckland is disappointing with few Máori and Pacific Islands members on Auckland Council and the 21 local boards, a small number only of ethnic councillors or board members, and not many female directors of council-controlled organisations (CCOs).

[...]

There are no women chairing any of the seven CCOs, while four have female deputy chairs.

On this report, a March article on Stuff says this:

The governance roles of the council in relation to local boards and council-controlled organisations (CCOs) needed critical clarification, report co-author and professor Judy McGregor said.

[...]

The authority was criticised over health and earning inequalities in deprived areas of Auckland and with Maori and Pacific Island communities. Poor local body representation by ethnic minorities was also raised.

[...]

The effectiveness of CCOs was questioned. While well governed, they were not seen to be accountable to residents or have strong oversight from the council.

The in-built limitations of the Auckland Council structure will harm all Aucklanders in the medium to long term.  This is because it enables inequalities to grow, while pandering to the wider corporate dominance nationally and internationally.

For Auckland to be a livable city for all, the whole set up of the council needs to be redrafted.

 

 

 

29 comments on “Auckland in search of democracy”

  1. Sacha 1

    “local politicians [having] failed to deliver the results expected of them.”

    Expected by whom, is the key.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Expected by the rich and business people. Neither National nor Act think anybody else matters.

  2. captain hook 2

    the thing is they have a democracy but the whining rightwingers dont like it.
    They thought wodney was going to deliver up JOhn Banks as the great white hope but the peoples choice was still is Len Brown.
    When that happened they enlisted bluberguts to organise a lynch mob but that didn’t work either.
    I hope they choke on it.

  3. One Anonymous Knucklehead 3

    Market failure. Again. Is there a single shred of truth in the whole neo-liberal corpse?

  4. Grumpy 4

    Maybe the left just needs to list what immoral and illegal behavior they are prepared to tolerate and from who. Otherwise everyone here would be clamouring for a full audit by the AG from the top down.
    As usually happens, when the top is corrupt so is the rest.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.1

      The whole setup is rotten, a natural consequence of being created by Rodney Hide: changing the players won’t fix it; corrupt dogma makes for corrupt law.

      • karol 4.1.1

        Yes, with a more truly democratic council we wouldn’t have had the whole dodgy (government pressured) SkyCity deal, and we wouldn’t have the government stalling the council on a transport system that truly serves all Aucklanders; we’d have had more focus on doing something urgently about unaffordable housing, especially rental housing; we’d have had more attention to the high amount of youth unemployment in the city. …. etc, etc

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1

          Yes, with a more truly democratic council we wouldn’t have had the whole dodgy (government pressured) SkyCity deal…

          The central government shouldn’t have been able to make that deal at all. It should have been solely up to Aucklanders via referendum. And agree with everything else you’ve said as well. Since this government got in they’ve been making it worse for a lot of Aucklanders so as to pay out to the corporates.

    • karol 4.2

      Yes. What can you expect from a morally and ethically bankrupt government and CCOs?

      • grumpy 4.2.1

        there is some truth to that. A government on it’s game would have sent in the heavies by now unless there is something embarrassing waiting for them…….

  5. RedLogix 5

    I suppose this is as good a point to mention that a trusted friend of mine has first hand evidence of a massive property development fraud that has fallen between the cracks as the Super City was being formed.

    Something in the order of $100m (yes that’s right) of ratepayers money has been used to benefit a major private developer.

    There are various people who know exactly what I am talking about.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      I’m going to have to point our that if you know of something like that and have evidence then it needs to be reported to the SFO. Not reporting it encourages the corruption to fester.

      • RedLogix 5.1.1

        Oh yes DtB. Not a lot more I can say at present. I realise this isn’t satisfactory but it’s not really my story to tell in detail.

        • Murray Olsen 5.1.1.1

          Be careful, RL and whoever else knows about this. $100 million is way above the threshold for people to be disposed of, literally or figuratively. I hope the story comes to light and whoever uncovers it is very, very careful. There are many ways to destroy a person, with perhaps the most obvious being the planting of kiddy porn on their computer. Luckily, our police and intelligence agencies are honest and responsible and would never participate in such acts.

  6. Steve 6

    Karol, who appoints the CCOs?

    • karol 6.1

      The CCOs are complicated structures that operate a bit like SOEs.

      They are kind of accountable to the council, but, as quoted in my post above they:

      CCOs ruled by unelected boards, operating at arm’s length from Council.

      The CCO directors are chosen by a select committee of councillors and the mayor. There’s a similar selct committee to review the CCOs performance. Though only about 50% of votes for CCO directors and trustees come fromt he council.

      But the aims of the CCOs are set by the CCO shareholders “both commerical and non-commercial”.

      Basically the structure weakens the extent to which councillors can influence the CCOs. Also, there are too many corporate/commercial interests involved in pressuring their directions. Further, the complex, hand-length structure means there’s a lack of direct accountability or transparency to enable the public to be able to assess their performance.

      Ultimately the CCO directors and boards were selected in a way that was very corporate friendly. While, in theory there seems to be some checks and balances re accountability of the CCOs, in practice, the way CCOs are not directly controlled by elected representatives, but appointees, from within the higher levels of or status/wealth hierarchy, means the ability to hold them to account is weak.

      Thus, Mayor Brown had little real power to influence the way the mayor responded to the behaviour of the Ports of Auckland in their dispute with MUNZ. Councillors had even less influence.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.2

      Rodney Hide appointed them. No wonder there’s so much corruption.

  7. Will@Welly 7

    The re-modelling of Auckland into a SuperCity was for one thing, and one thing only. It was to remove democracy from the people. Make the structure as undemocratic as possible. That’s why Rodney Hide was in charge. Remember, Banksy was the heir apparent, but he fell at the final fence.
    By taking away the democratic voice from Aucklanders, how were they supposed to voice their concerns when National/Act started to divest Auckland of its assets, the real goal behind the amalgamation.
    National are keen to see similar amalgamations around the country, simply so they can flog off all the assets to their mates. The real test will be in Christchurch, which is asset rich, but cash poor. Sell the assets now and in 15 – 20 years time, say hello to Detroit.

  8. Philj 8

    Xox
    They were promoting the sale off of Christchurch Assets just last week to make up for the shortfall.

    • Sacha 8.1

      On that front, Lianne Dalziel vs Gerry Brownlee will be fascinating to watch this year.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      I’m pretty sure that National and their backers were rubbing their hands together over the Chch earthquake and the opportunity it would give them to turn NZ even more feudal sell state assets.

  9. Matthew 9

    I just skim read the article but I presume the unelected Maori Board was heavily attacked given the tone of the article?

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • A brief statement from John Archibald Banks
    Greetings and salutations to you all. I am John Archibald Banks and I’m here to clear the air following my sentencing yesterday on trumped-up and, quite frankly, ludicrous charges of electoral fraud. Let me categorically state here and now, for...
    My Thinks | 01-08
  • The inflationary impact of road spend-ups
    It’s time for a quick round of everyone’s favourite game, Ask An Economist. Today’s question is: What happens when the government decides to spend up large in a growing economy? If you guessed that the answer is that it will...
    Transport Blog | 01-08
  • Wellingtonians say ‘No!’ to Israeli aggression
    .   . Wellington, NZ, 26 July – About 600 Wellingtonians, and from further afield, met at the Cuba Mall Bucket fountain under a wintery sunny sky, to protest Israel’s continuing aggression in the Gaza strip, which – at the...
    Frankly Speaking | 01-08
  • The FBI, Kim Dotcom, John Key, and John Banks ‘Coincidence’
    July 16th:  Kim Dotcom announces he has a “political bombshell” about John Key (NZ Prime Minister) which he will release information about five days before the general election   July 31st:  Deputy Director of the FBI attends a secret meeting...
    An average kiwi | 01-08
  • John Banks – all over bar the appeal
    John Banks appeared for sentence this morning at the Auckland High Court and received two months’ Community Detention and 100 hours Community Work. A copy of the judgment is attached here). I’d been waiting for the news that his application...
    Occasionally erudite | 01-08
  • Stuart’s 100 #5: A Traffic Free Queen St for Christmas
    Stuart’s 100 continues: 5: A Traffic-Free Queen Street for Christmas What if Queen Street stayed closed to traffic after the Christmas Parade? Every year for one Saturday in November Queen Street is closed to traffic for one of Auckland’s greatest...
    Transport Blog | 01-08
  • A thousand deaths
    Why was John Banks treated so leniently? Why didn't the judge pass sentence of death? The sentence imposed on John Banks for breaching electoral law raises a number of serious questions....
    Imperator Fish | 01-08
  • Herald on regional roads fiasco
    Here is Adam Bennet in the Herald today: Shaky case for $212m fast-tracked road plan The National Government's $212 million plan to fast-track regional road projects using asset sales cash is not backed by a strong economic case, documents released...
    Polity | 01-08
  • Killing civilians
    Emergency workers carry the body of one of the people killed when Flight MH17 was shot down A Gallup poll, of Americans by religious affiliation, about whether it’s ever justified for “the military” to target and kill civilians The same poll, posing the same...
    Cut your hair | 01-08
  • Is the GCSB tapping all our cables?
    So, at the same time the GCSB was planning to inflict their new spy-law on us, they were being visited by an NSA technician to discuss installing undersea cable taps:The most instrusive and powerful tools in the United States' electronic...
    No Right Turn | 01-08
  • July ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
     Image Credit: Learn Blog Tips There are now over 300 blogs on the list, although I am weeding out those which are no longer active or have removed public access to sitemeters. (Let me know if I weed out yours by mistake,...
    Open Parachute | 01-08
  • Sign up to increase cycling funding
    In June the Draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) on transport was released by the Ministry of Transport. The GPS outlines where transport funding will go over the next 3 years. Sadly it considered the business as usual of focussing on...
    Transport Blog | 01-08
  • Arrest of forest rights activists symbolic of what’s wrong in India
    It was just past midnight when Indian police hauled two Greenpeace India activists out of their sleep and arrested them this week as a crackdown on protests against a planned coal mine in the Mahan forest intensified.The arrests are the...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 01-08
  • Breach of contract
    When National set up charter schools, they promised that they would be more accountable, and that contracts were a better means of enforcing standards than the usual school system.Only if they're enforced:“The Whangaruru contract online shows that the school must...
    No Right Turn | 01-08
  • Tamati’s Big Red Fundraiser
    Wow. I’d never organised a fundraiser before. Some people have got that organising gene and some people don’t. I don’t really, but I’m a hard worker and I love a good challenge. Picture this. Saturday night, venue all set, drinks...
    Labour campaign | 01-08
  • Labour Posters are going up!
    We've got massive posters up all around the country. They're about Labour's plan for a positive future for New Zealand that puts people first. The posters in the photos here are in Auckland, but there's lots more going up around...
    Labour campaign | 01-08
  • Spying on their masters
    After being caught red-handed the CIA has finally admitted spying on the US Senate Committee which is investigating them for torture:The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, issued an extraordinary apology to leaders of the US Senate intelligence...
    No Right Turn | 01-08
  • Lifestyles of the rich & famous – hangin’ with Groser, McCu...
    The quarterly release of the ministerial and MP expense returns paints an interesting picture of some of our MPs. Most of our ministers, it must be said, seem to have heeded the harsh lesson of Shane Jones. The bright, shining...
    Occasionally erudite | 01-08
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Curatin’ for Your Love
    I'm pleased and intrigued that Lorde has been commissioned to curate the soundtrack for the next Hunger Games movie -- and I'd like to claim credit. Well, I can't really, but it was obvious to me after Ella picked Lorde's...
    Public Address | 01-08
  • Roads of Significance to National
    The Minister of Transport released a statement on Wednesday which boasted that traffic volumes were up, and that this was a sure sign of economic recovery: “Total travel [measured in kilometres travelled] was flat between 2005 and 2012, but growth returned in...
    Rebuilding Christchurch | 01-08
  • The problem with reporters…
    The problem with reporters, as Usain Bolt has discovered, is that they tend to record things when they want a quote. So when Mr Bolt, sprinter extraordinaire, was quoted as saying the Glasgow Commonwealth Games were “a bit shit”, and...
    Occasionally erudite | 01-08
  • World News Brief, Friday August 1
    Top of the AgendaIsrael Vows to Destroy Gaza Tunnels...
    Pundit | 01-08
  • Helen Kelly Speaks at Otago Uni AGM
    Helen Kelly NZCTU President TEU Annual General Meeting 1pm, Wednesday 13 August Moot Court, Otago University...
    Tertiary Education Union | 31-07
  • New Fisk
    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts...
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • The judiciary doesn’t take electoral crime seriously either
    That's the only conclusion which can be drawn from John Banks' laughable sentence for filing a false electoral return. A hundred hours of community service and an evening curfew for deliberately attempting to undermine our democracy? Well, that will encourager...
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • Feed: Food Show 2014: Not Bad
    There are a number of things you can count on at The Food Show in Auckland. Among them: the stall immediately to the left of the entry to the hall is always a busy one. It's most people's first stop,...
    Public Address | 31-07
  • And justice has been seen to be done
    So the first line of John Banks' future obituary has now been written: "John Banks, former mayor of Auckland and a long serving MP and Minister for the National and Act Parties who was convicted of falsely reporting contributions to...
    Pundit | 31-07
  • People talking’ #17
    It being the weekend that truffle growers from all over New Zealand meet to discuss their trade and to eat the fruits of their endeavours, I will be absent from the Hot Topic helm for the next few days. Please...
    Hot Topic | 31-07
  • Gordon Campbell on the rise of ISIS, and Labour
    While global attention got distracted by the fate of MH17 and the atrocities in Gaza, the world’s other mega ‘bad news’ story – the rise of ISIS-led fundamentalism in Iraq – has reached a tipping point. Reportedly, the ISIS fighters...
    Gordon Campbell | 31-07
  • Wet bus ticket
    So John Archibald Banks has been convicted and sentenced for electoral fraud. Good. But the sentence is a complete joke. Here's what he got: 100 hours of community service. That's about 12 days of community work. A bit light, but...
    Polity | 31-07
  • Banks follows fathers footsteps
    For over three years after it became common knowledge that John Banks had intentionally filed a false electoral return, the National led government has relied on the disgraced MP's support to pass numerous controversial policies.Unfortunately National was allowed to continue...
    The Jackal | 31-07
  • Ministerial eating competition
    What if National wins a third term? The prospect, while unlikely, is worth considering. I think one thing we could do to lighten the mood if National wins is to run an eating competition between McCully and Groser. Whoever orders...
    Polity | 31-07
  • Surviving the restructure – Exiting with the pay out
    So casting your mind back… you’ve discovered that the company needs to shed some people. […] The post Surviving the restructure – Exiting with the pay out appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia | 31-07
  • Closed Processes Don’t Make For Open Government
    New Zealand has long enjoyed an enviable reputation as an international citizen. We are regularly rated as one of the most effective democracies in the world, and we recently topped a survey as the world’s most socially advanced country. No...
    Bryan Gould | 31-07
  • EBS Newsletter Winter 2014
    Welcome to our Winter newsletter, we hope that you are well and managing to dodge the bugs in the classroom! Have a read through your newsletter below to make sure you know what you can access through your union and...
    Tertiary Education Union | 31-07
  • Stern Criticism of Westpac – From A Surprising Quarter
    A recently published article contains a stern critique of Westpac over their continuing financial support of coal miners Bathurst Resources, who have now begun removing “overburden” (i.e. the ecosystem) from the Denniston Plateau in preparation for larger-scale coal mining when...
    Coal Action | 31-07
  • AT drops Newton Station for cheaper CRL
    Auckland Transport have announced they are cutting the Newton Station from the City Rail link in favour of an upgraded station at Mt Eden. A significant design change to the City Rail Link (CRL), will save over $150 million, improve...
    Transport Blog | 31-07
  • Sen Whitehouse Schools Sen Inhofe about Global Warming on the Senate Floor
    Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) throws down an epic schooling of Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) on global warming after Inhofe blocked a resolution from Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) simply acknowledging that global warming exists and poses a threat to the interests...
    Skeptical Science | 31-07
  • Have they got to 2000 yet?
    The last time Israel invaded Gaza (it isn't a "war" in any traditional sense - it is a ghetto liquidation with consequent resistance) was between the American presidencies of Bush and Obama.  The Israelis wiped out over a thousand Palestinians...
    Tumeke | 31-07
  • Who do you believe?
    On the back of numerous controversies that have plagued the National led government over the last few weeks, the left wing block of Labour and the Greens have managed to increase their support from 38.5% to 42% in the latest...
    The Jackal | 31-07
  • Labour can’t keep rewarding failure
    A recent column I wrote in the NZ Herald earned a ...
    Pundit | 31-07
  • Lack of media interest in election policies
    It is hard not to feel that there is a major problem with mainstream media bias when the main opposition party announces that it plans to raise the minimum wage by $2 to $16.25 an hour by early 2015 (14%...
    Closing the Gap | 31-07
  • The agony of Gaza – What price the right of self-defence?
    As I write, the conflict in Gaza has seen yet another ceasefire deal squandered, with more death and destruction. Israel has repeatedly claimed its right to self-defence as justification for ‘Operation Protective Edge’. That claim is supported by leading Western...
    frogblog | 31-07
  • Murray McCully’s taxpayer-funded pissups
    Today was the last day of Parliament before the election, so naturally the government used it as cover to dump the quarterly Ministerial expenses reports. The media picked up pretty quickly on Tim Groser's $300 dinner of foie gras, (endangered)...
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • STOP BOMBING ALREADY!!! (Leaked White House Transcript. 30 July 2014, EST )
    Gaza, an open-air prison? Israel’s $3 billion-a-year welfare check threatened? America scolds Israel? STOP THE PRESS!!! A leaked White House transcript of a heated phone-call earlier today reveals that US President Barack Obama told Israel’s Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to...
    Snoopman News | 31-07
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #31A
    10 reasons to be hopeful that we will overcome climate change A carbon tax that's good for business? Alaska communities at highest risk from ocean acidification Climate criminality': Australia OKs biggest coal mine IPCC climate change report's findings must be...
    Skeptical Science | 31-07
  • Poll of Polls update – 31 July 2014
    Roy Morgan has just released their latest poll, and finally there’s some relatively good news for the Left! It certainly didn’t take long for Micky Savage at the Standard to have a quick half-gloat… Or Martyn Bradbury at the Daily...
    Occasionally erudite | 31-07
  • Is the Gaza conflict going to resolve differently this time?
    The world witnesses yet another tragic spectacle of the perennial Israel /Palestine war over Gaza. There are the appalling pictures of dead and injured children in schools and hospitals. Enormous explosions are seen on our screens where multi-story buildings are...
    Pundit | 31-07
  • Parliament rises on a good note, thanks to some meddling kids
    The above video provides a good introduction to the slavery conditions of workers on foreign charter vessels fishing in NZ waters, as well as the Christchurch Anglican church’s involvement in it. While the Government took a while to act on the problem,...
    Cut your hair | 31-07
  • Stuart’s 100 #4: Aotea Arts District
    Stuart’s 100 continues: 4: Aotea Arts District What if Aotea felt like an Arts District? The area around Aotea Square is home to a surprising number of performing arts venues. I say surprising because it’s not often that you feel...
    Transport Blog | 31-07
  • Key must come clean on NSA/GCSB interception site on NZ cable
    John Key must come clean after revelations that a US National Security Agency (NSA) engineer was in New Zealand in 2013 discussing with the GCSB the setting up of an interception site on New Zealand's only fibre optic cable, the...
    Greens | 01-08
  • Minister must explain shambles at Ministry
    Pacific Island Affairs Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-IIga must explain questionable spending and controversial staff appointments at his ministry, Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio says. “Revelations about big spending and staffing problems at the Ministry of Pacific Islands...
    Labour | 01-08
  • Conviction a sorry reminder of the cost of a cup of tea
    John Banks’ conviction for filing a false election return underlines a sorry chapter in our political history, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe."This is a sad but just end to a long career political career....
    Labour | 01-08
  • No asset sales for Christchurch
    Christchurch City Council should not be forced into selling its strategic assets, the Green Party said today.Today's report into Christchurch City Council's finances by Cameron Partners shows that the Council is facing a substantial financial hole, with debt peaking in...
    Greens | 31-07
  • Plenty of options, asset sales not one of them
    Labour will vigorously oppose short term solutions to plug Christchurch City Council’s funding shortfall – including asset sales – which leave the city worse off financially and strategically in the long term, Labour’s Canterbury Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. Responding...
    Labour | 31-07
  • National forcing Auckland into second class rail
    National's lack of commitment on the Auckland City Rail Link (CRL) is forcing Aucklanders to accept second best for their city rail service, the Green Party said today."National has queered the pitch by requiring unrealistic targets be met before it...
    Greens | 31-07
  • Nick Smith hides shameful vacant house numbers
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has lodged an official complaint against Housing Minister Nick Smith with Parliament&rsqu