Back in March The Herald had some strong words to say about the ‘council-controlled organisations’ that will be running Auckland:
Editorial: Deny power to Super City’s faceless panels
From right to left, from John Banks and Michael Barnett to Len Brown and Mike Lee, Auckland’s local politicians have begun protesting at a distinctly undemocratic element in the constitution being written for the Super City.
Legislation setting up the new Auckland Council threatens to delegate most decisions to a number of ‘council-controlled organisations’ (CCOs), a piece of Orwellian newspeak if ever there was one. They will not be directly controlled by the council. They will be run by boards appointed by the council but short of dismissing them there will be little public representatives can do to have a say in decisions about Auckland’s roads and public transport, waterfront development and much else.
The way it is shaping up, the single mayor and council will be a puppet show, purely for democratic appearances, while the real decisions are made by people the public has not elected and will never see. It cannot stand.
Key’s government weakly promised “consultation” with the Mayors, but now even that weak promise has been broken. Bernard Orsman (who has been literally outstanding on Auckland issues) reports:
Ministers renege on vow to consult mayors on Super City boards
Government ministers Rodney Hide and Steven Joyce are in the gun for failing to consult Auckland mayors on unelected directors to run most of the Super City services.
Mr Hide, the Local Government Minister, promised to consult the mayors on the directors for seven council-controlled organisations (CCOs) before making recommendations to the Cabinet. Mr Joyce, the Transport Minister, promised much the same about appointments to the mega transport CCO.
Manukau Mayor and Super City mayoral contender Len Brown yesterday said the ministers’ promise had, so far, failed to materialise. “Appointment without consultation is unacceptable. The CCOs will manage over 70 per cent of the assets owned by Auckland ratepayers. “Aucklanders should have direct input into the composition of their boards. Given the failure to do so, no wonder people across the region are angry with the way the Super City has been set up,” Mr Brown said. It is understood that the Cabinet approved the directors of the seven CCOs this week and Mr Hide will announce them on Monday. …
Rack that up with the other notable broken Supercity promises, like supporting the Royal Commission and consulting the people of Auckland, listening to Maori on the issue of Auckland seats, and empowering local boards.
So will The Herald stand by its earlier thundering editorial? Will we see a strong campaign about the theft of local democracy in Auckland? Or will we see hell freeze over first?