The unseemly haste with which the National/Act Government is pursuing its undemocratic supercity is causing more and more people to wake up to the con job they are pulling.
A Reid poll (ignored by the Herald but run by the community newspapers) shows where just weeks ago the public was split evenly on the proposed supercity it is now decisively against it. An overwhelming 63% of people said there is too little consultation, despite government claims of wide consultation. 61% to 39% Aucklanders oppose the government’s model of an executive mayor. Only 16% agree with the sham democracy of toothless local boards 66% prefer the Royal Commission’s model. Even support for Maori seats was surprisingly strong 46% for, 54% against.
When 700 people turn out to a meeting called â€˜Wake up Papakura’ to express their worry over the supercity plan and Crusher needs 12 police to protect her, you know there is serious opposition. When 500 people turn out on the same night in Franklin to tell their MP, National’s Paul Hutchison, that they don’t want to be in the supercity and they will vote him out if they are not listened to, there is a real backlash starting.
But Key and Hide just aren’t prepared to listen. They’re going to ram through the first of three enabling acts next week under urgency. There will be select committee hearings on the second law but you would have to be seriously naÃ¯ve to think that Hide and Key will listen.
Speaking of which, on Q+A last Sunday Tariana Turia revealed that she and Sharples haven’t even had a meeting with Rodney Hide on the supercity. Think about what that means the leaders of the Maori Party, ministers in the government can’t even get a meeting with their fellow minister on this issue, which they say is of vital importance to them. Hide doesn’t think they’re worth his time. Too busy in meetings with John Banks presumably.
This unseemly rush, the refusal to give Aucklanders their referendum, the government’s deaf ear to any and all criticisms, the total refusal to compromise – it all speaks to a quite incredible arrogance. That arrogance is born of their current strong polling but the way they’re going they will soon find out just how quickly popularity can evaporate.