I’m not one for cities, and I don’t live in Auckland. But if I did I’d vote Brown for Mayor of the Supercity. He got me with his first big policy announcement. Bernard Orsman (who has been great on Auckland issues) reports:
Brown’s policy gives communities more say than law provides
Local boards will control transport issues in their communities and grassroots politicians will sit on planning hearings under a policy from Super City mayoral contender Len Brown. In his first major policy announcement, the Manukau mayor has promised to extend the roles and functions of local boards beyond those proposed by the agency designing the Super City.
Despite the law stating that all transport matters will be vested in a mega-council-controlled organisation to allocate to politicians as it saw fit, Mr Brown said local boards should be responsible for local roads, footpaths, pedestrian zones, bus stops, speed limits and local public transport. … Mr Brown has promised to allow local board members to sit on resource consent hearings in “their own back yard” instead of solely relying on the Super City planning department, which will be on the North Shore. …
WHAT HE WANTS BOARDS TO DO
* Set local policies for dog control, gambling and gaming machines, cafe licences, bar and liquor outlets, brothels and town centre development within regional guidelines.
* Be responsible for local roads, footpaths, pedestrian zones, bus stops, speed limits, public transport, crime prevention, as well as local parks, recreation facilities, libraries and pools, community houses, advisory services, galleries and museums, beaches, camping grounds.
* Have members sitting on resource consent hearings.
* Be given staff resources to do the job.
After the Nats bullying attack on local democracy in Auckland, this is a breath of fresh air. Here’s a chance to salvage something from the wreckage, and give the people back some of their voice. What a concept! It’s my guess that if he can communicate this policy effectively to Aucklanders, then Brown has the election in the bag. He should take every vote in Rodney for a start. But what about Banks?
The other heavyweight mayoral contender, Auckland City Mayor John Banks, has not revealed his policy on local boards. But he has promised to strengthen the voice of local communities.
That ball’s in your court John. Can you match Brown’s plan? Will there a bidding war to restore local democracy? Wouldn’t that be something to see…