Yesterday the Auckland Transition Agency (ATA) released its draft structure for the new Auckland council.
Fortunately for the staff, and service levels in the new Auckland council, the ATA has a ‘commitment to maintaining or enhancing council service delivery.’
This means: ‘A prudent approach will be taken to staff reduction where services are reorganised to minimise the loss of institutional knowledge and skills and to maintain staffing flexibility where this may be required by the new organisations.’
That is good news (although the rest of the structure needs work). The last thing we need is some mad far-right ideologue threatening to gut public services in Auckland.
The problem is that one of the candidates for the mayoralty of the new city is not so concerned about maintaining service levels in the new council.
Earlier this year, in a rare moment of truthfulness, Remuera Citrat mayor John ‘barking mad’ Banks promised to randomly axe 2,700 jobs from the new council if he is elected.
That’s 40% fewer librarians, street cleaners, building consent managers and public pool employees in Banks’ bleak plan for Auckland. That means you’ll be getting 40% less service from the new council. Auckland city will grind to a halt under Banks and C&R.
Given wider Auckland’s revulsion to Banks’ downtown takeover and proposed slashing of council services in the North Shore, Waitakere, Manukau and rural Auckland, he might try and backtrack on his promised cuts.
However, just as when Banks said ‘if wear my policy on my sleeve, I won’t get elected’, Aucklanders would do well to remember the truism, ‘a leopard never changes his spots’ and recall his promised slashing of services to the region.
John Banks. No thanks.