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Franklin & Papakura want out, Hide says ‘no way’

Written By: - Date published: 9:56 am, January 20th, 2010 - 10 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, community democracy, democracy under attack, democratic participation, local body elections, local government - Tags:

The people of Franklin and Papakura, who overwhelming oppose becoming part of the National/ACT government’s Supercity experiment, have been denied their request to keep their own councils. Instead, Papakura will be forced into the Supercity while Franklin will be carved up between the Supercity, Waikato Council, and Hauraki Council.

The people of Franklin and the rest of the councils that will soon be forced into the Supercity told the Royal Commission that they wanted better connections with local government. They wanted more localised, devolved government that they would have a personal connection with and would be responsive to their local communities.

They got the exact opposite.

The size of the Supercity wards is ludicrous. The Rodney Ward is 85 km North to South and 65 km wide. It incorporates three major towns and dozens of smaller ones. What kind of candidate could afford to campaign over such a vast area? Only a wealthy one who doesn’t have to work and has plenty of funding. And even they will concentrate on Helensville, Warkworth, and Wellsford – the rest of the ward will be ignored.

The Franklin Ward (what’s left of the current Franklin Council once National/ACT carves it up plus part of Papakura Council and most of Manukau) will be about 2500 square km in size, that’s bigger than most Parliamentary electorates. A crazy area for councillors to try to represent.

The upshot is going to be that the high-quality candidates go for the city wards which are at least of manageable proportions. Although there they will face the challenge of campaigning to and representing insanely large populations of 100,000 and more.

The people in the urban wards will have as little as half the voting power as voters in Rodney due to the complete balls up the Government has made of the boundaries and number of councillors per ward. Still, at least in an urban ward your councillors will live within an hour’s drive of your community.

The Key Government: delivering the worst of all possible solutions. Let’s hope the people of Auckland and the surrounding region remember who forced this on them when they come to vote in 2010, and in 2011.

10 comments on “Franklin & Papakura want out, Hide says ‘no way’ ”

  1. Zaphod Beeblebrox 1

    You forgot to mention that Rodney, Franklin and Papakura have larger populations than 90% of existing LGAs.

    If you argue that they only deserve one councillor on efficiency grounds, what does that say about existing LGAs?

  2. prism 2

    captcha – timing – haha
    Good points Eddie. Talking about representation – nationally what is the limit of voters before new boundaries have to be drawn? I thought it was 65,000 much less than the 100,000 in some Auckland areas you mention.

    I feel that the Nats have adopted a status quo practice -that is following the right wing Labourites lead of sweeping change beyond electorate expectation as in this Auckland proposal. Something needed to be done but the method and extent has been another virtual coup as in 1984.

    This will affect all NZ, and the country’s powerbase and decision centre will tilt to Auckland, and the regular refrain that Auckland is the commercial heart and support of the whole country, will become reinforced as the top of the hit parade and Auckland will do the hitting. Will we end up tilting at Auckland windmills like Don Quixote? Do we have to lie down and let the NACTS stomp their tracks all over Auckland and the rest of the country too?

    • Bored 2.1

      Good points, the two I watch out for here are:

      1. The real agenda. This is still the privatization of the rate payer’s assets by democratized larceny.
      2. The end of local democracy at a grass roots level where the vast majority of the body politic accepts unquestioning the propositions that:
      a. Bigger is better, more efficient and less costly despite all the evidence to the contrary.
      b. That we are consumers and ratepayers first, and citizen electors a very distant last.

      In short this represents just another asset and power grab from the same corporatists who exist on both left and right. We really need to reframe the language of the debate to expose what is at stake as the people of Auckland en masse sleep walk into a Super City.

  3. Peter 3

    I would like to think that the people who voted for National and ACT in these areas will think carefully in 2011 when they next cast their votes….

  4. Peter Johns 4

    I hope they think hard as well. Higher taxes for funding Labour’s election bribes for 2012.
    The supercity was proposed by Labour I thought?

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    The more I read about the SuperCity the more alarmed I become. It’s going to be a nightmare for everybody as they watch their rates going up and they won’t be able to do anything about it as the people voted in will only listen to those with the clout ($$$). Protests aren’t working any more.

  6. Hymn @ Himself 6

    Living – thinking = existing.

    So wrote the MOTU on a knapkin, and called it mass mojo!

    To wit voters shall in the main merely exist to pay the way of others.

    Welcome to the world of WME, the emerging entity aka ACT whose 0.3 percent following is ample illustration of determinations possible by hijack.

    WME..? function as the sole party advocating weapons of mass extinction.. don’t bel;ieve us… ask em deny it.. 😉

    • Bored 6.1

      Splendid illumination, going by your maths 99.7 percent of us have been hijacked. How true. 0.3 percent would not appear too much of a burden for the metaphorical guillotine. All we need to do is wake up to the WMEs.

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