Written By: - Date published: 11:34 am, April 27th, 2010 - 70 comments
Categories: accountability, assets, auckland supercity, democracy under attack, democratic participation, phil goff, referendum - Tags:
He’s been burning hot and cold the last few weeks, and the last few days have been hot. Fresh from promising to restore the top tax rate that National is set to abolish and give the revenue to the poor, Phil Goff has outlined Labour’s vision for fixing National’s undemocratic Supercity:
“When the National Government received the Royal Commission report it saw Auckland differently – not as community, but as a corporation.
So it has gone about creating the city in a way that isn’t transparent, that isn’t accountable, that isn’t responsive to its communities.”
It really has been disgraceful. The Government simply has not listened to anyone. The people of Auckland have been dictated to and their cities treated like bounty for a plundering corporate elite.
“Labour will legislate to enshrine real decision making powers for local boards.”
“And we will review the ward boundaries and talk to communities about whether single rather than multi member wards would better ensure that all communities are fairly represented and feel their voice is being heard.”
The Government has made the local part of local government toothless and made it difficult for anyone with serious money behind them to get elected to the council. That must be fixed.
“We will restore to Auckland the power to make its own decisions about the structure and powers of the seven council-owned companies that will manage three-quarters of the rates revenue provided by Aucklanders.”
“We will legislate to ensure all Aucklanders have a say in a binding referendum before strategic assets can be sold.”
See that Righties? It’s called democracy. Of course, Aucklanders should have had a referendum on the Supercity. But the Government prevented them from having one because it knew it would lose.
“I will invite the Mayor of Auckland to attend Cabinet committees for significant decisions relating to Auckland.”
This is the only part the Government has tried to attack Goff on. National Party pollster David Farrar, in what I’m sure is a coincidence, ran the line too: “why stop there? Why not the Mayor of Christchurch and Dunedin also? And Hamilton?”
Umm, yeah, why not? Goff actually said after the speech that other mayors should be invited when Cabinet considers issues specifically relating to their city. What could be wrong with that? I can’t imagine would be more than half a dozen times a year. They’re probably in Wellington for lobbying etc more frequently anyway.
National and Act have ridden roughshod over Auckland democracy in the interests of their corporate allies. Phil Goff has made it clear that Labour will restore local democracy.
[before anyone criticises, the statue of liberty was the only symbol associated with democracy I could find that is recognisable so small:)]