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Government to overrule Auckland?

Written By: - Date published: 2:04 pm, September 27th, 2011 - 24 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, john key, len brown, public transport, Steven Joyce - Tags: ,

John Key delegated Rodney Hide to create a SuperCity that would mean that Auckland spoke with one voice.

The process may not have been great, the details and lack of democracy over CCOs etc may need improving, but they succeeded in creating one Auckland that is articulating a clear message.

National’s problem is that they don’t like that message.

Auckland rejected “their mayor“, consigning John Banks to promoting reefer to the people of Epsom.

In came Len, with a different vision – for the world’s most liveable city.

That liveable city involves an efficient business sector, and growing the GDP of Auckland by 5% per year to ensure higher incomes.  National should be behind that, right?

But no.  To achieve that Len wants a more compact city, with good public transport to get people around.  So that people don’t spend most of their productive time in cars on motorways.  And so that we’re not consuming more and more productive farmland for houses and roads and amenities further and further away from people’s workplaces.  It’s much better for business; much better for the environment; it keeps rates lower by not having to keep building more council amenities for far-flung communities; and it reduces everyone’s wasted travel time.

So far, so much Auckland’s decision, right?  They’ve got their plan out to consult1 and work out the details / change them as the Auckland public see fit.

But no.  It’s not just that Steven Joyce won’t bring Auckland’s share of transport taxes to the table to help pay for the Inner-City rail-loop Auckland desperately needs – despite rail being the platform Len was elected on.  It now looks as though Polluting the Environment Minister Nick Smith – fresh from gutting the ETS, and pushing out water and air quality standards – looks set to overrule the council keeping its urban limits.

A separate urban technical advisory group appointed by Environment Minister Nick Smith says Auckland’s metropolitan urban limit has been too restrictive and recommends a “Government policy statement” for Auckland which the new Auckland Plan would have to comply with.

The government overruling councils and local democracy?  Sound familiar?

I guess why listen to the will of the people, if it doesn’t suit your agenda…

1 Until Tuesday 25 October – to have your say, get your submissions in by then!

Although this post should be covered by the opinion section of electoral law and shouldn’t need authorisation, here’s mine anyway, just to be safe:
Authorised by Ben Clark, 54 Aramoana Ave, Devonport

24 comments on “Government to overrule Auckland? ”

  1. tc 1

    See if they hadn’t of rushed it through using the yellow suited dwarf without sufficient oversight none of this would be necessary.
    He would’ve got all this type of stuff through, like he tried to sneak through the stripping of the waitakere ranges protection and failed.
    Joyce’s too busy to ruin everything comprehensively.

  2. randal 2

    the thing is they talk a big game but in the final analysis its just about letting infrastructure contracts to their mates. i.e. crummy with a capital C.

  3. NACTs represent finance capitalists who make their money from converting and speculating in existing assets. Making farmland to sections and roads to other sections, parks into mines, rivers into farm supply, streets into party centrals, SEOs into shares, earthquakes into urban renewal. The list is as long as their fevered imaginations and as short as our future. David Harvey calls it ‘accumulation by dispossession’. I call it just capitalism. It the NACTs get re-elected prepare to occupy the barricades.

  4. ghostwhowalksnz 4

    Guess there will be a big payoff for those who have been holding what was once farmland and will become suburbs. Whos going to pay for widened roads, extra schools, new water mains and so on. It wont be those who walk away with tax free capital gains of enormous proportions

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    Nobody should be surprised by this. National are a bunch of dictators owned by the rich and so will do what will be necessary to enrich the rich. In this case, force land prices up so the rich can have more capital gains which they won’t have to pay tax on.

    • tc 5.1

      yup it’s maybe possible a certain large land holding contributor to the waitemata trust is going to do very nicely from redrawn supershity nth boundaries that also have a holiday highway err i mean RONS servicing them when it’s all done and dusted…..not what you know….thanks NACT, kaching-aling-ling.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Auckland’s pollution nearly double Sydney’s

    The figures come after an Auckland Council report in July that showed more than 700 Aucklanders are killed by air pollution every year.

    And this government wants more cars and more roads for Auckland. Considering that the pollution is already costing 700 lives per year this governments actions to increase the cars and trucks in Auckland should have them booked for murder.

    • insider 6.1

      It’s a bit hard to take this seriously when the WHO data doesn’t even match the data they cite as the source http://www.mfe.govt.nz/environmental-reporting/air/air-quality/pm10/annual.html

      WHO cites the NZ PM10 average as 23ppm (the same as Norway interestingly which doesn’t sound as bad) and says 95% of NZ lives in areas with levels between 20 and 30ppm yet Auckland according to MfE has an average around 15ppm and those above 20ppm include major centres like Reefton, Kaiapoi, Timaru and Invercargill.

      So yes the WHO said it, but always best to check they got it right. As for the 700 lives, that means 10% of all deaths in Auckland are pollution caused. That’s about as believeable as 200k in the Viaduct on RWC opening day

      • Afewknowthetruth 6.1.1

        Particulate matter is just the tip of the iceberg.

        Ozone, generated at near ground level though photochemcial reactions, is an increasing problem caused by motor vehicles.

        Before I fled ‘Orcland’ to escape to a more liveable city I lived in a southeastern suburb: a photochemical smog hanging over the Penrose to Newmarket region was clearly visible on most days the wind speed was low.

        In 2005 the number of people dying from breathing Auckland air was esrimated to be around 300 per annum. So now it is 700. NZ has made the kind of progress we would expect from having a succession of Labour and National governments. More pollution, more illness, more deaths, more dependency on oil imports, less sustainability.

        Brilliant stuff, politicians. Keep up the good work. You will soon witness the societal collapse and die-off you have been working so hard to induce.

      • McFlock 6.1.2

        Insider, did you just say that it’s a bit difficult to take something seriously when the 2010 data doesn’t match the 2009 data?

        • insider

          No. But if you are confused by me pointing to the same page as the UN pointed to, that is because it contains the current data – next year it will no doubt have next year’s but if you drill by region you see Auckland trend is consistenly around the 16-18ppm mark over recent years. If you look at the arc’s own data it shows most sites as static to improving for most things they monitor over the last 15 years (a bit more static recently). The other major population centres are similar so the maths just doesn’t seem to add up. If you can find alternative data I’d be interested to see it.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.3

        So yes the WHO said it, but always best to check they got it right.

        Actually, the WHO didn’t. The WHO report has only 5 NZ cities in it as they’re the only ones that met the requirements for be included – 100k or more people.

        WprHI New Zealand Dundedin 25
        WprHI New Zealand Christchurch 11
        WprHI New Zealand Wellington 13
        WprHI New Zealand Hamilton 13
        WprHI New Zealand Auckland 15

        I’d say that we’re looking at bad reporting.

        It appears that the mfe data station is in Takapuna which is probably not the best place for an overall picture of Auckland as there’s less industry and cars there than pretty much anywhere else. You’d really need several stations spread across the isthmus preferably in all of the CBDs – Henderson, New Lynn, Auckland, etc, etc. Auckland is a big place and one data station don’t cut it.

        Still, the 700 deaths per year are from an ACC report and increasing the number roads and cars will increase the particulate count and deaths from the pollution.

        • insider

          This is weird Draco. Where did you get those numbers because I got very different ones from here http://www.who.int/entity/phe/health_topics/outdoorair/databases/OAP_database_8_2011.xls which hilariously show Wellington AQ as over the national guideline and worse than Chch when it is nowhere near that.

          The reporting problem appears multiple – wrong data, no checking by govt, no checking by councils, no checking by reporters, and no checking by Chauvel.

          But that won’t stop the kneejerk calls for more regulation, judging by the ACC reaction on radio

          PS increased vehicle numbers does not automatically lead to more AQ issues. There has been a significant AQ improvement across Auckland at the same time as car numbers have increased.

  7. Afewknowthetruth 7

    ‘That liveable city involves an efficient business sector, and growing the GDP of Auckland by 5% per year to ensure higher incomes.’

    The usual saying is: ‘Anyone who believes in perpetual growth on a finite planet is either a madman or an economist.’

    We could revise that to: ‘Anyone who believes in perpetual growth on a finite planet is either a madman or a fuckwit in the service of the international money-lenders.’

    The world economy and the world environment are both collapsing because of ‘GDP growth’. GDP growth is one of the prime factors responsible for the dysfunction we witness every day in western societies. And we have a nutcase promoting GDP growth on The Standard (not for the first time, I might add).

    Liveable city? What a joke! Sick city would be a better description……overpopulated, polluted, unsustainable, at the heart of much of the corruption and lies that are ruining NZ, and destined to collapse once global oil depletion reaches a critical point some time between 2012 and 2015.

    I do agree that Nick Smith is the minister responsible for sabotaging the environment and setting up financial rorts that will deliver ever-worsening living conditions for everyone in NZ (and everyone on this planet).

  8. Vicky32 8

    As for the 700 lives, that means 10% of all deaths in Auckland are pollution caused. That’s about as believeable as 200k in the Viaduct on RWC opening day

    I have no difficulty believing it! The figure in the Herald a few years back, was 700 a year, and after gasping and retching my way along Carrington Road of a morning, past all the construction vehicles which use it as a right-of-way, I have to say that to a pedestrian pollution is a real problem!

  9. McFlock 9

    Apparently WHO have tweaked their figures to 2010 data. “Backs down” seems a bit strong, but anyhoo.
    Probably fewer remuera tractors being run under NACT economic management.

    • insider 9.1

      I think it was a data error by who. The scores for auck, ham, wgtn, chch and dunners were 23, 22, 21, 20, and 19. Notice anything funny about that sequence? The numbers Draco quotes above are more like what should have gone out

      • McFlock 9.1.1

        Possible, but it could as easily have been a cockup at the NZ ministry end. It’s on a north:south bias rather than alphabetical. Meh. That’s what errata are for (more specifically, “errata” are for “my bad”, “*” is for “someone gave us shite data, that’s our story and we’re sticking to it” 🙂 ).

        The real question is “how much does it affect policy decisions” – i.e. is slightly worse than an Australian city fundamentally different from “twice as bad”?

        • insider

          The NZ data was on the MfE website all along that’s how I knew it was wrong – it’s likely a transcription error. Probably transposed the row numbers from excel into the table or something basic like that.

          Frankly I don’t think it will affect policy decisions at all becuase they are about hysteria and kneejerk regulation, when it comes to Auckland particulalry, rather than data trends. Just look at the mindless commentary we had on this this week.

          • McFlock

            Yeah, but it’s possible that WHO specifically order datasets from participating nations, rather than grazing it off websites. We do that, and occasionally someone filters the request wrong (although they don’t usually screw up a cut&paste, but then we never order stuff from minEnv).

            Fortunately in my line of work such issues leap out in an “omg omg omg we’re all gonna di – oh, wait, they’ve got double entries in unique ID. As you were”.

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    Now, let’s figure out the ways in which over the next ten years, AKL can achieve 5% pa economic growth when the rest of the country will experience on average sub 1.5% pa economic growth.

    Doesn’t work, does it.

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