The Greens have joined Labour and an array of groups calling for Aucklanders to get a referendum on the supercity. Great stuff.
Sue Kedgley points out that much of the Government’s proposed structure was not recommended by the Royal Commission and Aucklanders have not been consulted on them.
‘Rodney Hide effectively threw the Royal Commission’s report in the bin, meaning the Government’s proposed restructuring is radically different from the Royal Commission’s recommendations,’ said Local Government Spokesperson Sue Kedgley.
‘The Local Government Act stipulates very clearly that before any significant local body reorganisation can be made, an extensive public consultation process must take place.
‘This must include consultation with stake-holders, notification of the draft proposal, a public submission process and a poll of electors to determine by simple majority whether the proposal should proceed or not.”
With both the Greens and Labour arguing for a poll and National refusing to let Aucklanders have their say, this is looking like it will be a major issue in the Mt Albert byelection. National would be wise to take a step back and reconsider its position.
Speaking of the byelection. Interesting choice for the Greens to go with Russel for their candidate (it’s not official yet until the local party makes its choice but even in the Greens the leader gets what the leader wants). It will be an opportunity for Russel to increase his profile and it will be interesting to see how he campaigns on the streets. He’s obviously not a serious contender for the seat and I don’t think he will split the Left vote to any significant extent. Labour would never have counted on the Greens to give them a free ride or expected it.
Now we’re just waiting on the Maori Party to call for a referendum too and we’ll have a truly broad-spectrum campaign on our hands. Perhaps they could ask National some tough questions on the issue in the House next week, rather than more patsies.
[Hat tip: Rich in the comments.]