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Hide says no to referendum

Written By: - Date published: 5:59 am, April 25th, 2009 - 18 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, democracy under attack, democratic participation, john key - Tags:


Rodney Hide says Aucklanders  shouldn’t have a vote on whether or not they want his supercity.

He uses one of the weaker arguments the righties have been running in our comment threads “it’s not just a `yes’ or `no’ question”

Yes it is. The question of how a super-city should be structured is not a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question but the question ‘do you support the super-city that the Government proposes?’ is a ‘yes’/’no’ question and that’s the question that a referendum would ask.

Hide says he is giving “maximum input” to Aucklanders on the structure of the super-city. What exactly is that input?

“I’ve been so actively engaged with the mayors.”.. So, a few meetings with the mayors, well one mayor anyway, that’s “maximum input”? Um, oh yeah, and there will be a short select committee process… down in Wellington. I would hate to see Hide’s idea of “minimum input”.

Anyway, it’s not like Hide is listening during this faux consultation. He is already using taxpayer money to send Aucklanders pamphlets describing the supercity as a fait accompli, as if the Government’s proposed structure is set in stone. There’s no invitation for people to make submissions, no ‘consultation’.

Hide’s arrogance is going to get his boss in trouble. How are Aucklanders going to feel towards a government that won’t listen to them and won’t let have their right to decide on their local government? The last thing that Key needs during the by-election is a backlash in Auckland on top of rising unemployment and a black budget that threatens a winter of discontent.

Do you think Key has the strength to pull Hide into line?

18 comments on “Hide says no to referendum ”

  1. monkey boy 1

    What a classy contribution on the morning we are asked to put aside the usual shit and remember those who fought and sacrificed themselves in the name of Democracy.

    • lprent 1.1

      Yes, Rodney obviously used Anzac day to try and hide this announcement on the usual friday release of news that you want buried. I wonder what he was afraid of.

      I’m off to the Mt Albert parade shortly. Watched them practice when we were doing Helen’s farewell last week at the War memorial. Those weapons (steyr?) they using look a hell of a lot easier to handle than the old SLR’s that I usued when I was in the army.

      BTW: Lee – don’t be a dickhead. I find your comment quite offensive – sounds like yet another armchair general. Mind you you’re in bad company. That is what Hide reminds me of as well. He obviously knows fuck all about local government, otherwise he wouldn’t have proposed such an unworkable scheme

    • r0b 1.2

      Democracy is entirely the point here monkey lee. Or in this case, the shameful lack of it.

  2. spot 2

    “Do you think Key has the strength to pull Hide into line?”

    Does he need to ?

    Be interested to hear some thoughts on whether, if the Govt had accepted the Commission’s findings in their entirety, we should be having a yes/no referendum, fullstop.

    What say for those who disagreed with its findings from the outset, even before Rodney got his hands on it. Democracy, consistency and all that right ?

    Someone might remind us – but I can’t recall Mark Burton offering the referenda option up as part of the package, or in the post delivery consultation process he laid out (or didn’t more to the point), or maybe that was at the feet of the entirely successful Minister for Akld Issues.

    Anyhow, good opportunity for the left to build some momentum (bit of creative ‘whipping up’ never hurt) around an issue and make some inroads into those 50% Roy Morgan numbers – but does anyone outside Akld (or inside for that matter) give a monkeys? We’ll see soon enough, good grassroots kinda stuff, chance for Goff to show Lab getting back to its strengths.

    Suspect Nats will wince at the nature of this current campaign, being so close as it is to their very succesful oppositon tactics.

  3. It is asked Will he have the cajones to whip Hide to heel?
    Well we had interesting results when – during the election campaign – we switched the Johnkey to a mix of P and horse tranquiliser.
    As we all saw, once the methadone was flushed from his limbic his response time was quite sharp and we thought he showed some assertiveness, some real leadershippy bits.
    Like when he massacred Francesca Mold when she asked him if he had met personally with Lord of War Ashcroft.
    Monkey Boy – what are you doing online? Should you not be on your knees in some wet grass by your local monument to the fallen dressed in an ill-fitting suit?
    Oh, and cheers for throwing some of the usual shit around in your class-defying contribution.

    captcha: between disarm

  4. Bill 4

    Is it possible that the reason the MP haven’t called for a referendum is because of the arrangement they have with National whereby they cannot speak publicly about any issue they are in dialogue with National with?

    I can’t remember the details of their arrangement, but if that is the case ( in line with the MoU with the Greens) then it’s a perfectly good example of how Nationals arrangements are quashing democracy.

    Had the Greens been talking with National over the supercity for sme reason or other, then they too could have said nothing publicly.

    Public perceptions are going to become badly warped in this country should National cynically play on the details of those arrangements and understandings they have with other parties.

    Which is why I’m curious abut the MP and it’s silence. Anyone?

  5. Graeme 5

    Some time within the next year in the House of Representatives the following is going to happen:

    Hon. RODNEY HIDE (Minister of Local Government): I move that the Local Government (Reform of Auckland Governance) Bill be now read a third time …

    Mr SPEAKER: The question is that the bill be read a third time … those who are of that opinion will say Aye … The contrary No … the Ayes have it … A party vote is called for, the clerk will please conduct a party vote … the Ayes are AB, the Noes are CD, the bill will be read a third time.

    Then the clerk is going to stand up and say “Local Government (Reform of Auckland Governance) Bill third reading” and it will all be over.

    For some reason, I’m not really sure what, I doubt that the Minister of Local Government is going to stand up and object to having to answer a yes/no question on so complicated a matter.

    We had a yes/no question on MMP* … it’s entirely possible to have one here too, all after everyone has had maximum input.

    *yes, I do realise that: 1. *I* didn’t have a question on MMP, and 2. the question for those old enough to vote at the time wasn’t actually a yes/no question. But still 🙂

    • Rex Widerstrom 5.1

      Well we actually had two yes/no questions on MMP remember – what flavour of PR we favoured, and whether we preferred that to FPP.

      So Rodney’s being very disingenuous to suggest the supercity (or indeed just about any other change to law) can’t be phrased as a series of yes/no questions.

      Q1 could be “do you favour a change?” then Q2 is “if you ticked yes to Q1, which of the following options for change do you prefer?”

      The options could be distilled down via a series of community meetings, an independently moderated internet forum, professionally and independently moderated talkback, and so on.

      I can’t see myself ever being an Auckland ratepayer so I’m not really vested in the outcome. Nor do I have the time to study the merits of the proposal merely as an academic exercise, so I think I’m fairly neutral on (aka fairly ignorant of) the detail of the proposition itself.

      But the fact that the people directly affected are being denied the right to a say in their own futures deeply offends me and I dare say will have a similar effect on other non-ratepayers and non-residents.

      It seems they’re so determined to reshape Auckland in their own image that they’re willing to alienate and offend not only its residents but people who otherwise wouldn’t particularly give a damn how the place was governed (provided it suited those who lived there).

      Paradoxically, that suggests – even to the otherwise uninformed such as myself – that what they propose is highly unlikely to be in the best interests of the majority of Auckland’s denizens.

      • Ari 5.1.1

        Rex- imo it is much better to not limit subsequent questions to people who responded “yes” to the first one. People who voted no to a supercity still ought to have their say into what kind of supercity it would be if they don’t succeed in stopping it altogether.

  6. large fat man 6

    I dont like any of this

  7. monkey boy 7

    Then go to monkeys with typewriters -LFM – It’s classier than here

  8. exbrethren 8

    Had a look at MWT site. Shoddy broken design, shoddy articles. Its classier than Hide’s underpants, but only just.

    • Felix 8.1

      My friends in the adult entertainment industry tell me that Mr Hide prefers to “go commando”.

  9. BLiP 9

    Does any one know the difference between a National Party promise and a boot in the face for ever?

  10. Greg 10

    The problem with a referendum in this case is that conceivably, you could ask a question say: Do you support the proposed supercity? and get 90% opposition to it. But you could then hold another referendum asking the question: Do you support the status quo? and also get 90% oppsition to it.

    By holding a referendum with only one question you are essentially asking a whole lot of questions (do you support the ablolishion of the Maori seats, do you support the at large seats, do you support the amalgamation of councils etc etc). To tick that yes box on the referedum you have to agree with all the implied questions but to tick the no box you only have to disagree with one. Thats why consultation is a much better process. No one is going to agree with everything, but who wants to keep the status quo? Surely the supercity is a better proposal than that.

    • Graeme 10.1

      Greg – do both.

      First consultation on the Government’s response. Then Select Committee hearings in Auckland on the Bill that results from that consultation, and ultimately a third reading in Parliament.

      That third reading in Parliament will involve MPs answering a yes/no question, then a few months later, we can ask the same yes/no question of Aucklanders. The question – in both Parliament and of Aucklanders will basically be:

      Should we adopt the new Auckland governance arrangements as contained in the Local Government (Reform of Auckland Governance) Act 2009?


      Should we retain the present arrangements for Auckland Governance as contained in the Local Government Act 2002?

  11. CrosbyTextor 11

    Situation Report and Instructions Operation “Sell, Sell, Sell’.

    Situation: Any delay in the implementation of the sound management of the $3 billion assets in Auckland is to be avoided. It is essential that these assets be released over the next 12 months if NZ Inc is to remain bouyant. Opponents must be identified and distracted. Proponents are assured that their personal liability in the implementation process will be dissolved, provided that the necessary legislative requirement in the transfer operation are in place at the appropriate moment. NOTE: The actual wording of the required legislation is being forwarded from our Legal Department.

    Instructions: Rodders will “reluctantly’ agree to a referrendum. The announcement of this decision will be driven by our embedded assistants. There will be no end to the arguments about the wording of the question but, eventually, Rodders will agree to whatever loopy conflux of lexicon the Opponents require. The results will be ignored. Meanwhile, our embedded assistants will put in place the required outcome.

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