Key endorses Banks

Written By: - Date published: 2:20 pm, June 8th, 2009 - 59 comments
Categories: national - Tags: , ,

As if denying Aucklanders the chance to have their say on the super city wasn’t enough National now seems determined to tell them who their mayor’s going to be too.

It’s absolutely unacceptable for the PM to be endorsing John Banks as the mayor of the super city.

59 comments on “Key endorses Banks”

  1. TC 1

    It was a pun – and a good one too. Get a sense of humor.

  2. John Dalley 2

    pun my A**e, it was a direct endorsement of John Banks. If John Banks is an absolute dim wit and not to be trusted. What John Key has revealed if Nationals plan to dominate Auckland’s Local Politics and throws further suspicions on John Key’s and Rodney Hide’s deceit about the Super City plans.

  3. merlin 3

    I love the little sharp intake of breath after he says it. Like he’s thinking ‘oops, the media’s going to be all over that’

  4. SPC 4

    If John Key thinks Banks offers the sort of leadership a Super City needs one wonders what his goal for the Super City is …

  5. Brett Dale 5

    So it was wrong of Clark to endorse Gary Moore in chch when she was PM?

    • merlin 5.1

      Was Clark in the process of setting up the electoral system that would elect Moore at the time? How can we trust Key to set up a fair system when his clear goal is to get Banks in as super-mayor?

    • Mr Magoo 5.2

      PMs endorsing candidates is NOT in fact bad and happens all the time. Whether this is a good idea in terms of fair democracy is up for debate.

      PMs endorsing candidates for a position which is not even yet advertised is…well just plain stupid.

      Storm in a teacup sort of stuff in terms of those in the know. (i.e. WE all know that rodders, johnny-boy and banksy have been organising this together for some time)
      John Banks is not bothering to sit down with the other mayors currently. Why? Because the whole thing is jacked up behind the scenes.
      Why bother? You know it is a railroad job??

      However I am not sure the general public get it yet. They may do now.

      Nothing wrong with a bit of truth and a platform for the other mayors to launch their anti-government campaign from.

      As the north shore mayor said: “the gloves are off now”.

    • Kaplan 5.3

      The problem BD, is Key does it then denies it.
      If you look carefully you can see his thin veneer of integrity evaporating.

  6. Zaphod Beeblebrox 6

    If the idea of the super city is to rid ourselves of the failed ideas of the past, why is he endorsing one of the dinosaur mayors? There are lots of younger, better right leaning mayors and councillors he could support.

  7. gobsmacked 7

    Funny? No. Outrageous? No.

    But yet more dumb politics from Melissa Key.

    Here’s what you do: make the comment, and then stand by it, because everyone knows Banks is your man. Or not make the comment at all. I’d go with the latter myself.

    What you don’t do is present the opposition with a gift, and then get all defensive about it afterwards. But this is Melissa Key’s trademark now. He doesn’t have the strength to counter-attack, to stand up for what he says. Nor does he have the sense not to say it in the first place.

    If you want to be a comedian, you gotta learn how to cope with the hecklers. Otherwise, get off the stage.

  8. Rich 8

    Why? He’s a former National Party minister.

    Ok, so he currently leans to ACT, but the two parties have a revolving door policy, right?

    I think it would be more honest if local politicians were to acknowledge their affiliations rather than pretending to be independents (at least the Greens run in Wellington and City Vision is openly a Green/Alliance/Labour coalition).

    • gobsmacked 8.1

      Rich, that’s a fair point.

      Unfortunately for Key, it’s one he doesn’t want to make. Herald report:

      “A spokesman from Mr Key’s office said this morning there were no endorsements for any candidates and it was up to the people of Auckland to decide who they wanted as mayor.”

      All he has done is draw attention to a piece of fiction, which he now has to perpetuate for another 16 months.

      A classic credibility gap.

    • Below Standard 8.2

      Banned for life for breaching policy. Typical troll behaviour.

  9. If the legislation was set in stone then this comment wouldn’t matter. The thing is that it is not set in stone, and the powers of the mayor or how the mayor is elected or how the council seats are put together is still (supposedly) up for debate throughout the select committee process.

    What John Key seems to be saying here is “actually I don’t care about making Auckland’s local government structure fair at all, I just want to help my mate”.

    And that is scandalous.

  10. hideyho 10

    The Northshore mayor is an irredeemable git…. and I voted for him … arghhhhhh caveat emptor !

  11. Lew 11

    And in other news:

    Dog chews bone

    Wellington bus driver caught speeding

    Beer best served cold

    Seriously, the only thing surprising about any of this is that people are surprised.

    In fact, I don’t even think it is surprise – I think it’s mock surprise to make a point. But the stronger point would be: “look, they’re not even hiding their absence of a fig leaf any more”.

    L

    • jarbury 11.1

      But that’s the point isn’t it Lew?

      We all know that this is what’s going on behind closed doors, but it’s good to make a bit of a song and dance about it so that your average person who might believe it when Rodney Hide says “honestly, we’re going to listen to what you have to say at the select committee” is put out of their misery.

      Or, more to the point, it might make National realise they don’t have us fooled and force them to actually properly listen.

      • Lew 11.1.1

        As I see it, though, that isn’t really the point made in the post above – it’s “Quelle horreur, teh Nats are telling the electorate who to vote for” – no shit, of course they are – it’s politics. It’s not unacceptable, it’s not even especially strange. There’s a wispy-thin Chinese Wall and nothing else between parliamentary and local government parties in Auckland.

        The link isn’t clearly drawn to the wider agenda , the stitch-up and the arrogance and sense of entitled presumption it demonstrates. That’s where the political poitns are to be made – that’s where they were made against Labour in the last term. Phil Twyford, on the other hand, nails it. Twice.

        L

      • Pascal's bookie 11.1.2

        from Lew’s link, the second:

        Rodney Hide’s Auckland Transition Agency looks like it might be the victim of a political snafu. Two weeks after the agency’s five-member board was announced with fanfare, it appears that not only did Hide announce the appointments three days before enabling legislation took effect, but that someone forgot to gazette the appointments.

        I have looked for the appointments in the Gazette and come up empty handed. Unless I am wrong, the board appointments and everything chairman Mark Ford and his colleagues have done over the past fortnight is unlawful and will need to be retrospectively validated.

        that sound you all just heard was burt’s head. Not so much exploding as, well, let us see.

        Oh Burty boy where aaaaaaare youuuuuu? 🙂

        • r0b 11.1.2.1

          Really? Retrospectively validated? It just doesn’t get any funnier than that…

          Captcha: “loonier game” – indeed.

        • felix 11.1.2.2

          zOMFG ROFLMAOPAMANCO!!!!11!!1

  12. Lew 12

    Jarbury,

    And in regards to comment-which-has-been-deleted “If you don’t like it, the door’s that way ->”

    … indeed, as the Local Government Minister said to, well, everyone really 🙂

    L

    • jarbury 12.1

      OMG I had a comment of mine deleted….Oh, the person I was commenting on got banned, I guess my comment wouldn’t have made much sense anymore.

      A lot of people are probably keen on showing Rodney the door right now!

  13. coolas 13

    Key & Banks are clowns & with Hide in tow are providing some of the best political entertainment for years. Seems not a day goes by now that Key doesn’t say something stupid. He’s politically dumb & slimy to boot. ‘Hey Look, I said that but didn’t mean it” For f**k sake the guy’s a cringe & totally out of his depth.

  14. Regarding that slurping sound The johnkey makes, whats it called? I’m hearing it more and more…is it drool control?
    Oh, and it was a pun, and it was funny by Nactional Putty standards.

  15. bobo 15

    Key’s method to dampen down one scandal is to just start up another, call it John Key’s preemptive scandal technique …hopefully the myth that he has any scrap of political acumen has been well and truly put to bed..

  16. The Baron 16

    I should probably know better than go against such a groundswell of attack line fuelled righteous indignation, but lets look at what he actually said:

    “…acknowledging the mayor, more importantly the super mayor of AUCKLAND CITY”

    Note the “of Auckland City” part, which is factually correct last time I looked. It just so happens that John Key thinks he is super. If he had have said “the super mayor of auckland” then you might have had a point.

    So, this is all just grassroots labour-fuelled spin. My oh my, is that a dog-whistle?

    • NubbleTrubble 16.1

      I think you are giving JK too much semantic/grammar/English credit there Baron. The man can’t say texts ffs, instead we get “tex’tez” (just say text messages FFS!!!) and “irrelevant of what may happen”. This is yet another Nat gaffe that you righties are trying to spin as something normal, something labour did or try to nitpick the words to change the meaning of a sentence from someone with zero skill.

      “NZ came together peacefully…” remember that? Ah, the same lame excuses being trotted out.

      It was obviously supposed to be some kind of funny pun about the fact he thinks JB is super and will be the super mayor of the super city. A pretty lame pun which he obviously regretted by his body language afterwards.

      The man is an amateur…

      • The Baron 16.1.1

        Yes, perhaps I am taking liberties – but then again, perhaps I am reading just as much into the comments as you lot are!

    • The GSK 16.2

      How come you shout CITY when he shouted Auckland..?

      And pun denying FYI is the definite article.. he’s maybe off the hook with an indefinite, but it wasn’t and he isn’t..

  17. jarbury 17

    An interesting, if freaking scary, post on Rodney’s plans for local government: http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2009/06/08/why-doesnt-the-government-want-a-referendum/

    • The Baron 17.1

      oh well if Twyford is saying it, then it must be objective commentary…

      Snort.

      Do you read outside the politburo’s approved list, jarbury?

      • jarbury 17.1.1

        It doesn’t sound much better from Rodney himself:

        “Cabinet has authorised a review of the Local Government Act 2002 to improve the transparency, accountability and fiscal management of local government. I want the Act reviewed to ensure ratepayers and citizens have better tools for controlling council costs, rates and activities. I will be looking at ways of ensuring local government operates within a defined budget and focuses on core activities.”

        • The Baron 17.1.1.1

          Er, its a big leap from that quotation to privatisation and corporate control, isn’t it?

          On the basis of that quotation, wouldn’t a more logical conclusion be that Hide is trying to find a way to limit rates increases, a move that is likely to be quite popular with the ratepayers of auckland?

          So I’m curious as to which one of these ideas you (and Phil by proxy) have a problem with:

          – Transparency
          – Accountability
          – Fiscal management
          – Ensuring ratepayers and citizens have better control over council costs, rates and activities
          – Defined budgets
          – Focus on core activities

          God, it all sounds pretty benign to me. Where is the part that says “flick it all off to some corporate robber baron” or “turn all social activities into money making corporate machines”? Do you have a link to Hide saying that as well, or shall I assume that that is just SPIN.

          Again, perhaps if you read the content objectively and thought for yourself I wouldn’t need to rely on being spoon fed by Twyford and the Labour party.

          • felix 17.1.1.1.1

            Where is the part that says “flick it all off to some corporate robber baron’ or “turn all social activities into money making corporate machines’? Do you have a link to Hide saying that as well, or shall I assume that that is just SPIN.

            Yes actually, in ACT’s Local Government Policy, first two items on the list of policy details:

            1.”Local government will be required to shed its commercial activity, thereby eliminating the need to separate regulatory and commercial functions between local and regional councils.”
            2. “Roads and piped water will be supplied on a fully commercial basis.”

            I realise with you were trying for a kind of “f*ascist parody” with your mock quotes above, but they’re eerily close to the truth, aren’t they?

          • Zaphod Beeblebrox 17.1.1.1.2

            You’d have to read between the lines to see what “core activities” means but I would take it to mean that anything outside infrastructure, planning, building, parks and gardens and regional parks, libraries are fair go.
            Its not really a surprise that things like Council Business Units and Council Controlled Organisations are under the gun since Nationals underlying philosophy is that the private sector can do these things better (i don’t neccessarily agree) but they have never kept this a secret.
            Social planning and collaborative community projects (there are lots in South Auckland) are where the controversy will be- if the Maori party roll over on this one they are truly spineless.

          • The Baron 17.1.1.1.3

            Oh well Zaphod, isn’t it neat that Key and Hide have quite clearly stated that the local boards will be bulk funded, so that they may continue to provide these very same social services, if their communities value them?

            So, it looks like your “reading between the lines” is contrary to “reading what has actually been said”.

            • lprent 17.1.1.1.3.1

              Haven’t they also said in Hide’s LGA proposals that they would only fund to the level of essential services.

              So to fund social services, essential services would have to be cut? It doesn’t matter if there is ‘free choice’ if there aren’t sufficient funds to do both. And of course the local communities can’t raise local taxes. They are essentially powerless – which is what bulk-funding is all about.

              In other words you are full of crap. .

          • The Baron 17.1.1.1.4

            Oh yes, Felix – good comeback. At last a man who can read for himself, rather than just take whatever attack lines Goff et al put out for the faithful.

            I will admit that if Rodney had his way, that that may be exactly the outcome – wholly consistent with Act’s policy. But… and here is the rub… Act are but the minority partner in our Government, and I quite doubt that the Key side of that marriage will go for that…

            Which is exactly the reason why such ideas have not been floated with regard to the SuperCity concept, and exactly why I note that you haven’t yet been able to provide me anything of substance to back up that claim. Suffice to say that a far more valid conclusion is that Rodney is working within the limitations set by National’s policy in this regard, and that that policy is unlikely to include the two “horrors” that Twyford is bandying about.

            No boogeyman here then. I’m sure that Jarbury is scurrying back to Grassroots labour to find whatever Twyford’s spin is against this, so I await with bated breath.

            • lprent 17.1.1.1.4.1

              I suspect that Jarbury is more Green than Labour. There are no ‘lines’ peddled at grassroots. It seems to me to have as much squabbling as here, just further left.

              However regardless of the outcome of the super-city whitewash (ie select committee hearings), I’m pretty sure that we can get widespread support and across the political spectrum to mount a anti-Banks campaign in 2010 now that he has been anointed by Key.

              I personally detest the do-nothing dip-shit. It is really hard to point to one positive thing that Banks has managed to do in his two terms as mayor of Auckland. It is easy to point to things that he has fucked up.

              We are likely to have a number of better and more experienced candidates.

          • Zaphod Beeblebrox 17.1.1.1.5

            Baron-Section 6 of the Local Government Act (Auckland) specifically prohibits the Local Boards from employing staff which would enable local control over their own projects. So I’m interested to know the status of this new pronouncement over the weekend- before the select committee has even met. Is it policy? something they just thought up? Or just sounded good because JK was out West.

            BTW- if you are correct it is a postive step forward, nobody should argue about getting rid of marginal value council activities- I don’t think throwing the baby with bathwater is a good idea however.

          • The Baron 17.1.1.1.6

            Here you go, Zaphod – it seems like this idea has been around for a while. You’re right – they cannot employ their own staff, instead:

            “But he said they would get a bulk allocation of staff and funding from the Auckland Council to perform services still to be defined.”

            Then goes on to say that essentially, those communities will be able to undertake those projects that matter to them with this funding and staff allocation.

            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10571778

            My understanding of why they cannot employ staff in their own right was to ensure that there was one staff base within the entire region, instead of factionalised and splintered staff bases split up all over the show. So, you get local staff, but all managed centrally – a bit of a win-win.

            To spin that out as “waaaah local boards are toothless, employee-less sops” is again just labour scaremongering without basis in fact.

          • felix 17.1.1.1.7

            Believe what you like about Key, Banks and Hide – I wasn’t expecting to change your mind but you asked for a quote from Hide saying “flick it all off and turn social activities into corporate machines’ and there it is.

            And yes, they’re thankfully a minority partner in the govt but he is also the relevant minister. That’s a pretty powerful position for such a radical fringe outside-track extremist to be in and I’m not entirely comfortable with that.

          • The Baron 17.1.1.1.8

            Sigh, I wasn’t really expecting to change you mind either Felix… there is a reason they call these things echo-chambers after all.

            But nevertheless, I can see why you are concerned, even if I think they are unfounded. A good basis for submitting to the Select Committee then!

  18. mike 18

    Had to laugh when I heard Mr ‘one term wonder’ Williams crying about jonny’s funny today on the radio.

    Where’s your sense of humour you incompetent git

  19. jarbury 19

    The Baron, it is the focus on council simply running core services that has me most worried. Sure, I agree that perhaps better ways to scrutinise the way councils spend their money would make a lot of sense, but not the gutting of the Local Government Act and the general powers that councils have to improve the economic, social, environmenal and cultural wellbeing of their community.

    I certainly don’t want to go back to a situation where all councils do are rates & rubbish, yet this is what Rodney Hide’s agenda appears to propose. Government is certainly often most effective at the local level, so stripping the powers of local government is likely to just result in more power to Wellington and less to Auckland.

    I read through the Royal Commission’s report quite carefully on how it envisaged Auckland’s local government future. In general, it advocated very strongly and clearly for a GREATER role that local government should play – in issues like housing and social policy. The RC didn’t come to that conclusion from nowhere: there was an awful lot of research that analysed what was and wasn’t working in Auckland, and their response was a greater role for local government. The complete opposite to what Rodney Hide’s local government reforms are aimed at.

    Regarding a later post from you about the powers of local boards, the government is saying that they will have power but there’s nothing in the legislation at the moment that makes them anything more than a locally elected lobby group. In the last few days National has started saying that some of the local boards’ poweres will be enshrined in law, but that’s only in response to the backlash (or as you would call it, scaremongering) that has been going on. I’ll believe it when I see the legislation changed.

    • The Baron 19.1

      Thanks Jarbury – that gives me some food for thought. I don’t know enough about thes efficacy arguments that you’re making, but they sound more logical to me than that crap you linked to before.

      As for the comments on the local boards – these aren’t new ideas. That story I link to is from a month ago, plus given that the legislation isn’t written yet, it appears a bit early to start getting critical.

      But thank you, I appreciate you explaining where you’re coming from.

      • jarbury 19.1.1

        No worries, I was a bit rushed earlier on in my previous comments.

        The thing that frustrates me about the whole Super-City thing is that I really did feel quite excited when the Royal Commission came out with their report.

        I work as a planning consultant and it’s a bloody nightmare having 10 or so District Plans to have to know back to front within the Auckland region. Particularly when most of them are about 15 years out of date in their thinking (I challenge anyone to read through the residential section of the Auckland City Council isthmus plan and not feel like punching someone after 5 minutes, or try giving a brief description of all the business zones in Waitakere City, just not possible!) So one District Plan would be fantastic – not only because it would make my life (and everyone else involved in planning matters) a lot easier, but also because it would give us a chance to start from scratch and actually create a good District Plan. I’m still hoping this happens.

        The next area where I am still hopeful the Super City will have significant benefits in is transport. One transport agency would be fantastic for Auckland, as it would get beyond stupid disagreements between ARTA, the ARC and various city councils. Government seems to have kind of gutted the proposed Regional Transport Agency (RTA) though, by placing the railways back under central government control and also by discarding the Royal Commission’s suggestion that the RTA should be involved in the planning of state highways in the Auckland region. But still, one RTA should be a powerful body that can push for better public transport and hopefully convince Steven Joyce that putting all our eggs in the “roads” basket is utterly stupid.

        More of my original thoughts on the RC report here: http://transportblog.co.nz/2009/03/31/my-thoughts-on-the-royal-commissions-report/

        I did have concerns that the local councils were a bit big to be the smallest local government body. I did have concerns about the at large councillors proposed by the Royal Commission. I did (and still do) have concerns about the power of the Mayor – although that might somewhat be because I’m scared of John Banks having that power rather than simply being worried about the structure of that position. So their proposal was definitely not perfect.

        But it seems like the government’s haste, and (seemingly) their determination to bend the system to their advantage has meant that the negatives of the Super City – at least to me – are starting to outweigh the potential positives.

        I am worried about the powerlessness of the local boards, although that does seem like it’s going to be addressed partly, although even with legislated duties the local boards may well end up being far too small to really achieve much. I am worried about the at large councillors (the Royal Commission only really suggested them to balance against the significantly more powerful local councils) – not only because I think it will deliver a gerry-mandered right wing outcome, but also because it will lead to farcical situation where one need to choose 8 prefered councillors from a list of 50 or so. I would have a good chance to get in as my surname begins with “A”.

        Regarding Maori seats, it doesn’t really affect me personally but I think if it’s considered to give effect to the Treaty of Waitangi then that’s fine. If Maori want their own seats (elected, not appointed) then that’s fine by me.

        Other issues that I have with both the Royal Commission and the government’s bill is the loss of the ARC as a separate entity to the Auckland Council. Who’s going to fill their role as environmental advocates within the Auckland Region? Who’s going to be the guardians of the metropolitan urban limits? Who’s going to advocate for better public transport? Who’s going to critique poor council plans and plan changes? And so forth…..

        But most of all I’m grumpy about the process of implementation that’s going on here. I don’t think the first bill should have been passed under urgency, I do think that such a drastic change should be ratified by way of a referendum and I don’t appreciate having the prime minister already decide who he wants as Super Mayor nor having the assistant local government minister chairing the select committee.

        Regarding the referendum, Hide’s excuses that “it’s too complex” are bollocks. Once the government has passed the final bill it should go to a referendum to see whether it’s implemented for the 2010 elections. If it fails then the government would have 3 years to make changes and hold another referendum. If it failed again then the people of Auckland would have truly spoken, and perhaps they don’t think the current situation is too bad after all.

        • Jono 19.1.1.1

          I think this needs to be worked into a post and cross-posted on your blog. I have yet to see the major issues laid out so succinctly from a generally progressive (but not partisan) view point. The points you make are just may resonate with an otherwise disengaged majority. Maybe it should be an op-ed in the old media?

          • jarbury 19.1.1.1.1

            Thanks Jono. I will try to put it together onto my blog with a few links and more information.

            I am currently putting together my submission to the select committee, and I’m still actually developing my thoughts on how the legislation could be improved. Some things are no brainers – like getting rid of the at large councillors and giving the local boards more power.

            However, other things are more complex – less or more local boards? What powers should they be given in law (ie. not just “the Auckland Council will decide what they do)? What about all the social issues that the Royal Commission raised? Do we want the local board boundaries to match with electorate boundaries? Do we want to consider STV voting? Are we comfortable with the mayor’s powers? Who will take on the ARC’s role of “environmental advocate”?

            So many questions…..

  20. Zaphod Beeblebrox 20

    Jarbury,
    Problem is that you can’t separate the changes proposed in the RMA, Auckland Supercity and LG 2002 acts. To try and tie all three together is impossible in one submission, so submissions that argue through one or two themes would be more likely to be listened to.
    I would argue that the intent of the RC has been turned on its head. The RC proposed that Auckland take responsibility for itself by tying together the social, economic, environmental and cultural strands of local government through one body.

    The proposed changes to the LGA and the intent of the MoT to take away local control of public transport involve eliminating the very functions that the new council is set up to administer.

    This takes away the whole reason for setting up the new council in the first place.

    The weakness of the Hide/Key model is that it forces the new unifying body to get bogged down in local disputes. The ill-defined (as yet) roles of responsibilities of the new mayor, councillors, council staff and local boards (who is it that employs, hires and dismisses staff and who gets to use the benefits of their expertise?) threatens to tie up the new council in turf wars.

    Functions such as the ARC parks under the LGA proposals presumably will revert to MoC, public transport to MoT, environment and the RMA to the new EPA. These are all WELLINGTON run organisations.

    The proposals of the three new acts actually disempower Auckland which was exactly what the RC wanted to prevent.

    • jarbury 20.1

      Potentially a very worrying process – remember Paula Bennett saying that the Waitakere Ranges should be run by the Department of Conservation rather than the ARC (even though the ARC do a far better job than DoC could ever do).

      Regarding public transport, I’m not so sure whether Steven Joyce would want to get any more involved in public transport than he is now. Though the government did – weirdly – take on the responsibility for Auckland’s rail network.

      I think Rodney Hide’s latest move to potentially cripple local government is because the last thing he wants is to see rates go up after the Super-City transition is complete. That’s also why he wants the local boards to be powerless, as it’s impossible to have 20-30 boards with much power NOT being supremely expensive. Indeed, that is why the Royal Commission didn’t suggest that option:

      27. At the same time, the Commission was concerned not to create an organisational monolith, unconnected to the people it serves. With this in mind, the Commission considered carefully a number of variations of a two-tier model comprising a unitary authority with additional representation at a local level. The Commission concluded that having up to 20 community councils, as a number of submitters proposed, would be costly to establish and run, and disruptive to existing staff and services. The conclusion was borne out by independent financial analysis undertaken for the Commission by experts Taylor Duignan Barry.

      (From the RC’s executive summary)

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