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Look Mum they stole my city …

Written By: - Date published: 3:15 pm, April 23rd, 2009 - 28 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, democracy under attack, democratic participation, drinking liberally, labour, local government - Tags: , , , , , , ,

democracy-under-attack1

After the success of the meetings about the super-city in Waitakere and Manakau yesterday, here are a few more of interest in date order. We will issue reminders when they are due.

From the notice on the Grassroots Labour site about a public meeting in Waitakere.

Time April 27, 2009 from 8pm (now correct time)
Location Kelston Community Centre
Street Cnr. Great North and Awaroa Roads.
City/Town Waitakere City.
Map here
Event Type public, meeting., all, welcome.
Organized By Chris Carter, David Cunliffe and Lynne Pillay
pubmetchris What will happen to Waitakere City with the changes to local governance in the Auckland region? Your city, your say!

Drinking Liberally Auckland has an advance notice.

Speaker Mayor Len Brown of Manakau
Topic Drinking Liberally Auckland – the future of Auckland governance.
When 7pm, Wednesday 29 April
Where London Bar – corner Queen and Victoria Streets, Auckland CBD
Who you and like-minded left-wingers. All welcome.
This month’s speaker is Mayor Len Brown talking about the opportunities and issues arising out of the Government’s proposal for restructuring governance in Auckland.

Len Brown is the current mayor of Manukau and is out-and-about talking and listening to Aucklanders’ opinions on the proposed changes and their views on the future of our region.

This will be an interesting chance to hear some thoughts on the revolution happening in Auckland from one of our region’s leaders.

More For more information sign up to the ‘Drinking Liberally NZ’ Facebook group.

Then there is the hikoi being organised by Ngati Whatua next month.

Time May 25th, 2009 Starting by 9:30am
Where Bottom of Queen Street
Contact Ngarimu Blair; 027 2790735; 09 336 1683;
logo On May 25 there will be a hikoi where Aucklander’s from all persuasions can join us to say out loud that this proposal is flawed and will become flawed law if passed. This is the anniversary of the Bastion Point evictions.
More here

Feed me links to any other meetings about the super-city fiasco, and we’ll get them posted.

Thanks to Greg Presland for the evocative post title.

28 comments on “Look Mum they stole my city … ”

  1. Hoolian 1

    Isn’t it ironic that a blogsite that defended so adamently the EFA is now crying “democracy under attack”?

  2. BLiP 2

    There will also be a protest March in Otahuhu at 12pm on Saturday 2nd May – gather at the Town Hall, High Street.

  3. It’s a little ironic for Labour to be making political gain out of this when it was a Labour initiative to undertake the review and IIRC Labour even had a Minister of Auckland.

    • Maynard J 3.1

      Not when the recommendations of the review were ignored, and replaced at whim by Hide of all people.. What’s to like about that?

      • Daveski 3.1.1

        While that’s a valid point, it still begs the question what Labour would have done especially given it was their initiative. For example, would Labour have supported the 3 mana whenua seats? So what recommendations are being protested?

        • Tane 3.1.1.1

          I think the protest movement goes beyond Labour, Daveski. But if Labour are reconnecting with people and getting in behind their concerns then that is to be welcomed.

        • Principessa 3.1.1.2

          I don’t think you are quite right about 3 Mana Whenua seats. It’s 2 elected seats (by people enrolled on the Maori Roll) and 1 Mana Whenua position.

    • lprent 3.2

      Yep, but Labour didn’t go off (and would be unlikely to try) to try to impose a ‘solution’ without any intention of consultation or approval. In the end you have to judge on the actions of NACT, and they are terrible.

      Rodney hijacked the proposal from the Royal Commission, ignored almost all of its findings and submissions to it. He is in the process of imposing his own solution without any intent of significant consultation or getting approval from Aucklanders.

      His self-imposed timetable makes it difficult to get due consideration from a select committee let alone a referendum that should be done for this type of change. As Tim at Tumeke points out. The April 2010 boundary setting by Local Government Commission for the October elections is probably the latest that all of this has to be done by.

      He has also dragged National in on it as well, which is pretty weird. Surely they can see the political fallout of pissing enough Aucklanders off. They’re slow to annoy, but irresistible once aroused.

      I suppose the National politicians were looking at the cost of pissing off Act… Bad call.

      • Tim Ellis 3.2.1

        LP, please detail which of the RC findings were ignored or hijacked.

        • lprent 3.2.1.1

          You asked the wrong way around – it should be which ones did they keep.

          They kept the Lord Mayor and the single city rating system. I can’t think of anything else that is the same.

  4. gingercrush 4

    Oh please everyone has ignored the Royal Commission findings. Iprent that is a very rich position you take. Do you believe in having Maori seats? More importantly, do you believe in a Maori person being appointed to the council? Do you agree with at-large councillors? Do you agree with six local councils and a few community boards? Those were all in the royal commission findings. And I can’t imagine you agree with many if not any of those points.

    I also find it rich how some Maori are talking about how we should listen to the royal commission in terms of Maori seat. When the royal commission on MMP said the maori seats should go. Yet they criticise the government for ignoring elements of the royal commission.

    —-

    Its fine to disagree with the commission findings, indeed its rather healthy. At the end of the day, Royal Commissions are ideas. Some will be implemented. Others changed and some ideas will not be chosen. I wish people would remember that.

    • lprent 4.1

      That is all moot. Rodney removed an ability to have any discussion about those when he removed them.

      What I’m looking at isn’t the Royal Commission proposal (which I do have issues with), but the one that Rodney is thrusting down Aucklanders throats.

      • Andrew 4.1.1

        No, you just dont like Rodney. It would not matter what he did you would disagree with it. If HC just happened to be doing the same thing as Rodney, you would be singing her prases.

  5. I’m happy to agree that the approach is wrong and it does seem to be a particularly naive plan to piss off as many people as possible as quickly as possible 🙂

    Still can’t help but think Labour has dodged a bullet

  6. I think you make a good point ginger. The Royal Commission’s report certainly had some big holes in it – with an even greater proportion of councillors being elected at large and the removal of any form of locao government smaller than the current city councils.

    The issue is certainly more complex than: “Royal Commission good, government decision bad”. I would say most of the changes that will happen will link back to the Royal Commission’s report. However, I agree there are certainly some big issues that have changed significantly.

    Regarding a referendum, what if I like most aspects of the super-city proposal but find a few bits of it pretty unacceptable? Is a yes/no referendum the best way to sort that out, or a more complex but focused process of select committee consultation?

  7. Anita 7

    jarbury writes,

    Regarding a referendum, what if I like most aspects of the super-city proposal but find a few bits of it pretty unacceptable? Is a yes/no referendum the best way to sort that out, or a more complex but focused process of select committee consultation?

    What about doing both?

    Why not either referendum the idea in principle then select committee the detail, or select committee the detail then referenda the final decision?

    • jarbury 7.1

      I think the latter is probably a good idea. I don’t think too many people out there want the status quo, so I think we should work to get it as right as possible before thinking about going to a referendum. Even then, I guess the worry is that a “status quo” vote sends us back to bickering and in-fighting between councils for another 20 years.

      Of course a referendum means it couldn’t happen in 2010. I would reather wait and get it right, than rush it and get it wrong.

      • logie97 7.1.1

        Actually what is wrong with the status quo, with perhaps a little more authority given to the ARC? As far as I can see the real problem for Auckland will only be sorted by Canute – now if he could prevent the waters of the Waitemata and the Manukau from coming in, then we could really make some meaningful changes.

  8. SjS 8

    It seems funny to me that no one in the MSM has picked up on the fact that under the new proposal Auckland will have more MPs then Councillors*? How on earth is this going to be fair representation?

    *Auckland has 1/3 of NZs population, therefore equating to 1/3 of all MPs (counting list MPs), being about 41 MPs, and only 20 Councillors.

  9. so far from mummy state……we get ‘ daddy stole my city?’
    waah?

  10. What everyone is missing is that Labour tightly proscribed the response from the Royal Commission.

    The terms of reference required the RC to adhere to the principles of the Local Government Act. There are many wonderful principles in that legislation. The RC was required and did come back with a result Auckland’s communities could live with.

    My more coherent comments are at http://waitakerenews.blogspot.com/2009/04/auckland-regional-governance-review.html

    But Rodney and Johnny Boy came up with something different, the result of which is that Remuera and Parnell will dominate Auckland’s decisions, and Bob Harvey and Sandra Coney will be spectators.

    There has to be a better way.

  11. RedLogix 11

    The issue is certainly more complex than: “Royal Commission good, government decision bad’.

    Like most people who submitted to the Royal Commission it was obvious that the decades old, dysfunctional conflict between the various Local Councils had to come to an end. I’ve read the Commission’s report several times now. It contains many good aspects, but overall I believe it finished up proposing totally the wrong structure.

    It’s too late and a moot to raise it now, but I believe that the correct path would have been quite different, and potentially far more acceptable to most Aucklanders. Local govt functions can be usefully divided into those that are regional in nature and gain efficiency from economy of scale, and those that are local in nature and are more usefully handled at a local, participatory level.

    In other words the Auckland Regional Council (an organisation with a good track record) should have been clearly tasked with full control of roles such as transport, environment, water, waste, spatial planning, roading, major parks and the like.

    At the same time the existing Local Councils should have been devolved into 20 – 30 Local Wards, with actual funding and powers to manage local issues that affect people personally, such as town planning and consents, ammenities, noise and animal control… issues that are best managed in small, intimate communities of local interest.

    Instead we have got this Supercity monster that is really the worst of all possible solutions that the Commission could have picked. I’m dissapointed.

    • jarbury 11.1

      Well that depends on the detailed split between what roles the Auckland Council will have and what roles the Local Boards will have. That hasn’t yet been fully decided. So we could actually end up with something like what you propose.

      I liked the ARC’s submission to the RC. Well, and my one too (which even ended up in the NZ Herald – was for an Urban Auckland council, a Rural Auckland Council, keep the ARC and give the community boards more power). If the Local Boards do end up with a decent amount of power and responsibility we could have an end result that is somewhat similar to what the ARC submitted for.

      Edit: One more thing – one District Plan is ESSENTIAL. I’m a planner so work with about 15 planning documents for Auckland. It drives one insane.

      • SjS 11.1.1

        I’m a planner too, and sorry to point it out, but a single District Plan that covered 1/3 of NZ’s population (Auckland) would probably have about 15 volumes!

        • jarbury 11.1.1.1

          That’s true… but at least there’d be consistency throughout it. And it means that everyone needs to start from scratch, so hopefully our future planning rules won’t be stuck in the 1970s like the District Plans of Auckland City, Manukau City and North Shore City currently are.

    • lprent 11.2

      That was the type of thing what I thought they’d come up.

  12. jarbury 12

    The government’s PR offensive has begun:

    The Government has gone on the offensive in it’s push for an Auckland Council.

    Letterboxes in parts of the region were hit by a leaflet drop this week outlining the
    Government’s decisions.The glossy pamphlet presents the decisions as foregone conclusions and does not invite public submissions.

    Under the contentious heading of “Representation’, it says:
    “The 20 councillors on the Auckland Council will be made up of eight councillors elected at large, and 12 councillors elected from wards.

    “The local boards will advocate for their local communities and set policy for local issues such as dog control.’

    North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams reacted angrily to being told by The Aucklander of the pamphlet drop this week. “Boy, that must be costing a bob. They’ve already spent $4.2 million on a Royal Commission that they’ve tossed aside. I thought this process was about trying to save money.’

    Mr Williams has attended three public meetings on the issue this week and says there is widespread concern that the public is being locked out of discussions.

    “The Government is alientating the populace and, from what we are seeing, there will be a push back.

    “Maybe these pamphlets were printed a week or so ago before the Government began to hear of the unrest. I think they are just now starting to realise how strongly people feel.’

    Mr Williams says a common concern is the Government decision to have eight Auckland Councillors elected “at large’ by votes counted across the entire region.

    “That leaves these seats open to powerfully-financed candidates who could then control the Auckland Council. In that case, it would be a total power grab.’

    http://www.theaucklander.co.nz/news/story.cfm?storyID=3797202

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