National’s handling of the Auckland SuperCity process was profoundly undemocratic in a multitude of ways. Thank goodness, and the common sense of Aucklanders, that a “Labour Mayor from South Auckland” was elected to sort out at least some of the resulting mess. I’ve already written on one such example:
Brown’s policy gives communities more say than law provides
Local boards will control transport issues in their communities and grassroots politicians will sit on planning hearings under a policy from Super City mayoral contender Len Brown. In his first major policy announcement, the Manukau mayor has promised to extend the roles and functions of local boards beyond those proposed by the agency designing the Super City.
Despite the law stating that all transport matters will be vested in a mega-council-controlled organisation to allocate to politicians as it saw fit, Mr Brown said local boards should be responsible for local roads, footpaths, pedestrian zones, bus stops, speed limits and local public transport. … Mr Brown has promised to allow local board members to sit on resource consent hearings in “their own back yard” instead of solely relying on the Super City planning department, which will be on the North Shore.
Now Brown is addressing another particularly shameful broken National promise:
Brown pledges talks on dedicated Maori seats
Auckland Mayor Len Brown has given an undertaking to the influential Iwi Leadership Group to talk to the new Auckland Council about dedicated Maori seats on the council. But no quick decisions are expected to be taken. …
The request to discuss Maori representation on the council was put by Tainui leader Tukoroirangi Morgan and Ngati Whatua leader Naida Glavish. Mr Morgan said last night that Mr Brown gave an undertaking to discuss the issue with his new council which has only just been sworn in. He had said it was a serious issue and it would be discussed comprehensively.
Dr Sharples told the Herald last night that Mr Brown had given an undertaking to take the issue to his new council and go through a process and it could take a year or so. … Dr Sharples said it would be a gradual process “and we are quite happy to settle for that”.
National’s handling of this issue was undemocratic and insulting. Despite election promises to respect the Royal Commission’s findings it ditched the recommendation for Maori seats on the council. After the subsequent Hikoi in protest, Key promised to consider the issue again in select committee, but before the committee process was even finished he announced that there would be no Maori seats. It’s great to see that Len Brown is open to correcting this injustice.