David Farrar is calling for the Christchurch City Council to be sacked on the bizarre pretext that some of them have objected to the council CEO’s obscene pay rise. Apparently it’s a crime not to express confidence in your CEO if you’re an elected representative (Farrar seems to have missed the Collins-Matthews affair). But this is all a softening up exercise.
We’ve seen this old game so many times now, it’s clear what’s coming. National is preparing to do away with democracy in Christchurch. Just as they have in Canterbury. Just as they imposed the Supercity on Aucklanders without allowing them their democratic right to a referendum. Just as they are planning to foist a Supercity on Wellington next. Just as they did when they reformed the RMA to curtail locals’ right to object to projects in their communities.
This isn’t about making local government more effective, it’s about power, pure and simple. National wants local government that puts the interests of the business elites it represents first. That means strangling any council that stands in their way and tipping the field against democracy. Christchurch is next on the hit list.
If I were advising the council and the local opposition MPs, I would say get together your counter-strategy now.