This morning Radio NZ ran a report on the increasing grassroots opposition to the Government’s supercity plans. In the interview that followed it Rodney Hide was asked why the Government won’t let Aucklanders have the final say on the proposal through a referendum.
His answer? The tired, discredited old line that it’s “not just a single yes or no” question and the whole issue is too complicated to put to a referendum.
That’s pretty weak. No one’s saying the consultation process Labour, the Greens and the Maori Party are asking for should be done by referendum. The proposal is that the final outcome of the consultation should be put to a democratic vote.
That is a single yes or no question – “Do you support the super-city that the Government proposes?” – and it would provide some basic accountability on the Government to come up with a proposal that Aucklanders can support.
There is no credible democratic argument against holding a referendum on the supercity. The only reason Rodney Hide and John Key don’t want one is because they know the way they’re currently behaving the result will be a resounding “No”.