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Oh dear – Hyde the costs

Written By: - Date published: 9:40 pm, May 7th, 2009 - 71 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, democracy under attack - Tags: , ,


Liar: another worthless minister

democracy-under-attack1How embarrassing. Rodney Hide has been forced to admit that he has no idea of the costs of his super-city proposal. Phil Twyford with the aid of the speaker cornered him into an admission that he’d been bullshitting.

The Minister has been caught out trying to mislead Aucklanders about whether the Government has done those costings and only acknowledged there were none, when ordered by the Speaker in the House today.

Yesterday I asked Mr Hide whether the Government had costed its Super City proposals, as outlined in its Making Auckland Greater booklet, and he answered ‘yes’.

Today when I asked what those costing were, Mr Hide danced on the head of a pin as he tried to evade the question, until he was finally ordered by the Speaker to come clean.

This was as I suspected yesterday when I wrote “How Hyde is wasting my taxes on an uncosted project”. So Rodney Hide has spent my money as a tax-payer on PR to make me accept a project that he has not figured out what it will cost me as a rate-payer. That really really sucks. If something is presented to the voters of this country as a proposal, especially one that the legislation is being prepared now to be pushed through under urgency, then it should be properly costed. To do otherwise is to have a seriously incompetent minister – so why are we paying his wages?

Perhaps Rodney should stop trying to push this ‘proposal’ through parliament and wait until it becomes a ‘plan’, with some detail and at least some ideas of the costs. Rodney should definitely explain what all of the rush is for, because that appears to be what is causing these embarrassments to the government. First Key admitting that there would be little consulation with Aucklanders with the proposal, and now Rodney admitting that he has no idea what money he is going to make Auckland rate-payers to fork out.

Embarrassingly, Twyford dug out some other statements by Hide that now turn out to also be false.

Rodney Hide is promoting himself as the Minister for Ratepayers and said recently ‘it’s a good test for a planned spend-up to get the agreement of those who are paying for it.’

He’s clearly not following his own advice and nor is he demonstrating the transparency he claims to champion.

Aucklanders are being asked to swallow the Government’s Super City plan, the least Rodney Hide can do is tell them how much it’s going to cost.

Exactly! It seems like he couldn’t care less about the rate-payers of Auckland.

All I can say to Phil is “Good hunting”, and how about putting links into your statements?

Update: The link to the debate is here. It is very clear that Rodney was attempting to avoid answering it, with a lot of obstruction on his part, but the relevant section is

Hon RODNEY HIDE: The Government actually does not have the cost of implementation, but it is minuscule compared with the cost of $2 billion—

Followed by more diversions. Audio at here (mp3) – question starts at 55:25. Thanks gobsmacked and Felix.

The key factor is that he is pushing a proposal into legislation when he has no idea about the costs. Since the costs are borne by the rate-payers of Auckland, it appears that the usual treasury checks have not been followed.

Update: My apologies about the inadvertent association of the target on Rodney Hide with the events in Napier today. I hadn’t heard the news at the time I wrote and published the post. My heartfelt commiserations to the police and their families. However I will leave the target on this bumbling minister… Ok all the wingnuts are PC now. I changed the picture and showed the real guy inside. Thanks mike.


71 comments on “Oh dear – Hyde the costs”

  1. Anthony Karinski 1

    Good to see old Rodney turning into the Winston Peters of this government. Whereas Peters’ stupidity was not affecting people’s lives, Rodney’s charade will hit Aucklanders’ directly. He’ll probably bring Key down the gurgler with him as well.

    Another 2,5 years in a leaky boat for this government…

  2. What a fantastic change in the house now we have a speaker that is prepared to hold the government to account. I agree that Rodney looked like a plonker today.

    • burt 2.1


      I agree, Rodney is already starting to do all the stuff that Labour use to do. No referendums, use of urgency to push his agenda and uncontrolled spending.

      Shit I use to squeal about this sort of thing and have the authors of the standard calling me stupid because it was OK when Labour did it.

      The only up side to all of this is that I can agree with the authors of the standard!

      • lprent 2.1.1

        Please stop agreeing with me. You’re starting to scare me. I just checked in the mirror to see if the metamorphosis was showing.

        But this is really bad. One of the big problems is that the super-city stuff will be paid for by the tax-payers of Auckland, but is being driven by the crown minister. That means that the minister is not accountable for the money expended (ie to treasury) AND the council(s) both past and future have no say in the policy that they are being forced to expend money on.

        Furthermore, Rodney is talking about a pretty radical restructure here because we are getting a massive number of structures being amalgamated across the city. That is always expensive and is unlikely to result in any savings in the next 5 years.

        I smell a massive budget blowout and a hell of rates-bill because of lack of accountability. If the government wants to restructure Auckland without consultation or approval from Aucklanders, then I’d suggest that they should pay for it under the aegis of Treasury so it restricts Rodney’s ability to screw it up.

        • burt

          Of course it is bad. MP’s who abuse the parliamentary processes should always be dragged out in public for a kicking. Hey I don’t think I’m agreeing with you – I think you are finally agreeing with me that there are standards of ethical conduct that must not be put to one side for expediency. There are processes that exist for a reason, they cannot be ignored for expediency. I’ve been saying this stuff for years lprent.

        • burt


          That means that the minister is not accountable for the money expended (ie to treasury)

          Yep, when the govt puts itself in this position it is time to protest loudly and to remind people about this again and again and again.

          I think you and I will get alone fine for the next few years at least on issues of principle and process. That’s not to say we will always agree on the issues.

          • lprent

            This is even more basic. It is basic management and accounting – who is responsible for the bill, and who is tabulating it against the budget. Every government (and minister) has to do that as a priority.

            I might disagree about what they spend on or where they get their revenue. But this is common across ALL systems where money is disbursed.

    • Lew 2.2

      BB, this is probably the only time I’ve ever agreed with you, as well. I was highly critical of Lockwood Smith’s appointment as Speaker, but he’s doing a cracking job so far. Long may it continue.


      • felix 2.2.1

        I also agree, Lockie’s been doing a bang-up job. And he gets extra points for making “W3” jokes today. Actually when you think about it he’s come full circle, presiding over a children’s quiz and all.

        I must say there’s a bit much agreeing going on around here today though…

  3. John Dalley 3

    Could Rodney be so blinded by the “Baubles of Office” that he thinks we are all stupid!

  4. vto 4

    If right then its quite gobsmacking. And naive ya? Foolish too? Cannot be… must be an explanation or something. What is the other side of the story mr prent?

  5. mike 5

    poor taste with the cross-hairs on rodders given todays events isn’t it fellas?

    • Pascal's bookie 5.1

      I agree. Not cool.

      I’d say the same (not cool) about your comment though Mike, in that today’s events are not what makes the graphic a poor choice, so bringing those events into it demeans both those events and your criticism.

      Your use of the plural, and your implied suggestion that on some other day the graphic would be AOK with you, amounts to you using todays events to score a cheap shot against The Standard. I’m not sure which is worse to be honest.

      • mike 5.1.1

        WTF? are you nuts.

        If the same thing was done to labour minister by whale the peace nik pinko’s around here would be beside themselves with faux outrage.

        Nice excuse IP – goes to show how aware you really are of life outside your bubble

        • lprent

          Apart from the working code, I’m also doing work for the by-election, this blog, and job-hunting for the next job. So I’m pretty much locked to music and getting updates via e-mail until next week during my 15 hour work days.

          I realize that you might not work particularly hard, but please respect those that do.

          • mike

            Just like how your party came a guttser then IP – asleep at the wheel while the big issues go unnoticed…

          • lprent

            mike, I’m not a politician. I’m a programmer, which takes a lot of time and effort. This site is a hobby.

            I can assure you that I seldom let anything small or large escape my attention in my work space. The attention that I expend here is a small fraction of that I expend on code. However it still seems to give some people the feeling that I’m hovering over them all of the time (the joys of smart coding giving that effect).

            The party also gets a small proportion of my attention compared to something like USB code I’m on now, or the Qt library I was learning yesterday. However I’m sure that there are those who’d prefer that I gave it less.

            Then there are family and friends…

            However this means that I have limited attention time for the news. I tend to expend it in political news here on the net, and world news over the net. I don’t do the sparrows fart stuff for the waffle that usually makes up TV or radio ‘news’ because it has a low content. Mostly I scan the newspaper sites in the mornings.

            If I’d wanted to notice what you term as ‘big’ issues, then I’d have become a politician maybe, but more likely a vacuous newsreader with a sensationalist editor. Neither appealed for some reason – both are too boring

        • logie97

          odd that comments from the right see the cross hairs as the sites of a weapon. Anyone familiar with photography (pre digital) would know that they are the crosshairs of a good SLR camera or a telescope. Hyde is under the microscope now – on film – on camera…

          • mike

            so the comment “Target: another worthless minister” doesn’t give it away?

    • lprent 5.2

      What are you talking about?

      Ummm. Ok I just looked at the news. I only get political feeds when I’m working. Yeah you’re right, it is a bit gauche. But I’m afraid it is just coincidence. A shooting like that over a cannabis bust????. Added a note on teh post.

      But ‘rodders’ should definitely be in the gun as a minister – he admitted this in the house only after the speaker forced him to do so. In this case he is violating his own words. He also appears to be contradicting his statement from yesterday, but explaining it by what looks like a deliberate attempt at spinning ambiguity.

      I’ll leave it up.

      • burt 5.2.1


        Yes I agree the cross hairs should go. The use of the word target is a bit poor as well. It’s just not right with what has happened today.

    • Eddie 5.3

      I agree. Innocent mistake but it should come down in my opinion.

      • lprent 5.3.1

        Arghh damnit – fixed. Not worth arguing over. However I blame the gun shows and those who go to them

  6. Brett Dale 6

    I suggest you move that target from Hyde’s face.

  7. gobsmacked 7

    People can make up their own minds by reading the entire exchange here:


    Again and again, Twyford asks how much it will cost. Hide does not answer.

    • r0b 7.2

      Hmmm. Credit to Lockwood Smith (never thought I’d write those words) for making some effort to do a good job.

      No credit to Rodney, who is looking more and more like a turkey each day.

  8. Oh it’s just brilliant reading: http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/2/e/4/49HansQ_20090507_00000651-11-Auckland-Local-Government-Reform-Costings.htm

    Good on Lockwood Smith for pushing it.

    Edit: ah damn you beat me to it gob

    • mike 8.1

      Isn’t it good having an impartial speaker guys. Lockie sure is making Wilson’s tenure look pretty pathetic eh.

    • gobsmacked 8.2

      Well, it’s worth reading twice!

      I don’t like Hide’s politics, but he’s usually pretty sharp in the House. That was an embarrassing performance today.

    • felix 8.3

      Hearing it is pretty good too. The audio is here (mp3).

      The action starts at 55:25

  9. felix 9

    I don’t like hearing that Rodney was caught in a flat-out lie, on record.

    I’d like to pretend that the real issue is the cross-hairs on the picture, please.

  10. burt 10

    Isn’t it great to have a speaker in the house who is not partisan to the point of stupidity.

    If Wilson was still speaker and Rodney was a Labour party MP he could have answered the first question with something like “I know how much it is but the report is not complete” and Wilson would have insisted the question had been answered.

  11. forgetaboutthelastone 11

    What the bloody hell has the world come to when you can’t put a bloody cross-hair in a picture without some dolt having his precious sensibilities offended? I’m tellin’ ya now – its PC gone mad.

  12. Brett Dale 12

    If a kiwiblog had a picture of labour mp, you guys would complain.

    • burt 12.1


      That is exactly the point that needed to be made. Well said.

      • Quoth the Raven 12.1.1

        I think you two are being overly sensitive. It’s quite ludicrous to think we should not make gun references because of one incident. Will you arbitrarily determine when enough time has passed since this incident and people can start using those sort of references again? Thousands upon thousands of people are shot everyday does that mean we should not ever use gun metaphors? How about a bomb metaphor in light of a recent incident?

  13. rave 13

    I doubt that the perp used his sights to shoot the cop.
    Shows whats a fucked up society we have when cops raid people for dak while Hide gets away with grand theft regional.
    Hide wants the whole Auckland region as his private speculators playground. Get ride of the RMA, get rid of ARC, youve got three harbours, a gulf to kill for, and tons of beaut beaches, so the property speculators will be giggling all the way to the reserve bank.
    Take the port, shift most of the heavy cargo to Tauranga so you can put up tons of highrise luxury crap to build the pseudo city image that stretches from the viaduct to gulf harbour and back.
    The rest of us can suffocate on diesel on the rat run to the factory and back to the shack and dodge wild west cops chasing dakked up kids off the road.
    This is just the latest land grab by the rich that has always been the hallmark of a slickers city run by speculators. NZ wealth is built on stolen Maori land and this is the home run.

  14. felix 14

    Look I know that Rodney lied, OK? I heard it myself. It’s pretty clear.

    But it’s the picture that matters, dammit. That’s what this is about.

  15. forgetaboutthelastone 15

    “If a kiwiblog had a picture of labour mp, you guys would complain.”

    Yea – but only if some poor sap just happened to have been shot dead that same day. lol!

  16. toad 16

    And it’s people like Rodney, and his Cabinet colleague 84% (or is it 86%) Stephen Joyce, who give wankers a bad name!

    • Eddie 16.1

      sweet post, toad. mind if we grab it and link through to the original?

      • lprent 16.1.1

        Yeah, that could definitely use a recycle and more exposure. The comments kinda lost the point though. Deflated it a bit.

  17. Adrian 17

    Speaking of ACT members costing ratepayers money, here in Marlborough the ACT parliamentary candidate of 3 years ago,eventually got on to the District Council,and then recently threw his toys out of the cot when challenged to actually do some work and turn up at meetings.He resigned thus forcing a by-election which is going to cost up to 40k, and bugger me when nominations closed, he puts his name forward again because it’s his “democratic right”. These conceited, arrogant,self-important ACT arseholes are a plague on the country.

  18. Ianmac 18

    Late arriving. But heard the Hide exchange live. Costing not available. That is the issue Burt. I guess that you are doing what Hide attempted to do: divert the issue and make camera sights an issue???? Rubbish! Felix you too?

    • felix 18.1

      Apparently my sarcasm could be a little less convincing…

    • burt 18.2


      I think you missed my comment at 8:17

      And yes I think the cross hairs and the words target were offensive. Would lprent print the same for other party leaders or just the ones he expects high standards from?

      • lprent 18.2.1

        I’m an equal opportunity stirrer. However I make my own judgments about what is worth targeting.

        In this case I haven’t seen anything good about the process followed for the super-city since the Royal Commission’s report got released. The kudo’s for that largely go to Rodney, with only minor stuff going to Key and the Nat’s for not reining in Rodney’s low standards of governance.

        Especially now that it looks like it will be a total and very expensive mess for rate-payers – who will not get an opportunity to have a say in the decisions.

        The stupid thing is that I actually support the concept of a ‘super-city’, but something like an enhanced ARA/ARC with some authority on top of some councils that actually have some powers at the local level. The only real problem with the old ARA was that councils had a veto on decisions with no majority voting. Led to parochial lowest common denominator decisions. They were also excluded from some areas that they should have had control on.

        The Royal Commission proposal I could have lived with the majority of it, while wishing for a few tweaks. There were too few ward councilors which made the wards too big, and I wasn’t happy with at-large councilors across the whole city which looked like a corruption sink waiting to happen because of the campaigning costs.

        To date I haven’t seen anything about Rodney’s proposal that makes any sense at any level.

  19. jarbury 19

    He said he didn’t have the information, then he said he did. But he still didn’t tell us what it will actually cost….

  20. Quoth the Raven 20

    Should we really be associating Rodney Hide with a Red Cross considering all the good work they do. Change the picture again.

    See where this PC madness from the right can get us.

    • lprent 20.1

      The red cross has a vertical cross….
      I also blame the people who play around with guns. Click on the picture.

      • Quoth the Raven 20.1.1

        That’s a good one.
        Though, you’ve probably just pissed off the wingnuts again.

        • felix

          At least this time they’ll be actually pissed off. The mock-outrage and bullshit gets old pretty quick.

      • burt 20.1.2

        its not funny.

      • bilbo 20.1.3

        Ha ha Yes very amusing……… you’ve now reached the same level as those on the other side of the fence who bang on about HCs sexuality…………… pathetic.

        • felix

          Really? Is there an attack on Rodney’s sexuality or appearance here? Please explain.

          • bilbo

            Funny how on this site words such as EPMU or questioning HC’s sexuality will get you banned but making fun out of a policeman’s murder is fair game.

            Why don’t you go and smoke some of your dak and contribute f’all to society for another day Felix.

          • felix

            1. Not my style.
            2. No-one made fun of a policeman’s murder. If you were as smart as the average labrador you’d know Lynn was actually making fun of you and your bogus reactions.

            That was the whooshing sound you heard.

  21. SPC 21

    Look its obvious the cost will be less than the money saved later. Now just don’t ask how much the savings will be as he has no idea about that either.

  22. bobo 22

    Anyone else notice Roger Douglas move out of the background shot as Rodney started to look like a bad standup comedian choking on stage?

    Pansy Wong , Jonathan Coleman and Hide all had shockers today avoiding questions , wait till after the black budget to see some more nervous gulps.

  23. Pat 23

    Remind me again why Goff thought Twyford would be no good to stand in his own electorate?

    The left should be happy that Hide is showing himself up as a plonker who hasn’t done his homework. It shifts the power on the Supercity decisions away from ACT (the main proponents) and back to Key, who can make the changes to reflect the coming select committee submissions e.g. more Ward councillors, Maori representation etc.

    • Maynard J 23.1

      AKL Central (that’s your answer twice over – one direct reason, one a consequence).

    • lprent 23.2

      …and back to Key, who can make the changes to reflect the coming select committee submissions e.g. more Ward councillors, Maori representation etc.

      I’m getting worried about the implementation costs as well. The Royal Commission proposal had the existing cities remain almost intact as a operational structure with relatively minor shifts.

      Rodney’s one spreads them out under the Auckland council. That is a MAJOR restructure, and those cost a *lot*. What does that come out at the bottom-line – ie my rates.

      I can’t see how he is going to be able to get synergy and consolidation savings out that pay back the implementation investment in any time frame before 5+ years (if at all). There will have to be some hefty up-front costs that go straight on to my rates.

      I’d say that starting with the Royal Commission proposal going in as the base for legislation in front of the select committee for the usual tweaks would be a good start. But also shift the deadline out from this local body election to a new election in say 2011 or 2012. 2010 is just too damn close for the consideration required.

  24. DeepRed 24

    rave: “Shows whats a fucked up society we have when cops raid people for dak while Hide gets away with grand theft regional.”

    ‘Grand Theft Auckland’ has a nicely sinister ring to it.

  25. jarbury 25

    One of the main reasons the Royal Commission chose to go with the 6 local councils option was cost. In fact I think it was THE reason they chose that option over the 11 council option or the 20 odd council option (which is roughly what Rodney’s going for).

    So clearly the cost of the government’s proposal is going to be significantly more than what the Royal Commission proposed (what was their figure again?)

    Maybe the government hopes to counter-balance that by giving the local boards no power…. oh, crap. That explains a lot.

  26. toad 26

    Eddie said: May 7, 2009 at 9:15 pm
    sweet post, toad. mind if we grab it and link through to the original?

    Yep, that would be fine – sorry for delay in replying – been a busy day.

  27. jarbury 27

    It’s interesting looking at why the Royal Commission chose not to go with the 20-30 community council option.

    Let’s look at the executive summary of the Royal Commission’s report, and in particular paragraph 27:

    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.

    Now I’m gonna have a good look through that report by Taylor Duigan Barry.

    Link: http://www.royalcommission.govt.nz/rccms.nsf/0/B764F57542CB4EC1CC25758500470729?open

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    It was a privilege to visit Rātana Pā last week with fellow Greens’ Co-leader James Shaw, our Māori Caucus and senior staff to meet with the leaders of te iwi mōrehu, to strengthen the ties between the Green Party and ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    1 week ago
  • MBIE docs show country needs KiwiBuild, not Key’s pretend “building boom”
    John Key’s spin that New Zealand is in a building boom does not change the massive shortfall in building construction as new MBIE papers reveal, says Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We can fix the housing crisis, by the ...
    1 week ago
  • 1 in 7 Akl houses now going to big property speculators
    Speculators are running riot in the Auckland housing market making life tougher for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  Newly released data from Core Logic shows a 40 per cent increase in the share of house sales ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Disconnected thinking dirties the water
    Iain Rabbitts’ belief that drinking water quality, charging for water use and the land use that leads to water quality degradation should be treated separately is part of the problem we have right now in this country. The connection is ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Report back from Hands Off Our Tamariki hui
    This week I attended a hui in Otaki organised by Hands Off Our Tamariki about the proposed reforms to the Child Young Persons and their Families Act. Moana Jackson and Paora Moyle spoke.  They expressed deep, profound concern about the proposed ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour mourns passing of Helen Kelly
    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s visionless immigration policy
    National’s recent immigration announcement is a continuation of the visionless approach to government that it has displayed in the last three terms. Rather than using the levers of government to implement a sustainable immigration policy that benefits new and current ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seclusion rooms in schools
    Schools are undoubtedly stretched and underfunded to cope with students with high learning support needs. But this cannot justify the use of rooms (or cupboards) as spaces to forcibly isolate children. It has emerged via media that this practice continues ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Public should get a say on new Waikato power station
    I had an opinion piece published in the Waikato Times about a controversial proposal to build a new gas-fired power station. It’s not on their website yet, so here it is: If you think the public would get a say ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • MSD and their investment approach
    The Government talks about investment but there is no investment. It is not investment if it isn’t over the whole of life and if there is no new money  — Shamubeel Eaqub   Investment sounds like adequate resourcing but this ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Certainty needed for community services
    A couple of months ago I was at a seminar where three community organisations were presenting. Two of the three presenters were waiting to find out if their organisation would get a contract renewed with MSD. Not knowing if their ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Domestic Violence – some advice for the media
    For the purpose of this piece, I’m going to use Domestic Violence (DV) as a proxy for intimate partner violence. DV is not isolated to physical abuse in a relationship between people with the same power. DV is a pattern of ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Leroy’s New Paw Prints
    Leroy, an Auckland great dane recently received a new 3D printed bionic leg after cancer was discovered. I think this is a fantastic story and highlights the real potential of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing Leroy’s prosthetic was printed in titanium and was ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago