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So much for accountable government

Written By: - Date published: 9:13 am, April 17th, 2009 - 11 comments
Categories: national/act government - Tags:

Five months in office and ministers are already so aloof and out of touch that you can read things like this in the media almost without raising an eyebrow:

The Government says it will listen to the wide range of concerns about its plans for a Super City in Auckland but whether it takes any notice is another matter. *

They’re just pushing through their agenda, paying lip service to democracy.

There is a pattern, hard to tell if it’s a strategy or just incompetence, of putting up vague plans (take Sharples’ Maori prison unit – will you have to be Maori? will you have to speak Maori? will it be additional to a prison sentence or instead of? Depends which day you ask Sharples). Then they slam their laws through quickly without listening to any objections. It’s not about good government, it’s about getting an ideology in place.

Already experienced policy advisors are privately complaining that, while under Labour they were expected to look at the evidence and develop policy options for the government to choose from, under National they are expected to find evidence to justify ministers’ latest PR stunts.

Is this the government that John Key promised would bring in a new age of accountability?

11 comments on “So much for accountable government ”

  1. Tigger 1

    Effectively, National has become the undemocratic oppressors they accused Labour of being. I was disappointed when Labour pushed poorly drafted legislation through in haste. National had a point when they whined about laws being enacted too quickly. But NACT is now doing the same thing. It’s Orwellian nonsense.

    • Rex Widerstrom 1.1

      That’s it in a nutshell. They have quickly become what they claimed to despise. So quickly, in fact, that one can only conclude their protests were motivated not by principle but by expediency.

      When The Standard and Whaleoil are agreeing on Worth and ordinary Labour Party members bewailing the prospect of Judith Tizard sliding her buttocks back onto green leather, it’s hard not to feel that the two major parties have abandoned principle to such an extent that they’re sliding into irrelevance.

      I’ll start chilling the champagne…

  2. the sprout 2

    and how’s this line from Banks for revealing just what a bullying meglomaniac the guy is:

    “In what was almost a parrot of Mr Hide, Mr Banks, who wants to be the first mayor, said those opposed to the Super City were at risk of being trampled by the Government.”


    Christ can you imagine what he’d be like as Lord Mayor Sir John Banks? Rule by threat and intimidation. Great.

  3. BLiP 3

    Yep. Its the Daddy State in operation, alright.

  4. Tigger 4

    By the way Rodney, I’m billing you personally for any increase in my Auckland City rates bill as a result of this stupid idea you’re ramming through.

    • Macro 4.1

      I’m just going to get out of Auckland as fast as I can! The whole thing is a buggers muddle! If NACT think they are going to win the hearts and minds of 1.3 m people with this they are sadly mistaken.

  5. the sprout 5

    Increases in admin costs will be unavoidable if we’re talking about 30 local boards meeting in 30 different localities – which would be necessary unless they think Manukau and Waitakere representatives should have their ‘local’ representation in Queen St.

  6. Paul Robeson 6

    yep, back to disorganised incompetent government, being pulled in six different directions by different competing factions. Like we had for most of my life. Only there isn’t an alliance mp propping them up to underline it.

    how can the country be buying this *despair*

  7. SPC 7

    A disfunctional Area Health Board can be replaced. So would it not be more efficient if the government appointed an MP, Minister/Mayor of Auckland to run the City Council – anyone but Banks asap (on this surely there is consensus). This Mayor could select his/her own councillors and they could arrange the dispersement of council assets and privatise service delivery (barring conning the voter this is what they wanted when they elect their Mayor and Council what would the difference be in practice – and it would certainly save time). This would allow Labour to win the 2011 election and fix up the rest of country – which should show once again that we can progress (without an overheated Auckland property market) on the farmers back as per usual.

    One thing I am wondering about is the different levels of debt per ratepayer in the 6 current council areas and the varying levels of rates charged. Whose greater debt is being offloaded on the others and whose rates will be going up when one rates bill is charged to them all?

    On the issue, I tend to agree with McShane that the time and effort and cost of the Super City is not worth it – the focus should have been on making gains which can be made in adopting more efficient regional service delivery models for the 6 councils (this does not require privatisation).

    A Super City just results in dominant factions spending money in favoured areas – to the neglect of others, or if they are all to be kept happy a rising rates bill. It’s just not going to achieve what they want without government subsidy (economic loss to the competitive economy) of the transition cost and ongoing subsidy of the Auckland Councils spending.

  8. dave 8

    yes its a pity that National has been influenced by Labour being in Govt for so long – and has to waste so much time fixing up mess Labour created.

    Its a pity The Standard did not criticise Labour for the Electoral Finance Act to even half the extent it is criticising this current Govt for the Auckland City mess.

    It’s also a pity that Rodney Hide is local govt minister -but that was always National plan.

    Had Labour made this Auckland decision in this way it is a pity The Standard would have said nothing about accountable Government, or a Government that is out of touch with ordinary people.

    • lprent 8.1

      Want a bet.

      Firstly I agreed with the principles of the EFA and still do. For that matter so in general do the National party in the question of transparency of donations. They’re planning on reviewing the 1993 act and replacing it.

      Secondly Labour are unlikely to make as stupid a decision as Rodney Hide and John Key have.

      Thirdly if they did proceed with a stupid procedure like this then I’d have been chewing their arse as hard as I will with that dickhead Rodney Hide.

      If you’d take your blinders off for a few minutes and actually read some of the posts here, you’ll find ones that are critical of labour and the greens. But we often have input into their policy making and will usually try to get input before it goes to the stupid level.

      In this case Rodney Hide is acting like a bozo and making up stupidities without even bothering to listen to anyone. I’d say that he deserves everything he gets – don’t you? if not then why not?

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