Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, April 28th, 2009 - 43 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, democracy under attack, national/act government, polls - Tags: john key, matthew hooton, Rodney Hide
We’ve been warning that John Key faces a backlash in Auckland if he doesn’t rein in Rodney Hide and present a democratic supercity structure instead of the rort that is on the table now. We’re starting to see it.
A poll out yesterday shows only 12% of people in Key’s own electorate support his government’s proposed structure. 72% prefer the Royal Commission’s structure. 34% supported the supercity and 47% opposed it altogether.
That compares to another poll released just last week that that had 43% against the supercity and 45% for it. Opposition is growing and, as we saw with the march in Waitakere last week and the hikoi to come, it is getting organised.
Initially, the supercity was taken by Aucklanders as an inevitablity and out of their hands (the government is spending big bucks on PR to keep them thinking that way) but as people wake up to the consequences of the Government’s version of the supercity they are turning against it.
Will Key do what’s necessary both for democracy and his government’s popularity: come up with a fair structure for the supercity and then take it to the people of Auckland to have the final say in a referendum? You’d hope so, but I can’t see it happening – Key is too weak to control Hide and, anyway, the Government’s goal is to install a unitary pro-business council over all of Auckland. Making the structure more democratic would defeat the purpose.
But Key’s also a pragmatist, and a pragmatist will only take so much damage before flip-flopping. The challenge for the Left now is to turn up the heat. How can we force Key into giving Aucklanders a democratic supercity and the right to have their say over whether it goes ahead?
[PS. It was amusing to hear rightwing nutjob and spin doctor Matthew Hooton on National Radio yesterday crediting “thestandard.co.nz” with starting the ball rolling on the referendum campaign. Cheers, Matthew, but No Right Turn and Gordon Campbell got in first. Also amusing to hear Hooton say “the political left is making a mistake if they think there is widespread Auckland opposition to the supercity”. Bugger the pollsters, eh?]