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Those pesky boundaries for Auckland

Written By: - Date published: 3:23 pm, September 12th, 2009 - 31 comments
Categories: act, auckland supercity, local government, national/act government - Tags:

There are a couple of things that I hadn’t realised about the rather strange changes to the Auckland super-city boundaries. They are just weird and show a strange idea of what Auckland.

About 50% of Auckland’s water comes from the Hunua’s. Surely the provision of fresh water is a “core service” of local bodies. Sure it may be run by a monopoly body like Watercare, but it is owned, controlled and run as part of the Auckland local bodies services. Now this is rather strange. The select committee’s plans are that these core services become part of the Waikato and regulated by that council.

What the hell? All it would take is a change to the district plan in Waikato and Auckland has to get all of the water from drinking the sewage of Hamilton from the pipeline to the Waikato river. There must be a rationale for this separation, which also leaves major regional parks as well as the dams outside of Auckland’s control.

Looking back to a Herald report from when the Royal Commission report was released.

In its report, the commission accepted the validity of Kaiaua residents’ submissions that the Hunua Ranges separated them from Auckland and they looked to the south for shopping and education.

So this dramatic change to the control of water for Auckland has been done because of shopping? It seems to me that these comments reflect my puzzlement.

ARC parks and heritage committee chairwoman Sandra Coney said yesterday there was no logic to severing part of Auckland’s essential water infrastructure and passing the ARC’s experience managing regional parks to a council with no experience.

“It’s a completely unnecessary complication,” she said.

“It just looks like a line was drawn on a map without realising the complications it would cause.”

Sandra Coney said Aucklanders’ investment and recreational use of the water catchment and regional park facilities in the Hunua Ranges outweighed community of interest arguments from Kaiaua residents.

Well this appears to be one of the very few times that the select committee actually listened to submissions – sort of. It looks like they changed it from the Waikato owning these assets to:-

It also proposed the northern and southern edges of the current Auckland region be lopped off, though current regional assets in these areas such as regional parks and the Hunua Dam would still be owned by the new Auckland Council.

And Rodney Hide is predicably:-

Local Government Minister Rodney Hide says he’s comfortable with proposed changes to the new Auckland super council.

What the hell? It doesn’t make any difference. Aucklanders are not going to be in control of their water. I’m not comfortable with that, I can’t think of an Aucklander who would be.

This looks like a screw-up on the political side. Rodney made so many changes to the Royal Commission’s reccomendations that the select committee was loath to change another. But what else do you expect – screwups happen whenever Act and the professional screwup Rodney Hide get involved in anything.

31 comments on “Those pesky boundaries for Auckland”

  1. Ianmac 1

    It puts me in mind the rather larger example of Partition. Without consultation India was divided on an arbitary line drawn on a map and India and Parkistan, and Kashmir were created. The problems after more than 60 years still echo. Auckland may not be on that scale but the principle or lack of it seems strange to a non-Aucklander.

  2. burt 2

    Caption contest: My plants are this high.

  3. Noko 3

    Not without the water from the catchment area they aren’t.

  4. Irascible 4

    A demonstration of the lack of thought,planning and constructive import permitted in a policy decided on behind the closed doors of the self-interested and those with dictatorial tendencies.
    I have no doubt that we will see even more of these poorly considered actions as Rodney & his mates John & John continue on their stasi nanny state way over the next two and a bit years.

  5. Akldnut 5

    Caption contest:From this day on this will be the ACT party salute (as well as all Aucklanders) to its leader, delivered with a gutteral Zeig Heil!

  6. NickS 6

    Brilliant choice of a picture, though it does Godwin this blog post…

    And yeah, why the hell would it be smart to remove Auckland’s main water source from Council jurisdiction, since it can create resource consent and management issues? That is unless the Wretched Hide is planning to have the council owned water company flogged off…

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      We know he’s planning that. It’s a general part of ACTs policy to sell of everything that the people own so that they have to pay and pay and pay.

    • Macro 6.2

      “That is unless the Wretched Hide is planning to have the council owned water company flogged off ”
      You better believe it!! Why else would you do such a foolhardy thing?
      Thank god I’m moving out of Auckland is all I can say. As for the cost of this stupidity expect rates to go up by up to 48% in some areas, (according to the Rodney Times) Especially in the new Kaipara where land values will affect ratings for many farms now in Rodney. Different rating system – different rates. Most farmers are NOT happy. And this is a solid National area. (Lockward and John.) Hopefully it will come back to bite them.

      Capthca “enemys” – that thing is unreal!

    • lprent 6.3

      Just happened to be the most recent photo I’ve seen of Rodney. It was on a caption contest at Red Alert. Easier than hunting for one.

      It is hard to find one where he isn’t doing something daft. I’ve seen ones as some kind of dwarf, waving a rifle around, looking like some kind of seal, obviously cooked under sunlamp, looking like a penguin imitation, etc etc

      Besides I don’t want to waste time on him. I dislike him almost as much as camera’s do. I tend to pick the last picture I remember a location for.

      • NickS 6.3.1

        Heh, yeah Hide’s never been known to be particularly photogenic…

      • Tim Ellis 6.3.2

        In that case LP you approve of images of Ms Clark that may be very unflattering?

        What is it about you, LP, that sees you justify personal gutter attacks like this against your political opponents’ appearance, yet you come up with howls of indignation when your opponents stoop to the same tactics?

        I hope you’ve been able to find an outlet for your anger at the conference.

        • lprent

          TE: Point to such a outburst by me. You will not find one. I don’t like it, but it is what politicians have to live with.

          But such a long way of saying that I’m lying. I don’t bother. I have to conclude you are spinning your usual line of crap. Faux outrage trying to define the grounds of debate that are on your terms. So pious, such a pompous dick. That is why you are widely viewed as just being a yet another PR mouthpiece for National. Not even a particularly good one.

          • Tim Ellis

            LP, perhaps I came across a bit strong. I said you were justifying personal attacks against politician’s appearance. In fact you weren’t justifying such attacks, but you were definitely engaging in them when you said:

            I’ve seen ones as some kind of dwarf, waving a rifle around, looking like some kind of seal, obviously cooked under sunlamp, looking like a penguin imitation, etc etc

            Besides I don’t want to waste time on him. I dislike him almost as much as camera’s do. I tend to pick the last picture I remember a location for.

            I don’t think you’re lying. I just think there’s a disconnect between your outrage at gutter tactics against your political friends, and you engaging in such attacks against your enemies as above against Mr Hide. If you interpreted my comment as saying you were lying, that was not my intention. I was commenting that your attacks on Mr Hide’s personal appearance are hypocritical.

            • lprent

              I didn’t. Someone asked why I’d used that particular picture. I’ve googled for pictures of Rodney before, those were the ones I’ve seen (although the seal one was on the back of a bus).

              Have a look at this search. If I’d wanted to godwin Hide, there are better ones – eg this, this, and this.

              So I tend to just take the most recent image that I’ve seen. The reason why he is on the post is because he is the minister of local government and directly responsible for this abortion of a

            • Tim Ellis

              You’re behaving very tribally LP. When you say: “I dislike him almost as much as cameras do”, then that is a personal attack on Mr Hide’s appearance. When you refer to pictures of him that apparently make him look like a penguin, “some kind of dwarf”, “obviously cooked under sunlamp” and “some kind of seal”, those are your characterisations of the images of Mr Hide.

              Yet you have objected to others who describe Ms Clark’s appearance in negative terms, and as Burt says even banned them as trolls.

      • burt 6.3.3

        Pondering the times when comments about Helen Clark’s appearance were valid reason for banning ‘trolls’.

  7. rolla_fxgt 7

    I’m not an aucklander, I’m from the deep south, but to me its not a big issue. Obviously Auckland is lacking from having large amounts of cheaply accessible drinking water within its geographical boundaries/watershed, in the past they have had the area of these ranges to store and access water from, but it was an anomaly in terms of geography.
    I can’t see how its going to hinder Auckland to have its drinking water dams outside the new boundary, its not like their water is going to be cut off overnight or even any time in the near future. It may even encourage Auckland to look at alternative sources of drinking water to diversify supply.
    Also on the regional park issue, its not like Aucklanders are going to be banned from them or asked for their passport at the border, so really a non issue for most people. If the boundaries make better geographical and community sense, then isn’t it sensible and right to change them?

    • Macro 7.1

      “I can’t see how its going to hinder Auckland to have its drinking water dams outside the new boundary, its not like their water is going to be cut off overnight or even any time in the near future. It may even encourage Auckland to look at alternative sources of drinking water to diversify supply.”

      You obviously have very little history and forget the drought of 1994.

      • Tigger 7.1.1

        Water Inc, coming to a local council near you… This might feel like an Auckland issue but that’s just where Rodney is going to start.

      • sweetd 7.1.2

        The ’94 drought wasn’t caused by a reorganization of the Auckland area. And, the good thing to come from the drought was the tunnel from the waikato river to the auckland water supply.

      • rolla_fxgt 7.1.3

        No I remember the Auckland drought, and that’s why I suggested that the moving of the water supply outside the new Auckland boundary could be a good thing as it might act as an incentive to diversifying Auckland’s drinking water supply. Which can only be a good thing right? Especially if desalination (expensive) is a possible option, or sourcing water from north of Auckland. Anything has to be better than the pipe for water from the Waikato river (which is outside the Auckland boundary anyway), so what’s the big deal now?

        • NickS

          …Excepting of course that useful alternative water sources may not be economically viable, or can only be gained by further damming valleys in protected areas.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    According to Google Earth, Kaiaua isn’t in the Auckland region anyway. It’s already in the Waikato so why is their shopping so important?

  9. Mac1 9

    Waikato folk are right to look south for education. Nelson, Friday night?

    Bloody All Blacks should do the same.

    Gripe “Robbie Deans” Mutter “Ma’a Nonu” Moan “Thank God, it’s a National gummint.”

  10. infused 10

    At the end of the day though, it’s Auckland… do we really care? 🙂

  11. Mac1 11

    Edit:It was Blenheim, Friday night where we educated Waikato.

    Tonight,on Saturday night, a lot of NZ, especially SW of Wellington, (except for the under-educated Undies), were more interested in the All Blacks than the provenance of Auckland’s water.

    But , Infused, we do have to remember the old wisdom….”First they came for Auckland, and we did nothing. Then they came for us”. So we should care, shouldn’t we?

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