Transition Agency knocked back

Written By: - Date published: 2:13 pm, May 18th, 2009 - 23 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, democracy under attack - Tags:

Stuff is reporting that cabinet has failed to approve the make up of the Auckland Supercity transition agency.

In case you’re out of the loop, that’s the unlected oligarchy that will now effectively govern Auckland without any democratic accountability, running roughshod over the results of the 2007 local body elections.

The prediction had been that Rodney Hide would attempt to stack the board with his cronies from the Auckland business elite. The failure to get cabinet approval suggests Key and his advisers have clicked to the political fallout this would cause and have slammed on the brakes.

What this shows us is that all the noise from the Left is putting real pressure on the Government. Stand by for the announcment of a revised board in a day or two, featuring some identity politics window dressing (a brown face, maybe a woman) but essentially the same right-wing political bias.

UPDATE: In the comments andy points us to this from last week’s NBR:

Mark Ford, who has run utility businesses for the Auckland region since the early 1990s, has been shoulder-tapped as the chairman to drive the super city council through its transitional phase.

[snip]

NBR understands one is John Waller, a former insolvency expert at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He is now chairman of Bank of New Zealand, chairman of the Eden Park Redevelopment Board and recently became a Fonterra director.

Two others are Rich Lister Chris Mace and Wayne Walden, both of whom have extensive business interests.

I can see why Key flinched.

23 comments on “Transition Agency knocked back”

  1. Pascal's bookie 1

    Leaked photo’s of the cabinet meeting available here.

    • Ron 1.1

      That’s actually funny. I laughed.
      I’m also shocked. Appalling waste of tax payers money as politicians sit in darkened rooms behind closed doors arguing and being indecisive about appointments. How long is this going to go on for? Who’s heads should roll? How many public servants are being tied up waiting for a decision. How much did the tea and bickies cost?

  2. gobsmacked 2

    It’s a Cabinet filibuster!

  3. I think it’s already too late for this misguided ramming through of laws usurping democracy. Granted, most kiwis don’t give a rat’s arse about democracy until the bulldozer parks in front of THEIR house….but enough people seem to get it that a 3% to 4% slide in support for NACTional in 2011 may well be on the cards.

  4. toad 4

    Maybe they tried to put Rankin on it too. Or perhaps bring back Peter Doone for the job!

    • serpico 4.1

      Peter Doone was good old school, but Aunty Helen hated him. Talk about a knock back for my frontline colleagues.

      • Margaret 4.1.1

        Serpico, I dissagree with you, I dont hink Helen hated anyone, some people she had a dislike for, but that is different from hating.

  5. the sprout 5

    that is heartening

  6. Kaplan 6

    So glad they rushed this through under urgency…

  7. Jum 7

    People Key never imagined would turn against him in the bluest of seats are now doing so.

    He and Hide never explained to these people what the first bill actually destroyed of their democratic rights, but now they’re spitting mad.

    They have worked out for themselves that they have been betrayed. It’s hard for me not to say “I told you so” as I pat them gently on the arm and suggest they write to government and tell government where to stick their NAct supercity for rich scavengers, vultures and hyenas – nicely of course.

    A woman on the board – great for community balance and broad-based thinking. But, if it’s Diane Foreman, Ruth Richardson, Jenni McManus? or Christine Rankin, I’ll be joining the attack. There is nothing remotely empathetic or visionary about any of them in my personal view. We need women who can think and act creatively, technically and with empathy. On the other side you get Rodney Hide, with the ‘I will not be stopped’ jaw.

    However, these attacks on the women in the NActional party – are they perceived to be the weaker targets? Or, are the media gun shy of Gerry and co. These guys are far worse in what they are perpetrating at our expense. Picking on the women for very unpolitical reasons allows the men to bully through bad legislation under the radar. No doubt another nasty little gameplay by Key, no doubt intending to get rid of them asap, as political excess baggages.

    • Anita 7.1

      I’m curious, which women in the “NActional party” do you think are being attacked? While I agree that the attacks themselves are gendered, I haven’t noticed disproportionately more attacks on women.

    • Margaret 7.2

      Oh Jum what passion!

  8. Philonz 8

    I guess it’s too much to wish for that NACT take a bi-partisan approach to the appointments. They complain bitterly about Labour’s politicising of electoral reform and now they are quite happily doing the same to Local government. The voters of Auckland need to be the ones who decide what happens to their city.

  9. andy 9

    Mark Ford, who has run utility businesses for the Auckland region since the early 1990s, has been shoulder-tapped as the chairman to drive the super city council through its transitional phase.

    [snip]

    NBR understands one is John Waller, a former insolvency expert at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He is now chairman of Bank of New Zealand, chairman of the Eden Park Redevelopment Board and recently became a Fonterra director.

    Two others are Rich Lister Chris Mace and Wayne Walden, both of whom have extensive business interests.

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/watercare-ceo-tipped-lead-auckland-super-city-transition-102268

    Looks like they are testing the waters after the wreckage of the Rankin announcement.

  10. The Voice of Reason 10

    Nice call on a bipartisan approach, Philonz. Does anyone have Judith Tizard’s number?

    • Philonz 10.1

      I just snorted tea out of my nose. A comment worthy of a Tui billboard. Bravo.

  11. andy 11

    RNZ is also reporting (5pm today) of rumours of these possibilities for transition agency:

    Mark Ford
    John Waller
    Wayne Walden

  12. wtl 12

    Does anyone think it might be possible that some of the candidates rejected the position? The rushed reorganisation of Auckland might be a hot potato which no one wants to touch.

  13. Tom Semmens 13

    National – or more to the point, ACT – have completely misread the Auckland public on this issue. They’ve proceeded on the arrogant assumption that because not many vote no one would care enough to read the details of their blitzkrieg. But lack of voting only indicates complacency, not necessarily a lack of interest in local governance. Everyone I know, even students, read the free local give aways scaning them and the Herald for building or zoning notices and for changes in services and the like.

    People ARE interested in local government. ACT is a party of kleptocrats and plutocracts, whose downfall is always an arrogant and reflexive contempt of democracy and the ordinary, hard working voter.

    The ACT gerrymandered oligarchy will be a slow burning disaster for National in Auckland. A constant drip-drip-drip of negative stories of how an unelected dictatorship is cancelling community funding for all sorts of worthy projects will fill the local papers regularly until the next election.

    Aucklanders will remember at the next general election that National let ACT create this dictatorship.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 13.1

      It amazes me how little understanding of local government has been demonstrated throughout the entire process. Whether its a romantic notion or not people love the idea of belonging to a community, having common interests with their neighbours having a particular identification with a locality- sort of like an extension to your identity. They also value their community assets- parks, playgrounds (where we spend most of time when our children are young), libraries, sporting clubs, swimming pools even our public spaces.
      What has been completely missed in this process is that these things more than strategic assets, to be sold or managed as a business.
      To strip away our local identity and give control of these assets to a group of faceless unseens (whatever their political persuasian), strikes at the self identity of Aucklanders.
      Maybe if they got out and talked to some people outside Remeura and Parnell, the coming anger might be understood.
      PS they might also want to talk to their local Auckland MPs about how this is being received. I don’t think messers Bennett, Collins, Carter, Smith and Key are going to enjoy visiting their electorates for the next 3 years.

  14. gobsmacked 14

    Wayne Walden (one of the nominees mentioned) is the former chairman of Tranz Rail.

    Perhaps Key didn’t want people to be reminded of that company’s existence, given his past performance talking about his share dealings (what Audrey Young memorably called his “Tranz Rail eyes”).

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