Mayor's Monster City Warning Too Late
Press Release 28 August 2006
Michael Williams, People’s Choice Democracy Spokesman
Mayor’s Monster City Warning Too Late
The Manukau City Mayor’s warning that “Under one large city there would be a tragic loss of democratic representation and a dangerous accumulation of power” is too late according to Peoples Choice Democracy Spokesman Michael Williams (who is also Chairman of the Botany Community Board).
“The Eastern Suburbs have already lost democratic representation to a permanent South Auckland majority in Manukau City” says Mr Williams, “What we need is to move from a three tier Regional Council, City Council &Community Board structure in Auckland to a two tier Greater Auckland Council & Borough structure to give power back to local communities”
Mr Williams and fellow Peoples Choice Community Board Chairman Ross Warren have been asked to develop a Democratic Policy Position for the Centrist Manukau Local Government Ticket Peoples Choice along these lines.
“It makes sense for one body to be responsible for roading and infrastructure throughout Auckland” says Mr Williams “It also makes sense to have one set of bylaws and one set of compliance rules for building.”
Mr Williams says that geographic boundaries are less important than communities if interest such as East Auckland.
“But we also need to ensure that local decisions are made locally which is why we need smaller, borough-like structures to provide effective democratic representation.”
Mr Williams proposes 10 to 12 boroughs of around 150,000 people across Auckland including one for Howick, Pakuranga, Botany & Clevedon.
“All local decisions should be made locally.” Says Mr Williams, “That would include decisions on Parks, Community Funding and level and type of provision of local facilities.”
“For planning, The Greater Auckland Council would set the broad parameters, for example East Auckland might be asked to plan for the development of housing for 10,000 people, and the Eastern Borough would determine the planning parameters to meet the target including selecting the area to be re-zoned.”
“We would pay a local residential rate to fund local decisions and that would lead to a greater level of accountability” says Mr Williams “We could get away from the ridiculous situation we have in Manukau City where one side of the city pays the rates and the other side of the city spends the money.”
Mr Williams says that an Auckland Act would be required to bring about such a change and that the Act will have to draw clear demarcation lines between the different bodies and says that he is encouraged by support from the two major political parties for revising Auckland’s structure.
Mr Williams proposes the name Pohutukawa Borough for the Eastern area on account of the large number of Pohutukawa trees and the coastal nature of the area.