Govt's silence on Auckland plans unacceptable
13 September 2006
Govt's silence on Auckland plans unacceptable - Greens
The Green Party is disappointed that the Minister of Local Government Mark Burton was today unable or unwilling to confirm the Government's position on plans for an Auckland super city.
Auckland-based MP Sue Bradford says Minister responsible for Auckland issues Judith Tizard has clearly spoken out in support of the plans, yet Mr Burton was today, in response to questions in the House, unable to give any clear position on where Labour stands.
"I hope that the Mr Burton's reticence may indicate that there is little real support among Labour MPs for this wholesale attack on participatory democracy in our largest city.
"Aucklanders are being kept in the dark about what is going on with these proposals. Meetings are being held behind closed doors and the results of those discussions seem to be being kept secret.
"Even Mike Lee, who as Chairperson of the Auckland Regional Council is critically involved in this issue, was shut out of last week's meeting between the Government and four of the region's seven mayors.
"Having unelected business people making decisions at the regional level, which city councils will then have to implement, makes a mockery of the democratic process," Ms Bradford says.
"These proposals threaten the Auckland Regional Council's role of environmental protection of the region and are likely to result in increased urban sprawl and unplanned urban development.
"I really hate to think that the push to maximize business expertise and minimize political interference will raise the possibility that Aucklanders will in future have to pay for access to public parks, libraries and other council services.
"It is a myth that somehow a super city will inevitably reduce rates. In fact the massive bureaucratic restructuring and the bottomless trough of public money which will go to consultants is likely to lead to greater rather than lesser costs to ratepayers.
"I call on the Government to urgently state its position and reassure Aucklanders that it will not be supporting either the metro mayors or the One Auckland Trust proposals," Ms Bradford says.