Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Super city Bill flawed and undemocratic

4 September 2009
Media release

Super city Bill flawed, undemocratic and without a mandate

The Bill setting up the super city remains undemocratic and still delivers our largest city a flawed governance model, says Labour Leader Phil Goff.

“This is deeply disappointing. Labour has consistently advocated for the reform of Auckland’s governance structures and set up the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance in order to ensure Auckland’s future as an internationally competitive, dynamic, socially inclusive city and region.

“But much-needed progress has sadly been compromised by bad decisions, poor process - including a sham consultation process - and a lack of vision.

“The result is an unbalanced model which centralises power in the hands of a privileged few. It is highly unlikely to achieve the Royal Commission’s goal of increasing community engagement in Auckland’s local governance,” Phil Goff says.

“Submitters forced the Government to give local boards more significant decision-making roles. But its determination to stick to its plan to establish 20-30 boards means they will be too small to have real influence and that communities of interest such as Manukau and Waitakere will be split up and disempowered,” Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

“Significant opposition to at large councillors also forced the Government into a back down, but by encouraging large multi-member wards it has effectively re-introduced at large councillors via the backdoor. Large wards will favour those with deep pockets.

“The Government has done nothing to create a more balanced relationship between the new mayor and councillors, despite widespread concern by submitters that the mayor will have too much power,” Phil Twyford says.

“Labour is also concerned that too few councillors are proposed - which will undermine their accessibility and accountability to the public. There should be 25 councillors and there should be provision for Maori seats.

“The reform amounts to fundamental constitutional change for one third of New Zealand’s population and requires the consent of those directly affected,” Phil Goff says.

“Yet National used urgency to rush legislation through and took from Aucklanders the right to vote on the proposals in a referendum provided for under the Local Government Act (LGA). This leaves the changes without any mandate from those who will live under and pay for the new structure.

“This determination to ram through major change without proper public consultation has been further highlighted by its pre-empting of the select committee report-back over the past two weeks. Cabinet decisions have already been taken over the region’s boundaries without regard to local concerns and it has turned its back on submitters’ support of the Maori seats,” Phil Goff says.

“The Government's plan to carve off parts of Rodney and Franklin is a terrible mistake and will place the Hunua dams and some of Auckland's most precious parks outside the city limits,” Phil Twyford says.

“There is no protection against the privatisation of about $28 billion in assets which will transfer to the new Auckland Council.

“This isn’t a pie in the sky prospect. Local Government Minister Rodney Hide openly advocates privatising council assets and services and is due to present a paper to Cabinet proposing significant reform of the LGA by the end of the year.

“He wants councils reined back to the delivery of core services only. This second tier of reforms will fundamentally influence how the new Auckland council operates,” Phil Twyford says.

“Prime Minister John Key has backed Mr Hide’s mismanaged handling of the Auckland reform process, raising questions about his own leadership. Public concern will only deepen if Mr Key lets Mr Hide run riot with the LGA.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Malaysia Exposing Our Dodgy Policies On China

Last week, we all owed a vote of thanks to Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad for breaking with protocol during his bilateral meeting in Singapore with New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern. Reportedly, Mahathir used the photo opportunity phase of the meeting – which usually involves just an exchange of smiles and pleasantries before the media is sent out of the room – to launch into matters of genuine substance.

By doing so, Mahathir usefully exposed how New Zealand is trying to make a virtue out of sitting on the fence over the South China Sea dispute. More>>


Climate Change: Top Academics Call On Government To Take Action

One hundred and fifty academics and researchers from around Aotearoa, including Dame Anne Salmond, Emeriti Professors and several Fellows of the Royal Society, have signed a strongly-worded open letter to the Government demanding bold and urgent action to tackle climate change. More>>


Teacher Qualifications, Class Sizes: Ten Year Plan For Early Learning

“Moving towards 100 percent qualified teachers in early childhood education centres and improving adult:child ratios are among some of the key proposals for change put forward by the sector and experts in the new draft ten year strategic plan for early learning,” Chris Hipkins said. More>>


Teacher Strikes: Meeting, March And Rally In Wellington

Throughout the Wellington region the NZEI rolling strikes entered their final day Friday. Thousands of teachers met in Wellington, Kapiti, Porirua and the Wairarapa. More>>


14/11: Two Years’ Progress Since The Kaikoura Earthquake

Mayor John Leggett said it was a day for reflection, but also a time to recognise the work by many people to support progress towards recovery made across Marlborough since November 2016. More>>


Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little. More>>


Appointments: New High Commissioner To Australia Announced

“Dame Annette King needs no introduction given her long running career as a parliamentarian where she has previously held a number senior Cabinet portfolios, including Justice, Police and Health. She also was Parliament’s longest serving female MP with 30 years’ service,” said Mr Peters. More>>


Two Years Since Kaikoura: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>





InfoPages News Channels