Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed

Public lose interest in this council, 2016 set to be a watershed

Column by Auckland Councillor Cameron Brewer
16 April 2014

The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body.

We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed for the forthcoming 2014/15 financial year.

This year we had fewer than 2,000 written submissions from the public on our Draft Annual Plan with only a few dozen turning up to speak to their submissions. The Mayor takes this as a vote of confidence in the council, but I take a different view.

My view is that the public interest in this council is at an all-time low because Aucklanders are increasingly of the view that this term is a bit of a lost cause, a bit of a political basket case. The Mayor has hung on to his political career but has lost a lot of political capital. Whatever your view on that, this is bad for Auckland.

The place is devoid of credible leadership at a time when Auckland needs it most. Term two has long been dubbed the “doing” term, the “implementation of all the plans” term, where “the rubber hits the road”, and where this council has to make the “tough decisions”.

Whatever your politics the Mayor had a pretty good first term. Bringing a disparate region together and against the odds securing some Government commitment for funding the City Rail Link were probably the two big successes. He was able to push through his agenda, with about half the voting public and a majority of councillors consistently behind him.

The second term is very a different beast. The Mayor has lost the public and he’s no longer guaranteed the votes around the table of 20 councillors. My successful amendment in December to throw out his Living Wage proposal is proof of that.

The Super City legislation was all about giving Auckland a strong Mayor. He still has the powers but he no longer wields the influence. We saw this recently with the Prime Minister refuting outright the Mayor’s request to further fast-track the City Rail Link. In election year, political party leaders normally queue up to be seen with the Auckland Mayor but so far the photo opportunities have been few and far between.

Auckland should be in the box seat, but unfortunately we’re still bearing the brunt of many a dinner party joke up and down the country.

The reason why we’re not drumming up much public interest in the likes of our annual budget is not because people are in agreement with this council’s direction but more so the apathy reflects some hopelessness the public is feeling.

The lack of interest and coverage shows that the public and media have effectively given up on this term, with 2016 set to be a watershed election.

One thing’s for sure the third term will be just as different again with a new Mayor and many new councillors after a whole new public mandate and direction sought and secured.

In the meantime all councillors are committed to making a difference. For me it means keeping the Mayor accountable and focusing on the likes of fighting for lower rates increases and pushing for more sustainable debt levels. I will also continue to advocate for regional funding for projects in the Orakei ward area.

What’s more this term, I am picking my fights a little more strategically and not wading into everything and anything. I’m also really enjoying helping constituents with their local problems. Always happy to hear from the public via cameron.brewer@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Open Source // Open Society - Full Coverage

Gordon Campbell:
On The Reserve Bank And Auckland Housing

The ‘crisis – what crisis?’ response by the government to the Auckland housing price bubble is no longer acceptable.

So says Reserve Bank governor Grant Spencer – who used unusually frank language in his speech and subsequent interviews yesterday to call for a capital gains tax, and to generally chastise central and local government for their inaction on a threat to the country’s economic health and financial stability.

That threat has been real for some time. The housing price bubble has already created a currency bubble... Undaunted, the government keeps calling this situation a success story. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Bangladesh: GCSB Dragging NZ Into Human Rights Abuses

The New Zealand government should stop providing intelligence assistance to Bangladeshi security agencies that are known to systematically engage in human rights abuses, said the Green Party today. More>>

ALSO:

Troops Heading To Iraq: Government Must Come Clean On Deployment

New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture of secrecy and unknown protections around the deployment.” More>>

ALSO:

Image: Strikers And Protestors Join Outside McDonald's

A group of protestors took to McDonald’s Manners St today as a part of the international fast food workers day of action to end zero hour contracts. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Special Education Funds Not Spent

More than $32 million of funding for children with special needs has not been spent by the Government, despite families of children with special needs complaining for years that they’ve been denied the support they deserve. More>>

ALSO:

John Key: Pre-Budget Speech To Business NZ

So this Government will remain relentlessly focused on improving the competitiveness of our economy... We will continue to give businesses a platform to invest, grow and create jobs in the knowledge they will be backed by a clear and consistent government policy programme. More>>

ALSO:

Multimedia: Andrew Little’s Response To John Key’s Pre-Budget Address

Labour Party leader Andrew Little spoke today on John Key’s pre-budget address this afternoon in Wellington. Little said National has had seven years to achieve a surplus and Kiwis have “fufilled their end of the bargain.” More>>

Surplus Baggage: Key Backs Off ‘Artificial Target’

John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On UE Pass Rates And University Dropout Rates

Houston, there is clearly a problem with (a) the plunge in pass rates for University Entrance qualifications, which has been especially steep among Maori students and also a problem with (b) the failure rates for Maori students among those who reach university... Unfortunately the two problems seem related. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news