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Aucklander’s should have right to decide

Dr Wayne Mapp
National Party Auckland Issues Spokesman

13 December 2006

Aucklander’s should have right to decide

Aucklander’s should be able to decide on what shape their local government takes, says National’s Auckland Issues spokesman, Dr Wayne Mapp.

Dr Mapp is commenting on the proposal to strengthen Auckland’s regional governance, being considered by all of Auckland’s Councils.

“Auckander’s are running the risk of local authorities going with the options that suit them, without the people having a democratic choice on what the city needs.

“Already there is evidence of cherry picking. The Auckland Regional Council (ARC) has given qualified support, but wants changes that suit it. Other councils are likely to have the same approach.”

Dr Mapp says while the proposed changes will make some improvement, they are only incremental.

“Auckland will have just as much local bureaucracy as ever. There will still be seven district plans, eight different rating systems, and overlapping jurisdiction.

“The complexity of Auckland local government is exactly what caused the stadium fiasco. Auckland City wanted a stadium built on Ports of Auckland land, ultimately owned by the ARC. The ARC preferred the Eden Park upgrade but hasn’t given any financial commitments.

“Many members of the public have been looking for deeper reform options. These include a single city with strong community boards, or a simplified system of cities with stronger regional governance.

“A more independent review is necessary, that will also give an opportunity for the people of Auckland to choose their preferred system of local government

“This was how MMP was introduced; with a royal commission followed by a referendum. Members of Parliament did not decide on their own electoral system.

National Leader John Key has proposed a Bill that would provide for an independent review and allow a referendum on reform choices.

“It’s time Auckland has a world-class local government structure that works,” Dr Mapp.


ENDS

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