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Serious concerns remain over Auckland SuperCity

4 September 2009

Serious concerns remain over Auckland SuperCity

The SuperCity model proposed in the Local Government (Auckland Council) bill remains deeply flawed, said the Green Party today.

“While some improvements have been made in increasing the powers and functions of local boards, a significant power imbalance remains between the all powerful Auckland SuperCity and the tiny four to nine-member local boards,” Green Party Auckland Issues Spokesperson Sue Bradford said.

“We are totally opposed to the lack of separate Maori seats, the excessive powers of the Mayor, and the government’s refusal to allow STV elections,” Ms Bradford said.

“Local government works best when it is genuinely local,” Green Party Local Government Spokesperson Sue Kedgley said.

“But the Auckland Council will be so huge and powerful it will effectively be a form of state government, not local government.

“Unfortunately the local boards - without any staff of their own and with only four to nine elected representatives – won’t be able to effectively counterbalance the power of the Auckland Council, one of New Zealand’s largest organisations, with up to 6000 staff and controlling $28 billion worth of assets,” Ms Kedgley said.

Ms Bradford said the lack of provision for Maori representation on the new Council was disgraceful, and an abrogation of our obligations under the Treaty.

“The absence of Maori representation means it is even more important that the voting system used is STV, for both the Mayor and Councillors. Under first past the post we could end up with a Mayor who has been voted in by less than a quarter of the city’s population,” Ms Kedgley said.

“We are also opposed to the excessive executive powers of the Mayor,” Ms Kedgley said.

“If unchecked we could end up with a Mayor who is a sort of Czar of Auckland.”

Link to the Green Party minority view:

http://www.greens.org.nz/submissions/local-government-auckland-council-bill-green-party-minority-view

ENDS

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