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


Excessive Powers Granted to AK Transition Agency

Media Release
City Vision-Labour Councillors - Auckland City Council
For Immediate Release
Sunday 20 September 2009

Excessive Unnecessary Powers Granted to Auckland Transition Agency (ATA)

The National-led Government has, without notice, made a surprise decision to deprive Auckland’s eight elected Councils of their power to decide on any more than the first four months of next year’s budget and annual plan and has also told them they shouldn’t consult the public about it at all. Instead they have passed all this power over Councils’ plans, projects, rates levels and services over to their hand-picked Auckland Transition Agency (ATA) members to decide in secret without consultation from Auckland’s people or their elected Councillors.

Councillor Richard Northey said, “Government has behaved outrageously in deciding that most of what Councils would do next year will be decided instead in secret by their hand-picked agents. In the massive 1989 Auckland amalgamations, all decisions were still made transparently, democratically and consultatively by elected Councillors. They could and should continue to do so next year. The Government clearly intends the Councillors elected to the new Auckland Council to have to follow a right-wing privatising template established by their appointed cronies. I will be strongly urging the Auckland City Council to not accept this undemocratic directive and continue to recommend a full year’s annual plan after proper community consultation. Even John Banks and Citizens and Ratepayers (C&R) dominated decisions and plans that are openly arrived at are greatly to be favoured over faceless fellows’ fiats.”

Councillor Leila Boyle said, “I find it offensive that this Government has seen fit to remove planning and budget setting responsibilities from Auckland’s elected representatives that voters in 2007 expected them to carry out. We all know that when councillors are elected for each 3-year term, the previous council has set the budget and spending of rates and other income through until the end of the following June, eight months after their term has concluded. The newly elected council then begins in November to work on their own budget which starts from 1 July the following year. For the ATA to now be in charge of developing the whole region’s budgets, for the period from 1 November 2010 until 30 June 2011, could mean that important political decisions like methods for vital funding of community groups will now be done by people who are not elected by Aucklanders.”

Councillor Cathy Casey said, “It is no wonder that people throughout the Auckland region are feeling alienated. This National Government is hell-bent on supersizing Auckland without the public having any real say. Council's annual plan consulting is the cornerstone of the democratic ideal. People must be able to talk directly to their council about what they want and what they think. Hearing Annual Plan submissions is my favourite time of the council year. I love it that people take the time to come all the way from places like Great Barrier Island to voice their opinions to us. That access must not be denied to Auckland ratepayers - especially at this crucial stage in Auckland’s history.”

Councillor Graeme Easte said, “I am angry that Government has blown the promised opportunity for a new beginning by insisting that the initial agenda will be set by the same old bureaucracy. This cynically anti-democratic process will not deliver the Supercity we have been promised.”

Councillor Glenda Fryer said, “Communities expect to be consulted on Council’s annual plan because it is their property rates that provide most of the money that will be spent by the Supercity for eight months of next year. To miss out on that community consultation and the provision for members of the public to come face to face with those who make the actual decisions during the Annual Plan Hearings, will be seen at high handed and symptomatic that decisions will be made behind closed doors. It is not a good way to start out on the journey of becoming New Zealand’s preeminent city. The ATA needs to have the good faith of Aucklanders for the Supercity to work and the Government should think again and rescind this unwise decision.”

Councillor Denise Roche said, “The fears that were held by the small communities of the Hauraki Gulf about the Supercity resulting in less democracy seem to be realised. Removing the need to consult with ratepayers for an annual plan, no matter how long or short it is, flies in the face of everything that local government is supposed to stand for. When this is combined with the fact that the ATA will be in charge of developing an 8-month plan it’s clear to me that the bureaucrats will be running the show.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Yesterday’s Big Parliamentary Air Kiss To China

In order to obtain support from the two major parties, Act Party deputy leader Brooke Van Velden twice had to soften the language of her parliamentary motion yesterday condemning China’s persecution of the Uighurs. The key word “genocide” was deleted. Evidently, the kind of resolution passed by a conservative government in the UK proved to be far too tough for a centre-left Labour government and a centre-right National opposition to countenance. Yesterday, the two major parties were united in their fear of retribution from China... More>>


Public Services: Government Sets Pay And Workforce Expectations For The Public Sector

The Government’s Workforce Policy Statement issued today sets out its expectations for pay and employment relations in the Public Sector, the Minister of Finance and Minister for the Public Service say. “New Zealand has had an exceptionally successful ... More>>


Government: Budget 2021 Reprioritises Nearly $1 Billion

Hon Grant Robertson Deputy Prime Minister Minister of Finance The Government’s strong pandemic response and the better than expected economic recovery means not all the money allocated in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund has been spent, ... More>>


Ardern: Speech To China Business Summit

Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, ate marie, tena koutou katoa, good morning. I am very happy to be here with you once again at my fourth China Business Summit. ... More>>

PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>


PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>




InfoPages News Channels