Sunday, April 5, 2009

Auckland: Too big to be one??

I'm beginning to have second thoughts over the Auckland SuperCity.
Isn't one aim of local government to be local, so you are connected with your council and your councillors.
Won't a single body representing a city-state of over a million people just be a little too distant for ordinary folk?
Now, the review of local government was done with the best of intentions, with the added bonus of cash savings.
It also notes how local government minister Rodney Hide is considering ratecapping to stop bills getting too high.
Hide will certainly have his hands full in dealing with the Auckland monster, and it seems we have created a monster , or rather 'a dog' with Auckland, one to apologise for.
But hidden at the bottom of the articles is evidence of where Auckland went wrong in recent years.
And this is where Liarbour can take blame for problems National has inherited.
Local government was given more work to do, as well as powers of competency to do other things.
It meant a fair bit of empire building and staff numbers and their salaries rocketed.
I am increasingly open minded as to what is best for the future of Auckland.
But I do believe that any reform of local government needs to consider what we actually need local government for. Should some services be privatised? Devolved to community level, or even be taken up by Wellington?
What do you think?
Crossposted over at The Fairfacts Media Show


Anonymous said...

I think the solution is simple - we need an Auckland corporation, not a council. A corporate, ruled by a truly executive mayor, bascially a CEO.

* Elected by stakeholders: residential property owners get 1 vote for every million of housing values. (Yep, less than 1 Mil, you don't get to vote - don't like it, piss of to fucking Hamilton). Companies get 1 voter per 1 Million of turnover.

* All taxes, fines, fees, chages, rates, and any other income are directed to the Auckland corporate. The Auckland corporate needs the right to set tax levels etc for its companies and residents.
The auckland corporate has general competency, and indeed responsibility for all functions of government excluding defense and foreign affairs.

* Auckland corporate should also get say 30% of tax receipts paid by the rest of the country (aka Wellington) to recognize the importance of Auckland to the economy of the rest of NZ.

* The Auckland corporation can negotiate with Wellington for any services it wishes to purchase.
Or, if e.g. it doesn't want to provide welfare, or have it's own police, it can do that to. End of story.

Simple government. Lower taxes. More efficient. More direct.

Basically: full devolution to an Auckland corporation.

Baxter said...

As outlined,it seems the creation of a giant hierarchy 23 councilors far too many.Instead elect a Lord Mayor who hires his own small board within his bulk fund. Instead of six sub councils have each district elect a local honorary Mayor (no-one else) for official functions and to make representations to the Lord Mayor and Board.