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Friday, February 26

Taking the “Local” out of Local Government


The Auckland Transition Agency (ATA) is taking the “local” out of local government, the Green Party said today.

Today the ATA released a discussion document about local boards, but with no detail about their roles and responsibilities

"Given the powers vested in the mayor and council, it is critical that second tier local boards have real power and sufficient resources to provide balance,” said Green MP David Clendon.

"All we have heard today are abstract, 'in principle' statements, with far too little substance. This is totally unacceptable only months before nominations will open for the boards.

“During submissions on the second Super City Bill, submitters were told that the powers of local boards would be spelt out in the third.

“We are now told that at best this information will not emerge until May, only weeks before nominations open for aspiring candidates.

“Rodney Hide’s failure to fulfil this promise has been a major source of anger of submitters on the third bill,” said Mr Clendon.

“We have heard that the powerful new Council Controlled Organisations 'may' consult with boards; 'may invite' input from boards, which gives us no reassurance that local voices will be heard when major infrastructure, economic and social decisions are being made.

“Perhaps the prefix ‘local’ should be dropped from Mr Hide’s ministerial warrant.”

"The presentation today is a continuation of a process that has been rushed. It’s not democratic. It can’t deliver good law and it’s not honest politics,” said Mr Clendon.