Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Still not all that Super?

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  • Islander,

    Got it Sofie- CrosbyTextor slimey grooves & spins & "Tee hee, let's pull this electoral tit *now*" is all over what was pre-election, is now, and ever shall be - until actual thinking voters wake up and say, "Hey, waidda bit..."

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Arbury,

    Christopher, it would seem as though the history of rather difficult relations between ARC and ARTA would back that up. In theory, the ARC has a lot more control over ARTA than it seems Auckland Council will have over Auckland Transport (although that disparity is reduced by the select committee changes)... so I imagine it'll be a pretty big challenge for Auckland Council to control such a big and powerful CCO.

    I get the feeling that it'll take council firing a few directors who don't do what the council wants for the message to get through about who's actually in charge.

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 237 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    It's great we're getting passionate, because this stuff matters more than most people seem to realise so far. I am heartened by Joshua's comments because I respect his thorough and consistent engagement with this.

    I agree with Graeme that the Royal Commission's recommendations were not all golden - most notably the tension an Auckland Minister would have introduced at the Cabinet table.

    However their proposal of six strong second-tier councils to balance a regional focus from the top was well-reasoned. They also proposed more effective community engagement than has ever been offered by community boards.

    All this was based on actual evidence about what has worked elsewhere, rather than tired ideology that hasn't - in places like Colorado and California. That's the main difference. Watch for Hide and co's next moves on local government nationwide. And don't think the Nats aren't supportive - he's just a convenient fall guy.

    That Press op-ed is great, thank you Philip.

    And Sofie, there's no transition agency for the area north of Rodney. Yet.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Can ya tell my laptop is right up the shit? Still, the bling is forever popular eh? Hell, Nzers like to say " oo he's got a nice car.I wouldn't mind me some of that, and as stated tonight, I wonder how big his dick is?"
    So, genuine, what would one ask JK if given the opportunity?

    I get the feeling that it'll take council firing a few directors who don't do what the council wants for the message to get through about who's actually in charge.

    That's optimistic. If Nat stays in, there wont be an op to complain. As we see now, don't like it? change the law.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Bullshit, Russell -- sounds more like a ridiculous level of central government paranoia that shouldn't have been indulged,

    It's not bullshit, Craig. It's my opinion.

    And I hardly think it's going out on a limb to suppose that the leader of the Act Party might envision a privatisation path in his pet local government bill.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    And Sofie, there's no transition agency for the area north of Rodney. Yet.

    Ok, yet, is what I thought and still think is strange. I'm talking far north people doing far north stuff. The sheer mention pricked my ears.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Arbury,

    It's great we're getting passionate, because this stuff matters more than most people seem to realise so far. I am heartened by Joshua's comments because I respect his thorough and consistent engagement with this.

    I'm still quite skeptical of the whole Transport CCO idea, not because it won't have any advantages (having the same agency putting in bus lanes and using them will probably mean we might finally see some further extension of our bus lanes network, for example) but because there is a fundamental problem with splitting off transport "stuff" from the other "stuff" that councils do.

    In my opinion, many of the problems that Auckland faces at the moment are the result of a mismatch between our land-use planning and our transport planning - for example why the heck are we planning to put 40,000 people out in Flat Bush when there's no railway line, busway or motorway within cooee?

    Splitting planning off from transport, as the local government reorganisation does, has the potential to only make this situation worse. Instead of planners within council going "oh I'll just got have a chat with transport down the hallway about this", that will be a whole separate agency. With different plans. With different priorities and so forth. So expect the misalignment between planning and transport to continue, or more likely, worsen.

    Another good example of how the split is problematic is if you look at perhaps one of the best initiatives in Auckland in recent years - shared spaces, which create high quality pedestrian oriented environments within some central Auckland streets. This will be rolled out over the next year or so. But my question is - who the heck would do "shared streets" under the new syste,? A council might want to - to improve pedestrian quality - but they won't have the powers to. Auckland Transport probably won't give a damn because all their senior management positions are likely to be filled with road engineers...... so we won't see that kind of integrated project happen. Which would be a damn shame.

    So overall, while the select committee changes make the bill "less bad" in terms of CCOs in particular (I haven't looked at the rest of it in too much detail, though the Spatial Planning part is quite interesting) I still think it's a fundamentally bad decision to split up planning and transport.

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 237 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And I hardly think it's going out on a limb to suppose that the leader of the Act Party might envision a privatisation path in his pet local government bill.

    It's also not going out on a limb to say, as I did last Sunday, that the whole process has been a self-inflicted farce but it might just have more to do with some pretty dysfunctional relationships between central and local government that are as obvious as Lady Gaga's VPL. I'd also not be naive enough to presume anyone with a vested interest in the status quo would willingly surrender power and influence, so you might as well have that fight all the way out in the open.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Thank you Philip.

    There seems to be a right wing (following a fascist policy) lobby in the Nats.
    Brownlee, Carter, Hide (if he doesn't go Blue at the end of the election he's lost), & Smith.

    Te Heuheu, just seems to have no policy at all, beyond rewards for attending the Jobs summit.

    Wilkinson was honestly stunned at that trampers were against mining in National Parks. Not sure if they crocodile tears myself. Can you be so insular?

    Collins is following the lead of Labour, I'm waiting for a tour of Gitmo for best practice to be implimented in NZ.
    But someone has had influence on her. The three tier shooting policy is dead.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    It's also not going out on a limb to say, as I did last Sunday, that the whole process has been a self-inflicted farce but it might just have more to do with some pretty dysfunctional relationships between central and local government

    All that -- but it's hard to see how you'd write a bill that so comprehensively removed those services from the public sphere unless that's how you wanted it to be. I'm relieved that the select committee has wiped that away.

    Bernard Orsman in the Herald seems to agree:

    After widespread disillusionment over laws setting up the Super City, the pendulum has swung from a corporate model to something closer to a democratic structure.

    Plans to set up agencies that would control most services and be virtually unanswerable to the public have been replaced with stronger accountability provisions, including allowing the Auckland Council to require the agencies to hold public meetings.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Er, JT:

    There seems to be a right wing (following a fascist policy) lobby in the Nats ... Collins is following the lead of Labour, I'm waiting for a tour of Gitmo for best practice to be implimented in NZ.

    That all is going out on a limb, and then some.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Hmm. The Auckland Transition Authority's costs have more than doubled and Hide didn't reveal it in an OIA response a month ago.

    Whoops.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    There seems to be a right wing (following a fascist policy) lobby in the Nats.

    I really hate it when people use words like fascist (in this case), socialist, communist or nazi as some kind of generic terms for things they don't like.

    Those words have specific meanings and there is no definition of fascist that covers whatever National is doing.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Clarke,

    The kind of idiot that knew that the original draft would go down like a cup of cold sick. And so thought they could make this change, and then point to it and say "see we listened to you during the consultation process".

    Yep. They present a huge, steaming turd. We complain that it's a huge steaming turd. They take it away, stick a pretty candle in it, and present it again. We think it's better than the last version, so we accept it. Nice to see that even our legislation is held together with number 8 wire. Sigh.

    -36.76, 174.61 or thereab… • Since Nov 2006 • 164 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Those words have specific meanings and there is no definition of fascist that covers whatever National is doing.

    Thank you. Saved me a wee rant.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    All that -- but it's hard to see how you'd write a bill that so comprehensively removed those services from the public sphere unless that's how you wanted it to be.

    Well, I'll follow Gio's excellent example and spare everyone a not so wee rant about the "consultation" rounds I've attended that could have been held by pushing two tables together in a cafe; the miserable turnout rates in a nation where, by international standards, we make it absurdly easy to enrol and vote; and the institutionalised culture of secrecy and obfuscation in local government. I could also say a word or two about the only daily newspaper between Hamilton and Whangarei deciding local government isn't as newsworthy as Alison Mau's snatch and disaster-porn.

    Perhaps "they" decided people don't give a fuck anyway. I sincerely hope, after all the sound and fury, people are going to be getting off their arses and speaking up where it really counts.

    I really hate it when people use words like fascist (in this case), socialist, communist or nazi as some kind of generic terms for things they don't like.

    Those words have specific meanings and there is no definition of fascist that covers whatever National is doing.

    Thank you, Martin.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Webber,

    ... but it's hard to see how you'd write a bill that so comprehensively removed those services from the public sphere unless that's how you wanted it to be.

    I think that's a good point. The reforms are clearly designed to remove daily local democratic control of (or "interference in" if that's your ideology) service delivery. But the ideological hypotheses that "local government runs things badly" and "all service providers should be sold to the private sector" (whilst related) are separate.

    So Craig, I think there is a case to argue that the separation of COOs from operational Council control was designed rather than some sort of unintentional consequence of dysfunctional relationship between local and central government.

    But Russell, "we think the Council shouldn't run certain services on a day-to-day basis" is not the same as "let's structure the COOs for future sale".

    Since Nov 2006 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    So Craig, I think there is a case to argue that the separation of COOs from operational Council control was designed rather than some sort of unintentional consequence of dysfunctional relationship between local and central government.

    Not quite what I was getting at, Paul, but fair point well made. I do get that the bill wasn't cooked up by William S. Burroughs and a million monkeys with a million Ouija boards in the Beehive basement. Though that would explain an awful lot... :)

    My point is that if you see a "secret privatisation agenda' every time Rodney Hide scratches his arse, you're going to go there. Not really my first port of call.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Whoops.

    That's a bit of an understatement. We (i.e. Auckland ratepayers) will have to repay the 70 million government loan by next November?

    Excellent. I love the way these millions are just arbitrarily bandied about as if we're all supposed to understand what it is being spent on, who gets the money, and what checks and balances there are in place. To go from 39 million to 112 million one would have to assume not many... [insert Scribe quote]

    Whoops indeed.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    The kind of idiot that knew that the original draft would go down like a cup of cold sick. And so thought they could make this change, and then point to it and say "see we listened to you during the consultation process".

    and The Herald laps up that lovely cold sick and asks for seconds:

    Headline: "Super City u-turn: People power wins"

    Go back to sleep, citizens of Auckland. Everything is fine.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    My point is that if you see a "secret privatisation agenda' every time Rodney Hide scratches his arse, you're going to go there.

    You're right, but only because there's nothing secret about Rodney's "privatisation agenda". As far as he's concerned, councils exist to provide libraries (but only because he's scared that Mummy Hide wouldn't cook him any more hot meals if he "upset" libraries), and administer the funds required to pay private companies to look after water, roads, parks, public transport, and all the other things that councils currently do. No secrets whatsoever, he's on record as saying it and it's Act policy.

    Because of Rodney's well-known position on council service provision, it's entirely reasonable to view every action he makes as Monster of Local Government through the lens of "this man wants councils to own nothing except land (and as little of that as possible), run nothing except libraries, and generally GTFO of the way of private business receiving ratepayers' monies."

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    until the next regional election in Canterbury (and there are no guarantees when that might be).

    This clause makes me question a lot of the rest of that Op-Ed piece. It's inaccurate, to the point of outright lying. The law is quite clear on when the next guaranteed election for ECan is: the 2013 election cycle, if not before. From a lecturer in public policy, I expect a little better.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    and The Herald laps up that lovely cold sick and asks for seconds:

    Headline: "Super City u-turn: People power wins".

    We both know the more accurate 'Select Committee does what select committees do' would have been insufficiently hyperbolic and self-aggrandising for The Herald.

    From a lecturer in public policy, I expect a little better.

    Oh, Matthew... next you'll be expecting newspapers to bother to sub-edit and fact-check their columns. Silly pudding -- it's truthiness, bro!

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    You're right, but only because there's nothing secret about Rodney's "privatisation agenda" ....No secrets whatsoever, he's on record as saying it and it's Act policy.

    That's what I was getting at, yes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Whoops.

    Once again, do as Rodney says, not as Rodney does.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5442 posts Report Reply

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