A friendly reminder to Aucklanders – your democracy is under threat

Just before the summer break, the Government pushed Rodney Hide’s Local Government (Auckland Law Reform) Bill through its First reading and sent it to Select Committee.

I blogged about it at the time, but many frogblog readers may have missed it in the pre-Christmas rush.  So here’s a friendly reminder – submissions close on 12 February.

Sue Kedgley and David Clendon have prepared a submission guide to assist people wanting to make submissions.

This is a truly appalling Bill – it’s packed full of measures that undermine local democracy and promote the privatisation of Auckland’s assets.

The Greens and Labour are co-hosting a series of public meetings to brief Aucklanders on the issues as well as provide practical advice on how to prepare a submission:

Waiheke – 7.15 – 9.00pm, Thursday 28th January, Morra Hall, 115 Ocean View Rd, Waiheke, hosted by Phil Twyford, David Clendon and Jacinda Ardern

Rodney – 7.00 – 9.00pm, Tuesday 2nd February, Catholic Hall, Alnwick St, Warkworth, hosted by Darien Fenton and Rajen Prasad

Maungakiekie and East – 7.30 – 9.00pm, Tuesday 2nd February, Onehunga Community Centre, Church St, Onehunga, hosted by Phil Twyford, David Clendon, Carol Beaumont, Carmel Sepuloni and Ashraf Choudhary

North Shore – 7.00 – 9.00pm, Wednesday 3rd February, Rawene Centre, 33 Rawene Road Birkenhead, hosted by Keith Locke and Darien Fenton

Waitakere – 7.00 – 9.00pm, Wednesday 3rd February, New Lynn Community Centre – Recreation Room, Totara Avenue, New Lynn, hosted by Phil Twyford, David Clendon, David Cunliffe, Chris Carter, Lynne Pillay, and Carmel Sepuloni

Auckland Central – 6.30 – 8.30pm, Thursday 4th February, Grey Lynn Community Centre, 510 Richmond Rd, Grey Lynn, hosted by Phil Twyford, David Clendon and Jacinda Ardern

Mt Albert/Mt Roskill – 7.00 – 8.30pm, Monday 8th February, Owairaka Primary School, 113-115 Richardson Road, Mt Albert, hosted by Phil Twyford, David Clendon, David Shearer and Carmel Sepuloni

10 Comments Posted


    Well what concerns me about the Local Government(Auckland reform)Bill is it is a project that intends to centralise a number councils into a Supercouncil, and secondly it is going to maximise the privatisation of public services and thirdly larger population will be voting for fewer councillors. This is the pertinent issue.

    Centralisation only seems to benifit the bureaucrats as it will appear relitively easy to administer with that structure but the administrator and the executive from on high become detached from the small ratepayer and policy will be dicided from the top down.
    Which is happening in local government anyway.

    The privatisation of public services will mean more rate hikes, each service that is tendered to a contractor will naturally add on a profit and that profit is added to the rates. In a social framework all these services were in house and the ratepayers were only landed with the cost of materials and labour.

    Finally this process of centralising means that the Auckland Greater Council will be a lot less democratic and will eventually be run by a business oligarchy.

    Quite frankly I don’t think think that such a model will be flexible enough to handle large populations, both councillors and officers will be given five times the work loads. Do you think that they are going to retain all staff who worked for the original councils?
    No this means the capitalist yet again will make a huge killing at the expence of the ratepayers.

    That is what ACT is all about looking after the bosses!!!

  2. “your democracy is under threat”

    Yes that’s the issue: politicians obsessed with “spy bases” while the real issues are at home.

    Dick Smith warns against population growth

    Australian businessman Dick Smith has argued Australia must curb its population growth because the environment cannot cope.

    The Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says he supports a “big Australia” – with forecasts the population will reach 36 million people by 2050.

    But Dick Smith says there is not enough food and water to go around.

    He says Australia should cut its skilled migration intake and encourage people to have fewer children.

    “Our politicians are completely letting the Australian public down,” he said.

    “Nine out of 10 [Aussies] don’t want [40 million] people here, but there’s no discussion, there’s no debate.

    “There has to be, because what’s the use of bringing kids in this world who even in a modern western country could starve to death, and that’s what could happen.”


  3. Hoping to see some good results from the committee, although I dont agree with the topic that democracy is at threat but yet thanks for sharing the post!

  4. It appears even Labour and the Greens have forgotten that south of south Auckland, there live two other kingdoms called Papakura and Franklin that have been refused their freedom by National and Act and Maori and United Future. Where are their meeting places and dates?

  5. I thought that sounded a bit familiar jh.

    The problem when trying to “stop” growth is that you end up with what we’ve seen in Auckland over the past few years – house prices going insane. There’s a big demand for people to live in Auckland, and unless you provide for the growth you will see prices go up to the point where it is completely unaffordable to own your own home unless you’re exceptionally well off. That creates an enormous divide between the “landed” and the “not-landed”.

    To me the real question for urban planners is how to provide for that growth – through greenfields sprawl or through intensification.

    Of course there are bigger picture issues such as whether more should be done to limit the growth of the planet’s population – but really that’s incredibly difficult for a mere urban planner to control.

    I would say there’s probably a reasonably good environmental argument that New Zealand should accept 10 million immigrants from sub-saharan Africa as we can probably feed those people in a more environmentally sensitive manner. But I don’t see many people proposing that.

  6. ” Providing adequate additional social infrastructure to meet the increased demands of future population growth, such as schools, hospitals and community centres is a crucial aspect of creating strong sustainable communities”

    Yeah right…. one big happy family: we just stop growing? Once we get our extra 700,000 we’ll need to get another 1.7m to support our large industrial base: (building houses for migrants).

  7. To put the issue in perspective:

    “Optimum city size, population ceilings and probable natural limits to city growth were concepts in early regional strategic plans. Based on almost utopian ideals that rates of growth could be controlled and the population growth would slow once certain, undefined natural, economic and social constraints were reached, these concepts were superseded in strategic planning after the late 1970s by more open ended-models of growth’ (Auckland Regional Growth Forum, 1997: 16). Once planners realised that population size and growth were largely out of their control, there was a renewed focus on the quality of growth that did occur, to ensure that good urban developments were established in ways which had a renewed focus on natural resource management, and which ‘fitted’ well with the existing urban landscape.

    ” Population projections suggest that by 2050 between 1.6 and 2.2 million people could be living in the region, with recent statistics showing that the higher estimate is likely to be more accurate (Dearnaley, 2004). This equates to an increase of around 20,000 people per annum, which in combination with lower household sizes (due to changing family structures and an ageing population) will place an unprecedented strain on the ability of the Auckland region to supply approximately 700,000 dwellings by 2050.

    the pressures of such rapid future urban growth on physical and social infrastructure, the economy and the environment cannot be underestimated. Providing adequate additional social infrastructure to meet the increased demands of future population growth, such as schools, hospitals and community centres is a crucial aspect of creating strong sustainable communities; rather than polarised enclaves dominated by crime and poverty. Similarly, much of Auckland’s physical infrastructure, such as water supply, wastewater treatment, storm-water systems, refuse disposal, transport, power, gas and telecommunication networks, is already running at capacity, or close to it.

    …. as the Auckland economy underpins the New Zealand economy, ‘...it is important for New Zealand that the Auckland economy can continue to grow, to have an increasingly important role in the economies of the Asia-Pacific region and the global economy’ (Auckland Regional Growth Forum, 1999: 17).


    Interesting that growth is out of the control of planners and is infact deemed to be exceptionally good by National and Labour. The Greens attack the growth but in a way that separates the effects from the causes so while they purport to be aligned with environmentalists they wont consider restrictions on migration or human procreation (something mother earth would like to be dealt with).
    The Greens do have a “carrying capacity” policy but who will know when that is reached?


    This bill is not just a threat to Aucklanders but all New Zealand eventually, as this will become a most unfortunate precident if passed.

    Think about it do you Aucklanders want local body issues decided by the minister of Local Government? And we all know who that is don’t we.

    Do you want most of the local assets flogged off to any Tom Dick and Harry who will eventually become a local market dictator?

    Do you want the inplication of Clause 71 that Watercare Services not be accountable to Auckland Council policies?
    In other words do you want to see the privatisation of water(clause73) and water being fully in control of a private company? The necessity of life?

    I don’t live anywhere near Auckland but this pernicious piece of legislation is really scary.

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