Submitting in your summer holiday

As I predicted last week, the Government has allowed only a very short time for submissions on the Local Government (Auckland Law Reform) Bill – submissions close on 12 February 2010.

This is one of the oldest political tricks in the book – introduce unpopular legislation just before the summer recess and hope that people are so preoccupied with summer holiday activities that hardly anyone gets around to making a submission before the closing date.  The Government can then argue that most people weren’t all that concerned about the Bill because there were few 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.

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

And don’t forget the closing date – 12 February 2010.

9 Comments Posted

  1. Owen, please post some more information explaining why you think Part 6 is so important. At the moment, I see far more dangerous and undemocratic aspects of the Bill, but I am open to argument.

    Please provide some.

  2. Do the people who dislike my comment on part 6 have any idea of what it means to the rule of law and our constitution, let alone the economy of Auckland?

    Please tell me what it is about part 6 that appeals to you.

  3. Frog; i think this Government is pracising it’s only known form of governing. Grab the Numbers and the Money – they have shown themselves always at the ready to ride roughshod over popular opinion.
    My only worry is that they’ve found a way to rig Elections – cos their behaviour will not win them an honest seat in 2011.
    Can I point to George JR’s spurious ‘wins’ in the US as a forerunner?
    I believe that for some, absolute power, corrupts absolutely.

    “It’s important to realize that whenever you give power to politicians or
    bureaucrats, it will be used for what they want, not for what you want.”–Harry

  4. @wtl 4:53 PM

    I suspect the reason Sue and David didn’t include the “ratepayer vote” in the submission guide is that it is not a new initiative. “Ratepayer voting” where ratepayers are entitled to vote in local authorities or wards or community boards where they are non-resident but own property is already provided for under section 24 of the Local Electoral Act 2001.

    It is appallingly undemocratic, because it gives more voting power to people who own multiple properties and derogates from the principle of “one person – one vote”, but it has always been part of local government elections and is not something new promoted by this Bill.

    So let’s submit in opposition to it for Auckland – but also argue for an amendment to the Local Electoral Act 2001 to remove it from all local authority elections.

  5. Is the clause 35 of the bill allowing multi-voting by ratepayers something to be concerned about? It was highlighted by Matt McCarten today, but I can’t see anything on the submission guide about it. I understand that rate payers are usually allowed to vote in local council elections if they don’t usual reside in the area, but I guess the difference this will allow multi-voting even if they are still, technically, even when they are resident in the same area (i.e. Auckland as a whole).

  6. Tell us why you think that, Owen.

    There are so many bad parts to this Bill, but I would have thought the worst aspect of it is that it permits the Minister of Local Government to decide what functions and powers in Auckland are to be exercised by Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) rather than the Council itself, permits the Minister to make all the initial appointments to the CCOs, and (apart from up to 2 out of 6 to 8 directors of Auckland Transport), prohibits the appointment of elected councillors as directors of the CCOs.

    In other words, Rodney Hide can put all his Act Party pro-big business pro-privatisation cronies on the Boards of the CCO’s, and they can do whatever they like with no oversight or control by elected councillors.

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