Aucklanders, meet your new overlords

May 22nd, 2009 at 3:21 pm by David Farrar

Rodney Hide has named the five members of the Auckland Transition Agency. They are:

  1. , Executive Chair. CEO of Watercare Services Ltd since 1994 and Chairman of ARTA since 2007.  Previous roles have included CEO of Auckland Regional Services Trust and CEO of NZ Forestry Corporation.
  2. , Extensive legal experience, appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2004.  An experienced mediator and arbitrator with strong governance experience.
  3. , Chartered accountant with change management expertise.  Chairman of the Bank of New Zealand and adviser on many successful restructurings.
  4. , Extensive Auckland region local government experience, including seven years as Mayor of Rodney District Council (2001-07).
  5. , Experienced company director and manager, with extensive governance experience. Former Chair of Maori Television (2003-08).  Affiliated to Ngati Kahu and Tai Tokerau.

They have a huge job ahead of them, merging eight Councils together, 6,000 staff and $28 billion of assets.

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50 Responses to “Aucklanders, meet your new overlords”

  1. garethw (205 comments) says:

    Bahahahahaha, excellent link mistake :>

    [DPF: Heh that is funny. I had just been sending the other link to all my exes]

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  2. Banana Llama (1,105 comments) says:

    I certainly hope they become Aucklands best lovers as well.

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  3. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    Just watch the bun fight ahead, as the Civil Servants rush to protect their very own domains!

    It will result in a unified top table, and a fragmented constituency.

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  4. David in Chch (503 comments) says:

    Damn! You fixed it too fast. The rest of us will have missed the fun and can only guess.

    Can you, would you put up a separate blog with the original accidentally humourous link?

    [DPF: The link was http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/2433403/Nerds-make-the-best-lovers-survey/

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  5. Banana Llama (1,105 comments) says:

    ^

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  6. David in Chch (503 comments) says:

    Cheers. Thanks. :-D

    I saw that too and sent it to a couple of friends (female of course!)

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  7. garethw (205 comments) says:

    Sorry to drag you off topic from the get-go, but it was a pretty sweet typo.

    I’m sure these five people are highly talented (the one I know certainly is) but I have grave misgivings about an unelected set of people vetoing the decisions of legitimately elected officials (who were voted in without any whiff of this being a possibility).

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  8. village idiot (748 comments) says:

    Splendid! Who gives a toss about democracy and choice? Not I!

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  9. goodgod (1,363 comments) says:

    Now I wouldn’t want to besmirch a bloke’s good name out of turn, so can someone assure me that the member from the Rodney Council isn’t the same Rodney council that is infamous for it’s infighting and dysfunction?

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  10. lofty (1,295 comments) says:

    The lefties will all decry this agency, but what would the liarbour party have done, given they started the wheels in motion to create the supercity.
    How would they have managed the transition?
    What would your masters have done idiot?

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  11. village idiot (748 comments) says:

    the democratic thing Lofty.

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  12. sonic (2,818 comments) says:

    I think that Auckland will be giving it’s answer on Monday at the Hikoi.

    Looking forward to seeing you all there.

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  13. emmess (1,333 comments) says:

    >>I think that Auckland will be giving it’s answer on Monday at the Hikoi.

    Virtually nobody wants Maori seats

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  14. village idiot (748 comments) says:

    then there’ll be virtually no-one there emmess!

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  15. Chris Diack (723 comments) says:

    Cue – Flight of the Valkeries music and the shot of the choppers out of the sun low and fast.

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  16. EverlastingFire (290 comments) says:

    Sonic – Most people in Auckland have jobs, so they won’t be there.

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  17. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    John Law was Mayor after the period when a Commissioner was appointed.
    He did a pretty good repair job but had massive problems with the ARC as all the Councils do.
    That is where the conflicts lie – not between Council and Council but between the ARC and the Councils.

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  18. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    What is all this, if Labour’s EFA was “chillingly” anti-democratic???

    Beehive.govt.nz:

    “ACT party leader Rodney Hide has announced that a cabal of CEOs, Board Chairmen, and other hand-picked members of the rich prick elite will be running the show and telling elected representatives where to go until October 2010.

    “I am very pleased to be able to announce a transition agency of my own personal choosing,” Mr Hide was paraphrased as saying.

    ACT party website:

    “A classical liberal from a hard-working background, Rodney made his name in Parliament as a defender of ordinary Kiwis’ rights and freedoms. Specifically, their right to have their elected representatives re-arranged at the pleasure of a cabal of Rodney’s mates, and their freedom to have no way of contacting or influencing these people.”

    ACT Nov ’08 campaign slogan:

    “First we need a change of government, and then we need a change of direction. Socialism failed; let’s try feudalism.”

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  19. sonic (2,818 comments) says:

    “EverlastingFire. Those of us with jobs can use this strange thing, a holiday day!

    Don’t know if you have ever heard of them, but all employers have to give them to you (it’s the law)

    So what is your next excuse for not going?

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  20. bwakile (757 comments) says:

    My one dealing with John Law left me with the impression that he was a very reasonable man who kept his word. Good choice.

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  21. kiki (425 comments) says:

    I’ve been away but I’m surprised a referendum was held so quickly and that the people of Auckland voted for a merger and voted for these people to oversee such a merger. Obviously this is democracy at work.

    as for these Maori seats as an ardent supporter of non subsidisation I had a epiphany as Homer would say and as I looked at Indians on their reservations and heard about how blacks, although freed from slavery were falsely arrested then sold to large corporations, I suddenly realised that we (most migrants) have been subsidised in our lifestyle by those who occupied the land before us.

    And as much as I hate the idea that I owe someone, until those who subsidised us have the same educational opportunities, equal justice and equal chance to live their lives as they wish at the very least they should have a fair say as to what happens to the area that was their country. This doesn’t mean we need special seats for Pacific Islanders or Asians or Indians as they have also come with us and made a choice to come but as the Maori had no choice (treaty or not) then at the very least we can share some power.

    Oh and long live democracy what ever that means

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  22. toad (3,654 comments) says:

    EverlastingFire said: Most people in Auckland have jobs, so they won’t be there.

    Ever heard of annual leave EF? I know several people who feel sufficiently strongly about this they have organised to take a day of it on Monday so they can be there.

    Today is the day that democracy in Auckland died, and we are now all subjects of 5 Hide appointees who are accountable to no-one but Hide. I don’t have any gripe with the appointees themselves (I’ve corresponded and spoken with John Law on a few occasions when he was Rodney Mayor and he seems a reasonable sort of guy) – it is just that it is totally undemocratic that the Auckland region is now governed by people who are appointed rather than elected.

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  23. village idiot (748 comments) says:

    Well, I’m stunned, given John Key’s SHITE judgement lately, that both Melissa Lee and Christine Rankin aren’t on this ‘Transition Agency’. Or Richard Worth for that matter.

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  24. reid (15,513 comments) says:

    On the basis of competence and expertise, I think Ford is an excellent choice.

    However, ACT/the Nats will have a crazed-mutant-Superman-Godzilla-sized Rankin on their hands IF they don’t quickly and decisively differentiate in the public mind the fact that Ford is in charge of Watercare and that is not Metrowater. The clock is ticking and I would bet my left bollock that already evil lefties are sending press releases designed to obfuscate that fact.

    The reality is, the average Aucklander HATES Metrowater’s model. They don’t give a fuck what the business rationale is, they HATE it. In other words, they’re not objective, they’re emotional about it. This is a fact and you can decry it and rationalise it as much as you like but it exists and in politics, perception is reality.

    Some of us but not enough know, that Watercare (Ford’s outfit), isn’t Metrowater. That distinction needs to be hammered home immediately to the reef-fish, and I mean right now tonight, non-stop, for weeks.

    This is because the one thing that could kill the SuperCity is the privatisation bogeyman and the average Aucklander’s experience with MetroWater is exactly the same as the nation’s experience with the Electricity reforms. They didn’t work: i.e. outcome-wise, we all pay much more for the same or even less service. WTF? Guess how long the MSM will take to draw comparisons.

    If that sentiment gets associated with the amalgamation in the mind of the average Aucklander then it’s goodnight to the Nats in 2011.

    Because the lefties will do their damned best to paint it as such and because the left’s propaganda ability outstrips the conservatives by a wide margin, ACT/the Nats had better start drawing that distinction PDQ.

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  25. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    I’m pleased Key didn’t give Cullen a seat on this.

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  26. Patrick Starr (3,675 comments) says:

    “Today is the day that democracy in Auckland died, and we are now all subjects of 5 Hide appointees who are accountable to no-one but Hide”

    so Toad – who elected Sue Bradford to impose the anti smacking bill on the entire NZ population?

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  27. toad (3,654 comments) says:

    Um, Patrick, don’t you recall that every Green, National and Labour MP voted for that Bill.

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  28. Patrick Starr (3,675 comments) says:

    You’re not answering the question – Bradford introduced it, Labour supported it as part of a ‘deal’ despite Clark on record saying she would never support such a thing

    “it is just that it is totally undemocratic that the Auckland region is now governed by people who are appointed rather than elected”

    so answer the question – Who elected Sue Bradford to impose the anti smacking bill on the entire NZ population?

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  29. jarbury (464 comments) says:

    …who elected Sue Bradford to impose the anti smacking bill on the entire NZ population?

    That would be the 120,521 people who voted for the Green Party in the 2005 election. Plus the 935,319 people who voted Labour plus the 889,813 people who voted National. So all up, close to 2 million people voted for parties that then voted for the s59 repeal.

    How many people voted for the 5 “Overlords”. Zilch (or one, if you count Rodney Hide).

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  30. Patrick Starr (3,675 comments) says:

    wrong doofus – no national or labour party voter voted for Sue Bradford to do anything. The question was “Who elected Sue Bradford” ?

    Do you think you understand the question?? – whilst we are talking of democracy – and how anti democratic MMP is when your 120, 521 stoned voters can fuck over all of NZ? – have you caught up there toadies little helper?

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  31. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    Patrick Starr

    I think that’s getting a bit carried away. Not all of them would have been stoned. You might also find that overall more stoned people voted for Labour or National than voted for the Green party. However I digress.

    I agree with jarbury on the issue of consultation. I don’t fully understand the role of the famous five however I also acknowledge that if we had a democratic election process for the agents of change; change would be democratically voted to be status quo. If the famous 5 get in and do their job and during that process wide public consultation is conducted then it’s a breaking eggs to make an omelet situation. If the famous 5 steamroll the process then National/ACT will have become everything I despised in Labour.

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  32. Banana Llama (1,105 comments) says:

    No one up here wants Maori seats and no one will want to burn a day in lieu or annual leave to go march in a Hikoi, if you watermelons want to get alot of people out on the streets you’ll have to do better than that.

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  33. davidp (3,319 comments) says:

    Toad>Today is the day that democracy in Auckland died, and we are now all subjects of 5 Hide appointees who are accountable to no-one but Hide.

    I didn’t get to vote for the Commissioner of Police, any High Court judges, or the CEOs of any government departments. Generals and Admirals seem to be appointed by other Generals and Admirals. I didn’t even get to vote for the Governor General, or his boss in London. There are hundreds of different committees and government boards full of Labour Party hacks, and I didn’t get to vote for any of them. So I’m not really fussed that the transition agency was appointed in a similar manner to all those other bodies.

    If you want to live in a country where people get to vote for public servants, then move to the US.

    (Just BTW… I recall Hutt County being chopped in to bits and amalgamated with Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, and Porirua cities, depending on which the bits were closest to. Petone and Wainuiomata were also merged in to Lower Hutt at the same time. The residents were pissed off, but the reorganisation made sense and went ahead without a vote, as I recall. It must have been the late 80s, so Goff would have been a Minister. Why is a vote so important to him now, but not in the 80s?)

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  34. goodgod (1,363 comments) says:

    That would be the 120,521 people who voted for the Green Party in the 2005 election. Plus the 935,319 people who voted Labour plus the 889,813 people who voted National.

    Oh in that case then 85,000 people who voted for ACT in 2008, most of them from Auckland, plus the million or so that voted National knowing they would go into a coalition partnership and by association everyone who voted Maori party.

    So there’s your answer – almost 2,000,000 voters around the country support the Auckland supercity. That is small bickies for a party that frequently ignores 80% of the population but, hell, continue telling 2million people they’re wrong and see where it gets you.

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  35. Patrick Starr (3,675 comments) says:

    Burt,
    the point was not the process, the point is the hypocrisy of the Greens.
    Apart from the influence these un elected green MPs had over the previous regime in ramming through their bans – I don’t recall any howls of protest from them in 2001 when Sandra Lee sacked the Rodney District Council and ‘appointed’ a commissioner to run it

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  36. Rakaia George (313 comments) says:

    You’re right there Banana Llama, I’m close enough to the route at work that I may burn a fifteen minute coffee break to go give the Hikoi the finger though…

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  37. clintheine (1,560 comments) says:

    No no no, What Bradford did, with Labours help, was to ignore the majority – supporters of every party (except the Greens) and ran roughshod over everybody to push her ridiculous ideology into every single private house in the country. There is nothing democratic about that.

    Remember too, Auckland enmasse voted to get rid of Labour, Helen and their pissweak lackeys who are currently trying to hoodwink us that they are better than Labour over in Mt Albert. Geeze.

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  38. s.russell (1,486 comments) says:

    I have grave misgivings about an unelected set of people vetoing the decisions of legitimately elected officials (who were voted in without any whiff of this being a possibility). -garethw

    It seems to me that the purpose of the transitional authority is to do exactly the opposite of this: to prevent the existing councils attempting to tie the hands of the not-yet-but-will-be-elected supercity council by entering into expensive long term contracts.

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  39. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    I just cannot understand the political risk analysis here.
    the risks of mega mergers are massive. They do not work and generate massive hostility.
    Look at Montreal which have been mega merged after two years voted to de amalgamate – even though every obstacle was put in their way.
    The notion that a massive unitary council plays any role in the ranking of a city is simply not supported by the evidence. Paris has 1300 councils.
    But more importantly the end result of a mega meger is always a left council and mayor.

    And given the uncertainties created this is about the worst possible time to run a reform of the RMA and reform of council structure at the same time. Where is the political gain to balance all the political pain?
    I am truly mystified.

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  40. Tuija (220 comments) says:

    I agree it seems like a self destruct mechanism
    Maybe they reckon that they will get enough money in by selling off the Cities Assets that they could then reduce rates by 50% for a few years enough to get them through two election cycles

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  41. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    Owen,
    Toronto is the other city that did it-they hate their supercity.

    Re:The political colour of the mayor.

    I think the plan of the right wingers was to take advantage of the fact that Local Government elections have low turnout but that it would be disproportionately high in the National parts of Auckland City.

    Given the heat and publicity the proposal is being created I doubt that turnout will be that low in the West and South.

    Remember Banks won by only 10,000 votes, Len Brown won by 14,000.

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  42. sonic (2,818 comments) says:

    “No one up here wants Maori seats and no one will want to burn a day in lieu or annual leave to go march in a Hikoi”

    So that leaves no-one, I think the Hikoi may be slightly larger than that.

    Poor old Nats, imagine turning over a third of the countries population to the tender mercies of Rodney Hyde (a man so popular not 5 in 100 of Kiwis would vote for him)

    How many one term governments has the country had again?

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  43. toad (3,654 comments) says:

    clintheine said: …and their pissweak lackeys who are currently trying to hoodwink us that they are better than Labour over in Mt Albert

    The language of desperation Clint! You must be worried that Russel is going to win. Boscawen always was and Lee now is (due to her own ineptitude) dog tucker in this election. The contest is now between Norman and Shearer.

    Who is your preference of the two Clint? At least the Greens are supportive of the civil liberties that Act also supports (oops, and then along came Garrotte and stuffed up even that Act-Green consensus).

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  44. Banana Llama (1,105 comments) says:

    no one =/= no-one, nice try.

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  45. clintheine (1,560 comments) says:

    Toad, ha ha ha. If Russel wins Mt Albert I will eat my hat, blog about how tasty is was and provide photos showing me eating every single hatfilled mouthful – whilst singing ‘The Internationale’ and praising everything the Greens have ever done.

    Norman won’t win. It’s that simple. I’d rather Labour won than the Greens. You guys got to know your place in Govt and society :) Goff won’t lead Labour to victory and Shearer will disappear if he wins the election. I’m very comfortable with this.

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  46. toad (3,654 comments) says:

    clintheine said: If Russel wins Mt Albert I will eat my hat, blog about how tasty is was and provide photos showing me eating every single hatfilled mouthful…

    Remember Keith Locke and his comments in 2005 about Rodney Hide’s chances of winning Epsom Clint?

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  47. Patrick Starr (3,675 comments) says:

    ……and did he run naked through the streets of Epsom? – no of course he didnt. He was neither naked, nor running

    As with everything the Greens say – there’s always a more convenient set of standards for them

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  48. village idiot (748 comments) says:

    Nor will clinty eat his hat when Russel wins. mr heine will be unavailable for comment, which, given the quality of his comments, will be a good thing. WHY am I reminded of mr hanky each time clint speaks?

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  49. Jeff83 (765 comments) says:

    Worked for Ford before at Watercare, he gives me some confidence, I liked him, also he was the sort of CEO who actually interacted with other staff. I mean I was a student part time worker and still talked to him couple of times.

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  50. clintheine (1,560 comments) says:

    I remember Locke, he completely reneged on his end of the bargain, sending a sigh of relief throughout Epsom and the international/national readers of our newspapers. Locke couldn’t even keep that promise, made when he must have had his head buried in the sand because the polls were saying something different that he was reading every day.

    I stand by my remark. And confidently, because Russel is not going to win.

    Idiot – aww. You talk a tough game but I bet you were picked on as a kid eh? Hiding behind a keyboard and making lame statements like that speaks volumes about you as a person. Here have a cookie. :)

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