Why we need local government reform

September 3rd, 2012 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

If you ever need proof of the need of local government reform, have a look at the plan by the Auckland Council Maori Statutory Board.

The Government is saying that councils should focus on core responsibilities such as infrastructure and services. The local body politicians are fighting this and saying they want to keep Labour’s law which allows them to spend ratepayer money on absolutely anything at all.

Here’s a few of their 49 proposals:

  • to advocate for, and grow community support for, compulsory te reo Māori in all Auckland Schools
  • Auckland Council to support development of scholarships, residency programmes, overseas exchanges and career pathways for developing Māori Artists
  • Auckland Council to advocate for the establishment of a Tāmaki Makaurau Education Forum to develop a long term education strategy for Māori in the region
  • Auckland Council in partnership with Mana Whenua and Mataawaka advocate for programmes and activities that promote home ownership and financial literacy
  • Auckland Council to support home insulation programmes to Māori homes

It is not the job of the Auckland Council to advocate for compulsory te reo in schools. It is not the job of the Council to create career pathways for artists. It is not the job of the Council to help develop an education strategy for the region. It not not the role of the Council to try and improve financial literacy of people. It is not the role of Council to support home insulations (unless they are the landlords).

These are pretty much all roles of the central Government. Those who advocate local Government should be able to do everything central Government does are proposing duplication, conflict and waste – all at the expense of ratepayers and taxpayers.

Worse of all, they undermine accountability. I want to hold central Government accountable for what they are responsible for, and local Government accountable for what they are responsible for.  You can’t do that very well when there is no clear lines of responsibility.

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46 Responses to “Why we need local government reform”

  1. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    Why has there been no public announcement of a Chch super council as there has been for Waikato and Wellington.

    International funds for the Chch earthquakes have all been diverted. Probably for
    transmission Gully.

    Are there really any public projections for Chch?

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  2. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,069 comments) says:

    Yeah, someone competent should totally reform local government in Auckland. Whoever set up the current arrangement really botched the whole process.

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  3. Manolo (13,774 comments) says:

    You can only laugh at the sheer audacity of Auckland’s Stone Age tribes!

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  4. xy (187 comments) says:

    The plan for christchurch is to make the money via property flipping. It works even better when you can compulsorily acquire the cheap stuff!

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  5. Rich Prick (1,705 comments) says:

    I was prepared to let the Statutory Maori Board prove itself to be an utter waste of ratepayer money. It didn’t take too long. All I want is for my Council to deliver the water and take the smelly stuff away, and a few other things.

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  6. Redbaiter (8,882 comments) says:

    Sorry, I don’t get it.

    Are we saying that if the country is going to be handed over to a opportunistic racist group of make believers and con artists, it should only be done by the central government?

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  7. Redbaiter (8,882 comments) says:

    “Yeah, someone competent should totally reform local government in Auckland. Whoever set up the current arrangement really botched the whole process.”

    Yeah, you’re right there Danny.

    They should have planned for what would happen if some vote buying racist piss head left wing lunatic was ever voted in.

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  8. peterwn (3,272 comments) says:

    Thank heaven Len Brown and not John Banks won the Auckland Mayorlty. The Auckland Council is a gift that keeps on giving for National.

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  9. wreck1080 (3,917 comments) says:

    One problem with NZ is there are too many unnecessary ‘boards’ and government groups.

    These are usually created at great expense to keep some minority group happy.

    The problem is that once operational they then need to substantiate their existence by coming up with drivel like happened here.

    I was amazed that a council board can come up with ideas completely outside their jurisdiction. But, we’re talking maoris here, used to getting their whims and needs catered.

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  10. swan (665 comments) says:

    Danyl,

    You very well know this is the result of the 2002 LGA, not the super city arrangements.

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  11. Cunningham (844 comments) says:

    This one in particular got my blood boiling:

    » Auckland Council to support home insulation programmes to Māori homes

    It’s infuriating and shows how segregated our society is becoming. If they want to use some of their treaty money to do that all good but to expect all taxpayers to insulate homes for one race is an absolute disgrace. I hope the council tells them to take their racist policies and piss off.

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  12. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    RE: the Education Strategy…

    I believe there is a confusion between the role of central and local government in this debate.

    Central government through the Ministry of Education and school boards is responsible for the New Zealand curriculum. It is not the role of local government to deliver public education.

    Am I missing something?

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  13. flipper (4,065 comments) says:

    John Banks has “faults”. We all do. But Banks not winning the Auckland mayoralty was a bonus for N Z.

    @peterwn set it out nicely.

    National, ergo NZ, have gained from mad, red Len’s tenure – and he has another year to go!

    Think billion dollar rail elephants (killed by Joyce/Brownlee (but Len wont admit it), his RWC SUs, the containment of Auckland within an East German-like planning wall, and now this idiotic taniwha crap.

    Time for you to go Len!

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  14. trout (939 comments) says:

    The current modus operandi for Maori is to demand the earth and settle for something less. The process allows politicians to announce that demands will not be fully granted (Len has already done this) whilst handing over enough to keep the wolf fed until it goes hungry again. The Statutory Board demands cannot be a surprise – this $3mill+ extravagance was always going to justify its existence by dreaming up new ways to access ratepayer funds.

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  15. tedbear (145 comments) says:

    Hands up all who remember when the local council just provided incoming water, outgoing water and sewerage waste and a library?
    All roading was carried out by The Ministry of Works. There was no need for super duper swimming pools as all schools had a pool.
    Prior to the installation of mains water, my first house had a 5000 gallon concrete tank for water collected off the roof. Used sparingly, there was always enough water for the family. When the mains went on, I was quite happy to go on collecting my own water but I had to pay for the street piping whether I connected up or not, How dumb is that. Nowadays, councils are urging people to instal water tanks.

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  16. redeye (629 comments) says:

    You very well know this is the result of the 2002 LGA, not the super city arrangements.

    There was no Maori board prior to the Super Sewer. Making the fuckers larger does nil except for giving them more power to run amok.

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  17. BlairM (2,339 comments) says:

    Yes, clearly something needs to be done. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a libertarian Minister of Local Government for three years who could sort the mess out?

    Tell me that story again, ACToids, tell me the one about what a classical liberal Rodney Hide is…

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  18. flipper (4,065 comments) says:

    The Whale has a good idea:

    ” …. Send the bill to the Maori Council

    by Whaleoil on September 3, 2012

    If Maori own the water then they can foot the bill for some of their Maori water doing some damage from flooding:

    Several houses in northern Auckland have been flooded as heavy rain pounds much of the country this morning.

    A front moving up the country has brought downpours to the top of the South Island and most of the North Island, while westerly gales are also forecast for some areas.
    etc etc

    So:
    1.

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  19. OTGO (551 comments) says:

    And they want all English language street signs and place names to also be in Maori. I heard someone on ZB this morning say that would make Auckland, Auckland Tamaki Makau-rau or ATM for short since the Maori’s are treating it like a big cash machine.

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  20. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    On a related note – does anybody have a clue what the delineation of responsibilities are between central govt (ministry of health) and the local DHBs. I can’t be alone in having very little clue on the matter. I couldn’t even tell you a single name of a representative on my local health board and wouldn’t have a clue what they stand for – yet I get to vote for them every three years through an elaborate system where I get to preferentially rank 17 people I have never heard of based on a 100 word blurb – and this is supposed to be democratic?
    If I am unhappy with the health service (waiting lists etc) I will blame the government and hold them accountable (and the government knows this which is why health ministers from time to time sack entire democratically elected health boards). There is endless duplication, bureaucracy and waste plus massive governance overheads for what is fundamentally the same service regardless of location. Remind me again why we don’t just replace it with a single national health service run by central government?

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  21. rg (214 comments) says:

    It would be racist of the Council to insulate Maori houses and not others. I don’t think any other racial group apart from Maori would be so arrogent as to seriously entertain the idea that only they should have their houses insulated while other racial groups miss out.
    Seriously when is the greed of these people going to labelled for what it is.

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  22. flipper (4,065 comments) says:

    Maori Council ………continued from earlier:

    1. Invoice them – payable seven days.
    2. Amount – $14,999 maximum for each claim.
    3. Payment not received?
    4. Spend $50 on a Disputes Trtibunal claim.
    5. Maori Council must answer (no lawyers permitted!) at hearing.
    6. Adjudicator considers and decides outcome.
    7. Question to be resolved: Does “ownership” result in liability. Normally, “yes” ?
    8. Hoist by own petard ?

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  23. rg (214 comments) says:

    For those who have forgotten, Rodney Hide refused to support maori seats, because ACT (unlike National, supports racial equality under the law) otherwise Hone Key would have had them, the maori board was then forced on Hide by National. Kiora

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  24. tedbear (145 comments) says:

    OTGO, you took the words right out of my mouth. My first favourite place on earth is Wales and here all road signs are in welsh and english. All mail from the council is in both languages. And here, the welsh weren’t the first settlers. Go figure.
    But there is no forcing any non-welsh families to learn Welsh.

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  25. Bob R (1,375 comments) says:

    On the plus side, surely this is going to help get support for the ColourBlind 2014 campaign?

    http://johnansell.wordpress.com/2012/08/12/treatygate-time-to-expose-the-con/

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  26. tedbear (145 comments) says:

    You would think that if Maori are so rapt in their history, traditions and culture, they’d still be dressed accordingly and living in their grass huts, fishing from canoes, riding on horseback, getting their meat with spears.

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  27. Viking2 (11,471 comments) says:

    BlairM (1,720) Says:
    September 3rd, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Yes, clearly something needs to be done. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a libertarian Minister of Local Government for three years who could sort the mess out?

    Tell me that story again, ACToids, tell me the one about what a classical liberal Rodney Hide is…

    what a dumb twat you are.
    Act has one rule for all policy and that was overruled by the useless Nats. All public knowledge if you had been watching.

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  28. IHStewart (388 comments) says:

    The General Competency law allows councils to get involved in all sorts of fun things like brothels. You would think the silly buggers would be demanding reform and kicking that sort of shit back to central govt. as fast as possible

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  29. kowtow (8,475 comments) says:

    “Why we need local government reform.”

    Not just local government,the whole thing is shot through.

    Scrap referenes to the damn treaty,have a referendum,no didn’t think so.

    Tail will continue to wag the dog and taxpayers will continue to be expected to be happy to pay. It will break some day.

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  30. wreck1080 (3,917 comments) says:

    I can just see a rent-a-maori group popping up who can be rented to say they live in non-maori homes so that non-maoris can get free insulation.

    Not a problem.

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  31. rg (214 comments) says:

    Just heard that the pathetic Nats have keeled over on the sale of Mighty River. is there any hope for this country?

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  32. beautox (422 comments) says:

    Fucking Racists

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  33. garethw (205 comments) says:

    “It is not the job of the Council to help develop an education strategy for the region. It not not the role of the Council to try and improve financial literacy of people. It is not the role of Council to support home insulations”

    Your mate Boris would disagree with you of course, what with the Mayor of London undertaking a lot of those type of things. Personally I agree that NZ is of small enough population that we can do a lot of things centrally that other countries leave to regions or cities, but you can’t deny that there are times when decision-making and funding is better made locally than centrally. None of the things on that list of course, but still…

    Also, I think it’s well within the boundaries of reasonable democracy for local voting ratepayers to decide what their Council should fund from those rates, rather than be dictated a constraint from central Government.

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  34. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    If its not bad enough this Brown prick put my total rates up over 30%, to propose to spend more of it on this crap is just an outrage. Its probably time to consider joining the masses heading overseas

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  35. Grendel (1,002 comments) says:

    that would be nice garethw if only ratepayers could vote. as it is the ratepayers who actually get to pay for all of this can be outvoted by those who dont pay rates.

    also what is this obsession with thinking that you can vote to take someone elses money away? becuase thats all this is. people vote saying they want to fund something, and they are happy to have other people also forced to pay for it.

    why can they not just set up a charity and pay for it themselves and leave those who just want council to focus to basic council roles alone?

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  36. Redbaiter (8,882 comments) says:

    “Your mate Boris would disagree with you of course, what with the Mayor of London undertaking a lot of those type of things. ”

    Only because he’s another fucking Progressive idiot with an undeserved reputation for being “right wing”. (like so many others out there)

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  37. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    So in Auckland the local council should be regulated to a limited range of activities but the charter schools can do what they like, no set curriculum, no accountability to national standards?

    The classic public/private split double standards from the right.

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  38. capitald (72 comments) says:

    I would like to spend a hell of a lot more on these kinds of proposals. I love how they undermine themselves. I hope this kind of thing gets much, much worse. Anything less, and we are not going to have the kind of backlash needed to put an end to this kind of thing for good.

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  39. hj (7,021 comments) says:

    The Maoris* remind me of a flatemate who thinks he /she is superior to everyone esle, becoming universaly (except for the die hards on the left) loathed.

    *apologise if I don’t pronounce/represent the holy name correctly.

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  40. Griff (7,715 comments) says:

    Its moari for plural and no capital letter the maori nazis would crucify you hj keep up the good work

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  41. big bruv (13,895 comments) says:

    Bedwetter

    Given that you don’t consider Boris to be right wing I wonder who you think (demand) that we should all be following.

    Who is the true Conservative, who is the real leader of the right?

    Is it Santorum?, is it that stupid Palin?..or how about that other nutbar Michele Bachmann?

    Please do tell, who is he chosen one?

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  42. Griff (7,715 comments) says:

    BB
    The master bater considers any political movement to the left of G Khan and the Mongolian hordes to be a horrible twisted progressive lefty inspired abomination

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  43. Redbaiter (8,882 comments) says:

    Morons. You just read Gareth W stating that Boris was doing a lot of left wing things and its true he is.

    Do you think any real right winger would be doing those things??

    Fuck you lot are hopeless.

    Boris is just another left wing jerk with an undeserved reputation (bestowed on him by a far left media) for being right wing.

    As I have already said.

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  44. big bruv (13,895 comments) says:

    Come on then Red, it is up to you. Only you can lead us all to the promised land.

    Please tell us, who should we follow?

    Is it Glenn (I can cry on demand) Beck?…is he the one?

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  45. freedom101 (504 comments) says:

    Rodney Hide was totally opposed to separate Maori representation in Auckland. The National Party forced Maori seats into the equation. John Key should explain how he is going to put the toothpaste back in the tube. He has created a monster which is going to dog the city for years or decades to come. Once you create something like a Maori board it’s virtually impossible to get rid of it. Well done Nats.

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  46. Paulus (2,627 comments) says:

    Appears to be a beautiful presentation. Seems from reports that the inside is usual imaginative taniwha claptrap.
    Must have cost a bomb alone for the artwork – most impressive.
    Where can get a copy anyone ?

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