Cameron Brewer points out:
Labour leader David Cunliffe’s tough talk today around future local government amalgamations does not hide the fact that Labour’s 2011 policies to overhaul Auckland’s “over centralised and corporatised super city” have all been dropped, infuriating those on the Left hoping for further changes, says Auckland Councillor Cameron Brewer.
“Mr Cunliffe’s roaring like a lion about proposed and future local government amalgamations, but when it comes to further reforming the super city structure that Labour promised three years ago, he’s turned into a big pussycat.”
Mr Brewer said in 2011 Labour’s manifesto vowed to “fix the super city’s democracy” including enshrining local board powers, replacing the Independent Maori Statutory Board with elected Maori seats, abolishing “a corporatised” Auckland Transport, and reviewing all laws and structures pertaining to Auckland Council’s governance and democracy. Back in 2011 Labour was also promising to tie in central government plans with Auckland’s priorities by promising to establish a “Common Accountability Platform for Auckland”.
“Labour’s policy pertaining to Auckland Council this election has been watered down to absolutely nothing which rest assured will be upsetting a lot of centre-left local body elected representatives,” he says.
“Labour shouts that it does not want another Government-imposed corporate-like model like Auckland’s, however Mr Cunliffe is no longer prepared to change anything to do with the super city.
“Rather, despite all the bravado, Labour is now standing completely aside when it comes to Auckland. The most Labour is now promising is to encourage the council to hold some kind of public inquiry into how Auckland should be governed in the future. No promises of greater powers for local boards, scrapping the IMSB, or repealing super city legislation this election.
“It’s embarrassing for Mr Cunliffe that all his tough talk on local government amalgamations nationwide completely excludes anything changing in the super city – a model that Labour still claims to despise,” says Cameron Brewer
Brewer provides the two policies to compare:
The Labour Party’s 2014 Auckland local government policy: “Restore the power to Auckland Council to decide on its own structures for the delivery of transport and roading services, on which CCOs it retains, affirmation of the roles of Pacific, Ethnic and others, and on land use and housing planning and provision. We will encourage Auckland Council to hold a full public inquiry into how best Auckland should be governed in the future.”
The Labour Party’s 2011 manifesto: “Labour will fix the super city’s democracy: enshrine powers of local boards, transition from the appointed Maori Statutory board to elected Maori seats, repeal the law that imposes a corporatised transport agency, and review the governance and democracy laws and structures after two years. Labour will set up a Common Accountability Platform for Auckland – Ministers, officials, and representatives of central government will agree common priorities with Auckland Mayor and Council, and ensure better, fairer better alignment between Aucklanders’ voices and needs, council capabilities, national policy and budget commitments.”
So their policy now is to basically ask the Council to have a public inquiry!