Why we need local government reform

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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