called for a radical re-think. Chance’d be a fine thing.
Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown is calling for a “radical rethink” of the Super City to protect services and keep rate increases well below inflation in the face of an economic and fiscal storm.
Brown started his speech with wide grin at the swearing-in ceremony for the mayor and 20 councillors at Auckland Town Hall this evening.
Brown said the new team of elected representatives collectively needs to think about how the council and its entities are run.
“The reality is that big, major, restructuring and savings are needed for the first time since the Super City began 12 years ago – and it needs to happen fast,” he said.
Brown’s message to the 20 councillors, their families and other guests was “tonight is a celebration” of New Zealand’s democracy and the will of the people.
“We must ensure that what they have voted for is what is delivered…and leave our city and our region in a better and a more sustainable position as we formally take up our new roles,” said Brown, who won the mayoralty three weeks ago by a big margin over his closest rival Efeso Collins.
The businessman and engineer said the new council takes office aware that Aucklanders and New Zealanders face the most difficult economic outlook for at least a generation.
The problem will be this Government; they seem intent on destroying democracy and instituting a homegrown version of apartheid, where Maori control everything. The Taxpayers’ Union has highlighted the anti-democratic proposals, called ‘He mata whariki he matawhanui’. They include:
* Transferring a laundry list of powers that currently fall before elected council directly to hapu/iwi and other Maori organisations;
* Appointing unelected positions by mana whenua to be given equal status as elected members (including voting rights). But unlike the councillors, the mana whenua representatives cannot be removed at the ballot box;
* Requiring council staff to conform with ‘te ao Maori values’ by law;
* Funding of ‘Tiriti-based partnership in local governance’ (no matter the cost to ratepayers, apparently);
* Removing the requirement for local referenda before changing the voting system (for the remaining councillors to be elected) by imposing STV across the country; and
* Lowering the local voting age to 16.
While all that is going on, I’m hearing reports that Wayne Brown is thinking of reaching out to the left and making accommodations. He’d be mad to even contemplate that. We’ve had 12 years of their idiotic policies, and Auckland is more broken than ever. On that list there isn’t a single policy or platform that Aucklanders want.
Wayne Brown was elected by a huge groundswell of voters who comprehensive rejected the lunatic left prescription. The councillors from that side deserve nothing but howls of derisive laughter.
Wayne Brown is right: we do need a radical re-think of the Super City, just not the kind envisaged by the most divisive Government in our history.
Cam Slater is a New Zealand-based blogger, best known for his role in Dirty Politics and publishing the Whale Oil Beef Hooked blog, which operated from 2005 until it closed in 2019. This article was first published HERE