Published 22 February 2010
North Shore mayor Andrew Williams said last week the new Auckland Council legislation needed major changes if it was to deliver the improvements promised by Local Government Minister Rodney Hide.
The North Shore City Council said in its submission on the third Auckland governance bill that all tiers of government should work together and decision-making should be at the lowest practicable level, which in many cases would be by the local boards. Importantly, the distinctive character of individual communities needed to be recognised, allowed for & funded adequately.
But Mr Williams said that, as the legislation now stood, there was no requirement that the Auckland Council, the local boards & the proposed council-controlled organisations talk to each other, much less work together. The Shore council was also concerned that the legislation allowed for council-controlled organisations to make decisions behind closed doors, and contained weak protection against a sell-off of vital assets such as water & wastewater services.
Mr Williams said the legislation didn’t give the people of the North Shore any reason for optimism about grassroots decision-making. Despite earlier assurances, the functions & powers of the 20-odd local boards remained undefined and it had been left to the Auckland Transition Agency to specify the boards’ roles & powers.
Mayor Williams said the Shore council called again for a guarantee that Auckland’s water & wastewater services should never be sold into private ownership. The submission also said the draft legislation was deficient on the proposed new transport agency. There was no clarity about how it would operate, and how it would achieve an integrated approach to transport across the region.
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Attribution: Council release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.