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Bill 3 – The greens

The Greens, as has been commented in the NZ Herald seem to be doing a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of analysing the effect of the various bills on local democracy.   They have provided a guide to making a submission at

http://www.greens.org.nz/actionalerts/submission-guide-local-government-auckland-law-reform-bill

Here are their key points:

The Bill undermines democratic control of local Government in Auckland by transferring power and decision-making in many areas to unelected Ministerial appointees.  It also paves the way for the privatisation of assets that will be transferred to the Auckland Council.

Measures contained in the Bill include:

  • The Minister of Local Government, rather than democratically elected local politicians, will decide what Council Controlled Organisations to establish and appoint their initial directors.
  • The new Council Controlled Organisation “Auckland Transport” will have between 6 and 8 voting directors, but only 2 of them can be elected members of the Auckland Council.  This transfers effective control of transport-related powers and functions from elected councillors to unelected Ministerial appointees.
  • Elected councillors will be prohibited from being directors of all other Council Controlled Organisations, again transferring effective control of vast areas of Auckland’s governance from elected councillors to unelected Ministerial appointees.
  • Watercare Services Limited’s water pricing will not be subject to Auckland Council policy or direction from mid-2015, and the Auckland Council will be permitted to privatise it from that date.
  • The Auckland Council will be permitted to sell strategic assets from mid-2012, meaning that privatisation plans can be completed before voters get a chance to have a say on them at the 2013
    local elections.
  • A tokenistic and toothless board will be appointed to advise the Auckland Council on issues of significance for mana whenua and Maori within Auckland.  The Auckland Council will have no obligation to follow its advice.

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