Transport Body’s Secret Powers Must Not Be Allowed
The government decision to let the forthcoming all-powerful supercity Auckland transport authority operate in total secrecy is a disgrace.
We must fight it.
Transport Auckland, which takes over every minor and major decision involving transport in our lives (even where bus stops are located) by the new legislation, is not required to tell anyone what’s doing and deciding, at least not until after the event when it’s too late.
That means we literally will wake up one day and find changes in our transport lives about which we had no say and no prior knowledge.
This is an age of open democracy, thanks in part to the internet and local bodies are making far more of their decision – making transparent.
The official reason why not even the new transport authority’s agendas will be available so we can read in advance or later what the council decides is given as being the bureaucratic administrative work involved in making them available. And the public – that’s you – can’t attend any meetings to find out what’s happening.
That’s plainly absurd. Even little councils around the country are putting such information online. It’s easy to do. This super – city mega-body will be a bureaucracy and after all, you and I will be paying both the salaries of the business people running it and paying for the millions being spent on the projects. That all comes from our pockets.
But the truth as we know is that it’s because the all-powerful council wants to hide what it’s working on.
ARC’s Mike Lee is spot on when he suggests the secrecy behind the hasty removal of the Newmarket West train station at Christmas without any public debate is a sign of what’s ahead.
Presently, there are far too many cooks in the kitchen when it comes to Auckland transport policy. Creating a separate entity makes sense. But not one that can operate in total secrecy.
A private company can make boardroom decisions to which only shareholders need to be informed. This is a public body that will be in charge of half the Auckland super-city rating revenue.
You will no longer be able to call your councillor about transport issues be it a cycle lane or bus stop location.
The council will tell you it’s a transport authority matter now.
This cone of secrecy must not be allowed to happen.
EARLIER; Auckland City Council has concerns