Hide: One Rule For All
Local Government Minister Rodney Hide today rejected Phil Goff’s policy of having the Mayor of Auckland sit in on Cabinet Committees.”There should be one law for all Mayors, not special treatment for Auckland. ”
“The aim of this government has been to fix Auckland’s governance so the Mayor and Council can stand and get elected on a vision and strategy for Auckland, and have the tools to deliver on that vision and strategy. That’s what these reforms are delivering.
But the minister said he was pleased that “after nine years in power and having done nothing, Phil Goff now finally accepts that Auckland is broken and needs fixing. That’s what this government is doing”.
The Labour leader had said in a speech in Mt Albert yesterday that Labour would let the Auckland Mayor be involved in Cabinet discussions on Auckland saying:
“That will give Auckland, where a third of New Zealanders live, a direct voice around the cabinet table before a decision is made rather than simply imposing decisions made without adequate Auckland input.“
Not the reported views of Aucklanders as interpreted by the Wellington bureaucrats, but the democratically elected mayor, directly influencing the big decisions on Auckland as they are made in Cabinet.”
But Rodney Hide says Auckland’s new SuperCity Mayor will be busy enough dealing with the issues in Auckland without traipsing to Wellington every week to sit in on cabinet committees – besides Labour had a Minister of Auckland Issues in Judith Tizard.
“She achieved nothing for Auckland. Sitting around the cabinet table isn’t the answer; decent governance is.”
“I am also pleased that he now supports Local Boards. The Royal Commission decided to do away with local representation.
“The Labour Party at the time criticised the Government for not following the Royal Commission’s suggestions, but we viewed local representation as paramount in the new structure, and wanted local people to have their say.”
“I am also surprised that Phil Goff makes no mention of his party’s commitment to ensure Maori seats on the Auckland Council. Presumably Labour now agrees with the government on this – that it’s a matter best left for the people of Auckland to decide for themselves,” he said.