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Professor slams Super City structure (in case you missed this – like I did!)

Professor slams Super City structure

Published: 1:02PM Wednesday August 18, 2010

Source: ONE News

Professor slams Super City structure (Source: Supplied)

Prof Ian Shirley says Auckland’s Super City is the demolition of local government. – Source: Supplied

A university professor who has been involved in Auckland’s development over the past decade, launched a broadside today at what he describes as the demolition of local government in Auckland.

Professor Ian Shirley, pro-vice chancellor of AUT University, and professor of public policy with the university’s institute of public policy addressed the National Policy Makers Conference 2010 in Wellington today.

Professor Shirley is a member of the Auckland Regional Economic Development Forum, and maintains that the proposed model for the structure of Auckland’s governance effectively removes local government from Auckland.

He argues that it will be replaced with “a corporate structure where the major beneficiaries will be the exclusive brethren of big business, merchant bankers and a narrow range of consultants dominated by legal and accountancy firms”.

He says within days of the publication of the royal commission’s report on the governance of Auckland, the minister of local government introduced a badly conceived strategy that effectively undermines local government in Auckland.

“It ignores history, fails to connect in any meaningful way with the diverse populations and neighbourhoods of the region and has established a corporate framework and process that will not gain the trust of ratepayers,” Professor Shirley says.

According to Shirley the policies are driven by a form of economic fundamentalism that equates ‘governance’ with managing a ‘business’ and reduces democracy to a token engagement in the decision-making systems of local and regional government.

He says the 21 local boards proposed will be toothless. “The current prescriptions for these boards and the minimal allocation of support services make it clear that the boards will be largely irrelevant in decision-making.”

Further, 75% of Auckland’s public assets will be transferred to Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) with the majority of directors for the CCOs appointed by government ministers.

“In this case, CCO’s stand for Corporate Controlled Organisations, with the elected members on local boards having little say over how those assets are used,” he says.

Shirley claims multi-cultural populations have no structural form of representation within the Super City, despite nearly one quarter of all children under 10 living in Pacific households.

Although mayoral candidates have proposed the establishment of advisory boards for children as well as other specific population groups, Shirley dismisses these proposals as ‘clip ons’ controlled by Wellington.

“Overall the proposed new structure for Auckland’s governance fails to address the distinctive characteristics of Auckland, its population profile, and its potential.”

August 25, 2010 - Posted by | Auckland Mayoral campaign, Fighting corruption in NZ, Stop the $uper City

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