Pam Corkery: Let's unite and tell the bullies in Wellington to stuff off

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The Super City laws also foisted upon us a ridiculous number of local boards arming them with all the power of a traffic cop on valium, writes Pam Corkery. Photo / Richard Robinson
The Super City laws also foisted upon us a ridiculous number of local boards arming them with all the power of a traffic cop on valium, writes Pam Corkery. Photo / Richard Robinson

Invoking the indomitable spirit of famous political scientist Pollyanna, let's play the Glad Game about the local body elections.

It's human to look for scapegoats when most of Auckland can't be bothered taking part in the city's self-determination. I admit to lashing out at Len Brown and I'm not about to retract.

But it's not helpful now to highlight the returning mayor's flaws, or the calibre of candidates, or the apathy of voters, or the voting system. It is what it is, so let's recap and regroup.

The legislation setting up the Super City corporatised 75 per cent of Auckland's substantial assets with the unspoken aim of selling them.

Aucklanders voted for a mayor who was anti-asset sales. So that's good, eh?

The Super City laws also foisted upon us a ridiculous number of local boards - 21 of them, with 149 positions - arming them with all the power of a traffic cop on valium.

These entities couldn't make bylaws or own property, they struggled for support staff, and board members disappeared from public sight under a dispiriting workload.

Another Glad Game moment is that most of them returned for more punishment and new contestants lined up to beg us for votes to keep local democracy alive.

All the while central government maintained its attack on Auckland, passing laws bearing yawn-monger titles that ruled out any chance of coverage in TV and electronic media.

We will never hear Hillary or Simon enthuse along the lines of: "Coming up ... the Local Government (Auckland Council) Amendment Bill (No 2) but first here's Ingrid/Jim with the weather ..."

Likewise the drearily named Land Transport Management Amendment Act, passed last month, which allows central government to take control of nearly half a billion dollars of Auckland ratepayers' money.

Wellington now decides how that transport coin is spent, without even the showbiz of consulting with Auckland Council before-hand.

So let's not fight among ourselves, kids. We have to fend off a bully - together - and tell Wellington to get its dirty hands off our life.

Really it's less Pollyanna than it is Joe Kennedy. "Don't get mad, get even."

- NZ Herald

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