Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Auckland's future: Keep calm, but think hard

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  • bob daktari,

    the elephant in the room is of course we should pay for the much needed infrastructure and the like by selling off assets

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 538 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis, in reply to Stephen Adams,

    Auckland City’s financial asset base is nowhere near that high: the $37bn figure includes parks, roads, footpaths, pipes, etc that can’t ever ever be sold… not sure the banks would count those.

    Just because the Whaeloil sys so doesnt mean its true.
    Papakura sold off its water pipes a while back and they are privately operated to this day. The Brits sold off their water/wastewater for local councils as well. The only place this really hasnt happened in the USA. However Chicago sold off the right to operate its parking meters, so there is an asset !.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Dunster,

    One thing I continue to find hard to understand is why the MPs elected in Auckland constituencies are not supporting their city. Nary a peep from them, let alone an organised group ensuring that their constituents are properly served.

    Mind you, when compared to the vicissitudes of life in Christchurch I really shouldn't complain - or expect any semblance of rational action.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 184 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Graham Dunster,

    One thing I continue to find hard to understand is why the MPs elected in Auckland constituencies are not supporting their city. Nary a peep from them, let alone an organised group ensuring that their constituents are properly served.

    To be fair, Graham, constituency MPs do all kinds of advocacy on local issues which are no less real because the media takes precisely zero interest in them. (And a fair amount of it involves constituents who deserve to have their privacy respected.)

    But are you seriously calling for central government to try directly influencing local government decisions over their own affairs? To take that to the reductio ad absurdum, why not just abolish elected councillors and have Parliament set rates and decide how they are to be spent?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Graham,

    But are you seriously calling for central government to try directly influencing local government decisions over their own affairs?

    You're joking right Craig? Central govt,, especially this one, has been openly meddling in local govt and not in a good way. Look at the Canterbury Water Board, the Chch Council (albeit there were some issues there), Auckland transport plans, asset depreciation impacts on council finances. For God's sake, we now have a $10m dollar tent (!) that is slowly ripping apart and is useless for pretty much any event that has been left us by central govt.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 216 posts Report Reply

  • Dan Salmon, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    As an aside, there's a great article about lost opportunities in that 1858 decision in the latest Harpers Magazine (or maybe LRB?) -exploring the downside of committing to said waste system. Losing a chance to use solids in agriculture, instead concreting up streams and rivers and flushing it all out to sea. Also flushing toilets geysering bacteria up into the air and spreading disease. Interesting.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston,

    When the super city was first created I think some politicians freaked out realizing they were effectively creating a city state with comparable power to central govt.
    Maybe that is why central govt is trying hard to limit and control the sovereignty of Auck.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 509 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to bob daktari,

    the elephant in the room is of course we should pay for the much needed infrastructure and the like by selling off assets

    What assets would you propose selling Bob ? What have we got in the family silver cupboard?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 509 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Mark Graham,

    You’re joking right Craig?

    I'm not joking. If central government really thinks local councils are too fiscally incontinent to be trusted with the powers delegated to them by the Local Government Act, then I'm sure the next Parliament will have no problems passing a bill to take them away.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • BeShakey, in reply to Ben Ross,

    As for funding the quickest way for the moment is to have a GST sharing arrangement like Australia does between Federal and State Governments. That is all GST collected off general rates goes back to the Council. All GST off water rates goes to Watercare. All GST off public transport goes back to Auckland Transport

    This may or may not be a good idea, but it's quite different to how Australian GST is distributed. In Australia poorer states receive more GST than they contribute while richer states get given back less than they gave, they don't simply return all the GST collected in a particular state back to that state. Currently, that's pretty controversial in Western Australia, who are (at least at present) a net loser. I suspect the same would be true here ('hey, we're sending GST collected in your region to Auckland because they need it more than you and don't want to raise rates'), which would be a pretty significant hurdle to have to overcome.

    Since Oct 2008 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    fiscally incontinent

    I assume the main symptom of which is a predilection to pissing money away?

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Dunster, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 184 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Dunster, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    My point regarding the national politicians is that they have a responsibility to their constituents to ensure that their electorates (and thus the geographical region in which they are situated) get the best possible treatment, which they manifestly fail to do. I don't expect them to set the rates but I do expect them to take an informed interest in immediate and future quality of life for the voters (and the non voters). It's all local, in the end.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 184 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Len Brown linked to this post on his facebook page.

    https://www.facebook.com/lenbrownformayor?fref=nf

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Doyle, in reply to Graham Dunster,

    So you'd expect to see Maggie Barrie, Murray McCully, Nicki Kaye, Maurice Williamson etc to drive Auckland issues over and above Bill English and Steven Joyce.
    In the words of the Mitre 10 ad, " you must be dreaming"

    Stillwater • Since Nov 2011 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to SteveH,

    pissing money away?

    zing
    #tinkle

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Stephen Doyle,

    and Steven Joyce

    Albany is supposedly in Auckland.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Doyle,

    Not to mention the MP for Helensville, also in Auckland
    And Joyce, on a lifestyle block in Albany is a neighbour of one Kim DC.

    Stillwater • Since Nov 2011 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Richard Aston,

    When the super city was first created I think some politicians freaked out realizing they were effectively creating a city state with comparable power to central govt.
    Maybe that is why central govt is trying hard to limit and control the sovereignty of Auck.

    I've always suspected there was a whiff of sour grapes after the now-disgraced John Banks didn't take the Supercity. Still, I doubt that things would become as acrimonious as Thatcher vs Livingstone.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Right, but that is true for all of New Zealand. The country has been designed deliberately to be highly centralised on the national government. I don't think it problematic then for the government to not want to abrogate too much power in that scenario.

    That being said, I think there is a lot to be said for creating strong regional authorities, perhaps loosely based on the old provincial model, for all of New Zealand.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1019 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Still, I doubt that things would become as acrimonious as Thatcher vs Livingstone.

    Yeah Red thats the great thing about politics, its full of surprises , some good, some ugly.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 509 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to Richard Aston,

    I don't propose selling anything, tis the polar opposite of my beliefs - they are assets for a reason.

    I do think we'll see increasing pressure from central govt (National) for Auckland (like other centers) to "pay their way" by privatising things like Watercare, possibly the port etc.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 538 posts Report Reply

  • llew40, in reply to bob daktari,

    The council has a fair swag invested in about 22% of the airport which already operates (very successfully) as a private company. An option?

    Since Nov 2012 • 140 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to llew40,

    I have little faith that any privatisation scheme would benefit ratepayers or the city itself.

    The airport could still have been state owned and profitable - benefitting all not a small group of shareholders - refer also to power companies. I'm one of them that believe the state/city should provide certain services at the lowest cost to the user as possible, ie not generate profit

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 538 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    A friend recently called Auckland airport's mercenary approach to customers especially the whole thing of forcing arriving and departing international passengers through their duty-free maze as "the New Zealand ride's exit-through-the-gift-store"

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

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