10 Jun 2009

Super City - disposal of Assets

The latest Cabinet briefing paper on Local Body Reform does not bode well for the residents and ratepayers of N.Z. cities and towns. If the definition of core services is as narrow as reports indicate (local roading, water, sewage, rubbish disposal ) then expect to see your local council gutted and your local ratepayer purchased assets disposed of in a fire sale to any bidder who may appear and expect those assets that do not provide a rapid return to the private / foreign owner who may appear from either increased charges or restructuring and part sale of spun off "companies" or that which can be transformed into businesses to be run down and slowly but surely disappear as community services.
Watch out for libraries, community halls, art galleries, museums, swimming pools..., to be the first services to be affected. The rhetoric of ACT lovcal body councillors in the Eastern Suburbs and those of the Key favoured mayor for the Hide created Auckland would indicate that their philosophy is "I'm a moneyed philistine who doesn't use the public library / community services .. so why should anyone else have to need to use these services?"
Remember that it was John Banks and the Citizens & Ratepayers who were responsible for the disposal of community housing in Auckland before the Hubbard mayorality. It was also John Banks who wanted the Council to invest in V8 street racing at the Ratepayers expense with no reward to the Ratepayers. Remember it is the John Banks lead group in the present Council who appear to think that Mobile Library services are not core business activities for the Council.

To advocate referenda on the activities of the Councils but to deny the ratepayer citizens of greater Auckland the chance to vote on the wisdom of high cost spending to destroy the administration infrastructure of Auckland is a further demonstration of the dictatorial policy processes we are seeing in the Engkeylish government and must be opposed at all costs if we are to retain our sense of community and participation in the activities of our cities and towns.

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