Questions Aucklanders might ask about the Government's Great Leap Forward for the city:
1) Why the hurry? If it took a Royal Commission 17 months to come to its conclusions how come ACT's Rodney Hide and the PM can come up with them in a few weeks?
2) How can they even think of collapsing three elected councils and allow a transition team to usurp their powers? (In transition of course).
3) 28 Billion dollars of assets will pass to the new centralised Auckland City which will soak up the Regional Council. That's a lot of moolah. So which asset d'ya reckon will be privatised first?
4) Why are 350 homes less important than a strip of motorway when we desperately need public transport?
5) Why has the Government ignored localism and the sense of community that goes with it?
6) Why would anybody announce something as unpopular as the Waterview motorway in the midst of a by-election?
And some answers….
1) The Right is always in a hurry to legislate for the simple reason that the one thing they fear is debate and real consultation. That could mean only one thing -Democracy!
2) Because it's been done before by National's 'Mother of all budgets'. In one stroke and without any electorate approval that measure cancelled Aucklanders' right to elect representatives to hospital, harbour and electricity boards. Not content with that, the Nats proceeded to experiment with the Health system, earning the disapproval of the august Oxford History of New Zealand. Who did they learn from? Labour and Rogernomics.
4) They're not in blue ribbon Remuera.
5) Because the Right has never cared for notions of community, favouring individualism above all else. The Fairy Queen of the New Right, Margaret Thatcher, once gave us a glimpse into the minds of economic rationalists when she declared: "There is no such thing as society". Oh yeah? Watch this space.
6) Because it's a wonderful sideshow and diverts attention from the real issue, the collapsing of local democracy as we know it in Auckland.