Last chance to submit – for now

If you still have not made a submission to the Auckland Governance Bill 3 then you can do so online at www.parliament.nz

You need to fill in the Captcha – thats the box where you enter letters from an image – a device designed to prove you are human and then click the make an online submission box.   The rest is fairly self evident.

You can write your submission offline and then cut and paste into the editor there – however there does seem to be a 4000 character limit.

Ask to be heard in person – you can always decline later, and ask to be heard on the island.

Submission Template from WICPG

Dear everyone
Attached is a draft submission re. the third bill on the Supercity.  It is a
template prepared by the Waiheke planning group (WICPG).  See the notes
below.    It needs to be received in Wellington by the 12th of February
which doesn’t leave many days to send it.

I know we’re all struck by the dreariness of submitting but the WICPG have
made a strong template which clarifies the issues for those of us who aren’t
really following it.  And the current form of the bill includes fundamental
changes to the way taxpayer assets are managed – basically making unelected
representatives responsible for managing them, and making it difficult for
us to know how decisions are made and almost impossible to influence these.
This is therefore a fundamental threat to our understanding of democracy.

So please take a few minutes to send in a submission – either download it as
a PDF file and fill out the details and send by post, or download the word
version, fill it out, save it and send by email with your own name included
in the file name.   Although using the template, it would be good to add a
few personal comments and there is space to do so.

There is some thought that a posted submission is more likely to be taken
into account, but I’m sure any comment helps.

Apologies if you feel you’re being spammed I thought you might be
interested, and if concerned please circulate this as widely as possible.

Kind regards to all
Shirin Brown

Committee Secretariat, Auckland Governance Legislation, Parliament Buildings, Wellington, Telephone 04 817 8090,

email  to  Select.Committee@parliament.govt.nz

Re Local Government (Auckland Law Reform) Bill – Auckland Governance Legislation Bill 3

[ name ] …… ………………………………………………………………………………………..

[ address ] …………………………………………………………………………………………..

Contacts [ telephones / e-mail]……………………………………………………………………………….

Background : We firmly believe that it is fundamental that Local Government should be for the service and wellbeing of  its ratepayers and residents and communities, and not for associated bureaucratic or corporate privatisation interests.

Thus it must be part of a broader debate about the type of country we want to live in: the balance we strike between citizen, community and government in terms of both power and voice, and how we manage the inevitable tensions between diversity, choice and a desire for common standards (excerpt from the Lyons Inquiry into Local Government  UK 2007).

Waiheke’s experience with our Proposed District Plan (HGIPP), and with Wheelie Bins, and with Matiatia,  has clearly confirmed that Waiheke has lost substantive trust in Local Government especially due to  tthe bureaucratic command and control and arrogant behaviour of the Auckland City Council.  Our experience has been that this is significantly contributed to by the ongoing lack of transparency and lack of accountability to Waiheke ratepayers and residents about many matters. We fear that this lack of transparency and accountability situation will be exacerbated by the move to the supercity unless this Select Committee and this legislation addresses these issues as below.

Submission: I / we oppose this Bill as detailed below

In addition to my personal comments, I agree with the below views

Part 1 and  Part 8 – Trust, Transparency and Accountability and CCO’s : We  believe that this No#3 Bill Enactment must include substantive clauses outling legal obligation to ensure full and open transparency, and full democratic accountability to the people of Auckland, by all Council Controlled Organisations (CCO’s ) or other Council Business Units (BU’s), as well as by the Auckland Council.  We also believe that the default position should be that no CCO should have jurisdiction over any Waiheke service unless it can be proven that such involvement is of  Regional significance.

Part 1 Waste : We support the move for the preparation by the existing local authorities of detailed proposals, as per the Auckland Council’s waste management and minimisation plan (ACWMMP), for achieving long-term integrated waste management and minimisation planning and services in Auckland (including proposals for managing waste contracts, leases, and other arrangements in relation to waste), and look forward to a reassessment of Waste Services on Waiheke with a view to better Waste Minimisation.

Part 2 – Local Boards and Local Decisions : We welcome the assurance from our MP Nikki Kaye that we Waihekeans shall have the opportunity to have consultative input into the proposed powers of our Waiheke Local Board as currently being drafted by the Auckland Transition Agency (due March 2010).  We particularly wish to have the power to administer our own resource consents, and to have a legislated 50:50 input into all capital expenditure decisions and planning decisions regarding Waiheke. We also desire our own peri-urban design panel.

Part 6 – Spatial Planning : We strongly endorse the need for spatial planning, especially to overcome the current great waste of planning resources and poor outcomes due to uncoordinated planning and consequent legal process inefficiency. Additionally we believe that such spatial planning must be statutory, and that its purpose must be subservient to spatial strategy (as in England, Scotland and Wales) which in turn must be subservient to shared ambitions and visions for Auckland, and be focused upon People, Places and Futures and sustainable development, and be linked to The RMA 1991 Part II – “Purpose and Principles”, and also be linked to the RMA Phase II Reforms.

Separately we desire a separate statutory spatial plan for the Gulf as we believe that without such, that our small Gulf Islands population will always mean that insufficient resources are allocated for the wellbeing and Kaitiakitanga of the Hauraki Gulf – Tikapa Moana, and its communities. Our experience with the HGIPP  process validates this view.

I / we  wish to be heard of this submission, on Waiheke if possible*  –  * [delete as necessary]

I / we  wish to support the submission of the WICPG*  – * [delete as necessary]

Signed:    ………………………………………..    Dated :    …………………………………………………

My submission raises the question of how to exit the supercity

To Committee Secretariat, Auckland Governance Legislation, Parliament Buildings, Wellington
Re Local Government (Auckland Law Reform) Bill – Auckland Governance Legislation Bill 3

From: Andrew Watkins
26 Junction Rd, Palm Beach,
Waiheke Island

email: avowkind@gmail.com
telephone: 0210307197

I am a recent resident of Waiheke and have lived in Auckland for five years after migrating here from the UK.  I run the onewaiheke.co.nz web site which supports local democracy and campaigns on the island by making available information from all sources on issues such as Auckland Governance, Waste, Energy etc.

I made a submission to Bill 2 and spoke at the select committee hearing on the island. There I was assured that the members understood and supported the concept of subsidiarity. – That by default powers should be vested in the most local form wherever possible ceding power to centralised groups only where necessary for regional planning.  I was informed by John Carter that I would be ‘surprised’ this time as to how much power the local boards would have – I am still waiting to be surprised.   There are no checks and balances in the proposed bill, no clear statement of the principle of subsidiarity and no measures to allow communities to regain control should the system be shown to be failing.

For this reason I now oppose the bill.

The nature of the process is such that by the time I and the rest of the community discover that we have been duped by wait and see promises it will be too late to do anything about it.

My primary proposal is that the bill makes explicit the means by which Waiheke  – and other similarly motivated communities may withdraw from the Amalgamation should the majority of the community request it.   The process by which Waiheke considered leaving Auckland and joining with Thames/Coromandel should remain an option.

The experience of the Amalgamation of Montreal shows that after some time the costs often outweigh the benefits and many communities have seceded from the Canadian Supercity.   I would like to preserve this right for Auckland Communities.

The political process to achieve amalgamation has been controlled all along by the politicians. We have made numerous presentations and submissions and tit is clear that opinion on the island is split between those who wish independence immediately, and those who are prepared to give the city a chance – for say 6 years.  I therefore ask that you ensure that an ‘exit’ clause is made part of the bill.

I further object to the principle that semi privatized organisations are created (CCO’s) that have minimal oversight by elected officials and do not have to provide full transparency on their business and business practices.  This is the worst of both worlds.   If we wish private organisations to provide services to the populace then they should not have monopolies, they should compete in an open market and they should have to invest their own capital in obtaining state assets.  Some services should always be state run as they are incapable of providing a fair return on investment to capital. These include Water, Transport, Health and Waste.  As the organisations providing such services will necessarily have to put public needs before profit there is no point in pretending that they can be run as private businesses and they should be fully state owned with full public accountability.   The CCO pattern is the worst of both worlds it routes tax payers money to private individuals and companies who do not have to publish or account for their prices or spending. It gives them effective monopolies preventing more efficient private companies OR community  organisations from competing in that service sector.

Specifically to Waiheke there is a clear difference of opinion between the island and the city on the nature of ‘local’ services compared to regional.  For example Water is clearly a regional service on the isthmus – ownership of dams, and the means of distribution is not something you can divide up. However on the island water is a very local – even household issue with provision made through local water storage.  We like it that way.   Hence the Watercare CCO should have no jurisdiction over Waiheke and no rates should be paid for water services.

Similarly the provision of Roads should be independent.  We will have no motorways here and wish to develop a travel network appropriate for the coming environmental changes – this would include weight limits on trucks, more space for cycleways, more public transport provision.

Similarly Waste – Waiheke had the leading waste management system in the region being the only part of Auckland that could seriously talk about zero waste by 2020.  This was lost due to the centralising, monopolising forces of the city.  The current provision takes no account of waste minimisation and rising transport costs over the next decades.

I  wish to be heard of this submission, on Waiheke if possible

Sincerely,
Andrew Watkins

Time to stand up for Waiheke.

Councillor Denise Roche on having your say on Auckland City.

The Local Government (Auckland Law Reform) Bill

The Government is on track to creating the ‘Super-City’ for the Auckland region and the third piece of legislation that will determine how we are governed is out for public submissions.  Submissions need to be into the Select Committee that will be hearing public submissions by Friday 12th December.

Background

The last two pieces of legislation that have already been passed (and the Royal Commission report before that) ensures that Waiheke will have its own Local Board.  The Local Government Commission will report back at the beginning of March with their final decision on which ward we will be part of and how many councillors we will have representing us at the Council level.  (The draft proposal lumped us in with the Central Business District and nearby suburbs and allocated one councilor to represent all 84,000 of us.)

The process towards the Super-City has been undemocratic and rushed and this third bill is no exception to that rule.

Impact on Waiheke

Council Controlled Organisations

This third bill gives further details about how the entire region will be run and recommends the creation of at least seven Council Controlled Organisations (CCO’s) to run key assets and services across the region –  for Water and Waste Water Services, Transport, the Waterfront; Economic Development, Tourism and Events; Property; Investments and Major Regional Facilities.  CCO’s are run along a corporate model and removes elected representatives (Councillors and Local Board members) from most of the decision-making as this rests with directors who are appointed to their positions rather than voted in.

The Bill proposes that the directors for the CCO’s will be appointed initially by the Minister for Local Government, Rodney Hide.  In usual circumstances a CCO’s directors are decided by the Council.  And with the exception of the Transport CCO, the bill prohibits any councilors from being on the boards of CCO’s.

The way the Bill is drafted there is also the potential for the sale of public assets and the privatization of services like water across the region within a few years.

Local Decision-Making

We have regularly been told by government spokespeople that ‘local decisions would be made locally’ and have been lead to believe that the third bill would clarify the roles and functions and powers of the Local Boards.  The third bill does not specify in any detail what these decision making powers will be except to propose that Local Boards can recommend to Council on the introduction of targeted rates, fees and bylaws.    The rest of the functions of the Local Boards are being left up to the Auckland Transition Agency (a group of unelected staff) to develop the details.

On Waiheke we know that without clarity around these roles, powers and functions – and if left to the whims of the Auckland Council – our new Local Board may be given very little decision-making ability.  And it will be difficult to attract good candidates to stand for these positions if the roles are mere window-dressing.   These details need to be in the Bill.

In addition, if it is CCO’s that make all the decisions on our services and assets, then Local Boards become even more powerless as the Bill provides no form of interaction or influence for Local Boards and CCO’s.

There are many possible scenario’s where we may be disadvantaged by the proposals in the bill.  Here are a few:

Water Services CCO:  if the CCO decides to reticulate Waiheke, what power or right does the Local Board have to prevent them?  Waiheke has a strong history of resisting reticulation as it will led to infill housing and a destruction of the character of the island.

Transport: CCO: How does the Local Board influence the CCO if it decides to increase the current wharf charges for the ferry services which has a flow on effect on the ferry fares?

Transport CCO:  Roads and environmental issues from storm-water runoff.  Under the current system we already have difficulties convincing Council to implement low-impact storm water management.  This could be a lot more difficult where the CCO determines the priorities for local roads.

Property CCO:  How do we influence this CCO around the uses for the Matiatia land currently owned by Council?

Please make a submission on the bill

You can post them (two copies of your submission, no stamp required) to:

The Select Committee Clerk
Auckland Governance Legislation Committee
Parliament Buildings
Wellington

Or fill in an on-line submission form at:
http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/SC/MakeSub/

Or email your submission to: Select.Committee@parliament.govt.nz

And if you need any assistance please feel free to contact Denise Roche, 372 6578 or 027 209 7554 or Email: cr.roche@aucklandcity.govt.nz

Bill 3 – The greens

The Greens, as has been commented in the NZ Herald seem to be doing a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of analysing the effect of the various bills on local democracy.   They have provided a guide to making a submission at

http://www.greens.org.nz/actionalerts/submission-guide-local-government-auckland-law-reform-bill

Here are their key points:

The Bill undermines democratic control of local Government in Auckland by transferring power and decision-making in many areas to unelected Ministerial appointees.  It also paves the way for the privatisation of assets that will be transferred to the Auckland Council.

Measures contained in the Bill include:

  • The Minister of Local Government, rather than democratically elected local politicians, will decide what Council Controlled Organisations to establish and appoint their initial directors.
  • The new Council Controlled Organisation “Auckland Transport” will have between 6 and 8 voting directors, but only 2 of them can be elected members of the Auckland Council.  This transfers effective control of transport-related powers and functions from elected councillors to unelected Ministerial appointees.
  • Elected councillors will be prohibited from being directors of all other Council Controlled Organisations, again transferring effective control of vast areas of Auckland’s governance from elected councillors to unelected Ministerial appointees.
  • Watercare Services Limited’s water pricing will not be subject to Auckland Council policy or direction from mid-2015, and the Auckland Council will be permitted to privatise it from that date.
  • The Auckland Council will be permitted to sell strategic assets from mid-2012, meaning that privatisation plans can be completed before voters get a chance to have a say on them at the 2013
    local elections.
  • A tokenistic and toothless board will be appointed to advise the Auckland Council on issues of significance for mana whenua and Maori within Auckland.  The Auckland Council will have no obligation to follow its advice.

Submissions on Ward Boundaries

Time move on and if you want to have a say on the ward boundaries and local boards then you need to do so by Friday 11th.

Here follows the submission by the Waiheke Island Community Planning Group (WICPG).

FURTHER SUBMISSION TO THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT COMMISSION

Ward Boundaries and Representation, and the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009

The case for recognition of, and provision for, the importance of ‘difference’ – Te Motu o Waiheke e te Tikapa Moana[1]

11 December 2009

Introduction

The Waiheke Island Community Planning Group Inc (WICPG) has prepared this submission and is presenting this submission.  This is a further submission to our initial submission of October 16 2009. As outlined in our initial submission, WICPG has been an active community group on Waiheke Island for the past five years.

Submission :

As outlined in our July 21 2009 Submission to the Local Government and Environment Select Committee re the Local Government [ Auckland Council ] No 2 Bill 2009, we believe that the 2-tier system as currently conceived for the Auckland Council is doomed to failure because of its inherent power imbalances which do not sufficiently represent local, but rather attribute Auckland Council governance priorities towards hierarchical command and control CCO infrastructure management only. This is reinforced by the draft Organisation Chart of the ATA Discussion document of Nov 2, by recent press release statements about the No 3 Bill, and by other feedback from the ATA regarding the irrelevance of Waiheke community matters. Thus we lobby for the establishment of a Chief of Local Board Services to report directly to the Chief Executive.

With reference to the LGC Auckland Governance Arrangements Volume 1 doc, we believe that the Maungawhau -HGI Ward as proposed does not meet  Objective 3 to provide for Auckland’s diverse communities”, or indeed the Criteria “effective representation of  those communities of interest,or indeed the Legal Compliance of Recognition of Communities of Interest as “having a shared vision and history”, or indeed the definition of Effective Representation as “not grouping unlike communities of interest.”

Additionally we believe that the LGC skew of Ward representation towards population representation as opposed to communities of interest, does not permit adequate representation for the wellbeings of the Hauraki Gulf.

Thus we lobby for better Hauraki Gulf representation, especially but not only by way of Waiheke Local Board representation on the Hauraki Gulf Forum, and we support other evolving models for such representation including separate spatial planning for the Gulf, and separate bi-cultural governance for the Gulf. We also support the move towards Unesco Biosphere recognition of Waiheke and the Gulf. We also lobby for the establishment of a specific Hauraki Gulf input into the above proposed role of Chief of Local Board Services.

As outlined in our original submission to the LGC dated Oct 16, we believe that Waiheke has little shared vision and history and even inherent communities of conflict rather than communities of interest with those areas dominated by the Auckland C&R party, especially including Parnell and Newmarket as currently included within the Maungawhau-HGI Ward. Thus we lobby for the reduction in the size of the Maungawhau -HGI Ward to better align with the boundaries of the Auckland Central Electorate, and for more Wards overall.

Should the opportunity arise, we wish to be heard at any appropriate hearing.

Appendices :

Original WICPG Submission to the LGC dated Oct 16 2009

WICPG Submission to AGL Select Committee dated July 21 2009

Draft Organisation Chart of the ATA Discussion document of Nov 2,

Preamble to the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act 2000,

together Section 3, – Purpose;  and Section 16,(2),(d), – Representation.

Maps showing desired boundary changes for the Maungawhau-HGI Ward

Appendix 2 from the LGC Auckland Governance Arrangements Volume 1 doc


[1] Waiheke Island and the Hauraki Gulf

Ward Boundaries and Council representation for Waiheke Island

On Sunday 11th at Ostend Hall about 50 islanders met to discuss the next stage of the supercity process – The allocation of ward boundaries and our proposals for council representation. As a result of discussions at that meeting and afterwards Councillor Roche has prepared the following submission.

To: The Local Government Commission
From:  Denise Roche
Re: Ward Boundaries and Council representation for Waiheke Island

16th October 2009

Introduction

On Friday 2nd October Commissioners held an information gathering and feedback session with councillors and community board members from the Auckland City Council and elected representatives were invited to provide further written information about wards in the new Auckland Council, boundaries of those wards and local boards.

During her presentation to the commissioners Waiheke Community Board member Eileen Evans said that the first preference for Waiheke islanders is to have our own councillor on the Auckland Council.  She also said that there would be further consultation with the Waiheke community regarding the ward boundaries and issues of representation.

Consequently two articles appeared in the two local papers last week and a public meeting was held on Sunday 11th October where the 50 people who attended were invited to express their views about how Waiheke can best be represented in the new Auckland Council.

That meeting and other feedback to elected representatives by email and a one-to-one survey of over thirty local business people by community board member Eileen Evans reinforce the view that the Waiheke community wants Waiheke to be a ward in its own right within the Auckland Council and to have our own councillor at that level.

It is widely recognised that the Great Barrier community have a different view to this one and subsequently the call for a separate ward applies to Waiheke Island only.

Background

According to Department of Statistics 2008 data Waiheke has a permanent population of 8230 people.  This figure does not take into account the semi-permanent summer residents who own properties on the island and who live here part time during the warmer months.   Nearly half of the housing stock on the island is owned by people who have an off-island address and it is estimated that up to a third of the total housing stock is empty during the winter months and occupied during the summer.  Taking this into account for about half of the year the population is around 12,000.

In addition, during the summer months the population can swell up to 30,000 at any time when short-stay holiday makers, day-trippers and boaties are taken into account.

The community of Waiheke is engaged and active in civic affairs.  The letters to the editor pages of our two local papers are always full and are testament to the level of discussion that take place within the community.  There are 198 community organisations on the island that rely on voluntary contributions from our citizens and they range from the health services through to sports and recreation clubs and welfare groups.

In addition Waiheke has a consistently high voter turn out in both local body and central government elections.  Community board decisions and council papers are thoroughly inspected and elected representatives are held accountable with a consistently high number of local people turning up to the public forum part of monthly community board meetings.

Local Boards

Waiheke and Great Barrier are both assured of having their own local boards within the Auckland Council.  We are in no doubt that this is the direct result of the level of activism and engagement that the people in both communities took in advocating for more democracy and local decision-making during the submission process to the Royal Commission on Local Governance and also during the select committee process for the Auckland Governance bills.

The current members of the Waiheke Community Board are very hard working and responsive to the community’s needs.  The existing membership is of 6 members in total (including the Auckland City Councillor) and given that the legislation for Auckland Governance will result in greater powers – and most probably a greater workload – for locally elected representatives the board numbers need to be a minimum of six members but could probably be greater to better distribute the workload.

A separate Waiheke island ward

In the Local Government Commission ‘s A guide for the establishment of new governance arrangements for Auckland it states under ‘Determination on wards’ (page 7):

Statutory compliance with: ….

v) so far as practicable, the boundaries of wards and the numbers of councillors for each ward provide fair representation for the electors of each ward (i.e. the population of each ward divided by the numbers of councillors is within +/- 10% of the population divided by the 20 councillors – referred to as the ‘+/- 10% rule)

vi) if the Commission considers that effective representation of communities of interests so requires, wards may be defined and membership distributed between them in a way that does not comply with the requirements of v. above

We ask that you invoke vi) above and do not apply the “+/-10% rule” to Waiheke and allow us our own ward and ward councillor on the Auckland Council for the following reasons:

1) As an island Waiheke is already recognised as a community of interest.  One of the main concerns for this island community is that there is no similar community of interest elsewhere in the Auckland council region with which we can combine.  This island community has a strong sense of identity that is not shared by residents and ratepayers in the CBD or elsewhere on the isthmus.

This lack of community of interest extends to Great Barrier as well. Despite the fact that both islands are situated in the Hauraki Gulf, Waiheke and Great Barrier are significantly different islands with different stressors. The Haruaki Gulf Islands District Plan, for example, has caused considerable difficulties for Great Barrier people because of the lack of recognition of the differences between the two communities – and their distinct environments – and the need for different development controls to be applied to each island.

On Waiheke one of our greatest fears is that the ‘isthmusisation’ that occurs now – where the mindset of the isthmus council is transported to the Waiheke community in their decision making – will continue under the much larger Auckland Council and our community feels strongly that to avoid this we need a councillor to not only help with the governance across the region but also advocate for our unique island within the region.

2) Waiheke is already regionally and nationally significant.  We are the largest community in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park and our island is seen as being part of ‘Auckland’s playground.’  Consequently having  a councillor from the island will definitely contribute to the regional governance of Auckland and we hope will regionally and nationally significant area.   A major concern for the Waiheke community is that a councillor shared with other mainland areas will not understand and advocate for this environmentally special place and its inhabitants.

3) UNESCO Biosphere Reserve 

Waiheke will play an important role in complementing the new Auckland Council in its attempt to become a world-class city.  It can best play this role by achieving international recognition as a centre for conservation and sustainability.  There is growing support for the idea that Waiheke should pursue this by applying to become a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.  Such an ambitious project requires special representation at the top level of Auckland Council and having our own councillor is by far the simplest way to do this.

4) Unlike the other current wards in Auckland City Council the Hauraki Gulf islands community boards and ward councillor have mostly been elected as ‘independent’ – that is, without  political party affiliation.  On Waiheke this means that our elected representatives are accountable to our community first and foremost and do not have to follow a ‘party line.’  If we were to become part of a larger ward it is unlikely that an independent councillor could afford to stand and be elected.    This would usher in a new period of political division that so far has not existed on the island in our local governance.

Conclusion

The Hauraki Gulf Islands have long been seen as being tied as a community of interest with Auckland City, however most of these ties are of a practical nature and have very little to do with the council itself.  There is more affinity with the work of the Auckland Regional Council, which administers the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act, along with the Department of Conservation, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and other government departments.
There are educational choices both at secondary and tertiary levels in many parts of the region and health services are provided by District Health Boards and transport (including ferries) is a regional problem.

The unique qualities of Waiheke Island simply do not fit in with the ward proposals that are being bandied about but the island is an integral part of the region and should be treated as such by the proposed Auckland Council.

There is a precedent for Waiheke being a smaller ward within a larger amalgamated body.  The Waiheke community successfully lobbied to have its own councillor and community board after the amalgamations in 1989 where the Waiheke County Council became part of the Auckland City Council.   At that time the population of Waiheke was only around 3000 – however the unique nature of the island and the community’s demand for a continuation of local representation was acknowledged in the subsequent arrangements.

While the size of the community has grown over that time good local governance is still an issue that can excite this passionate community.

We therefore ask that when the Local Government Commission is drafting its proposal for the allocation of wards and councillors for the Auckland Council that Waiheke Island be identified as a ward in its own right with its own councillor.

Denise Roche
Auckland City Councillor
Hauraki Gulf Islands Ward

Ph: (09) 372 6578 or 027 209 7554

Email: cr.roche@aucklandcity.govt.nz

Cellsites community engagement

Telecom, Vodafone, Woosh and Kordia have formed an association known as the Telecommunication Carriers Forum (TCF).

The TCF have released Guideline re Community Engagement re Cellsites and are calling for public input.

The closing date is AUGUST 20, only days away, we only found out about the Guidelines on AUGUST 11 even though they were released on July 9.

We ask everybody to submit a submission.  Send it to info@tcf.org.nz

Here are some example submissions.

There is a 23 page example of a full submission from an Environmental Lawyer, and Mother, for those who are looking for more information.

The guidelines can be found on the TCF website www.tcf.org.nz

Time is short so please send in the submissions today.

This is a wonderful initiative by the TCF.  Present methods aren’t working and as more communities get shocked by a cellsite as the phone companies look to develop the infrastructure the clashing of wills will only get worse.

If we are to get the joy of 3G and onwards then we need to let the TCF know what it will take to get our support.  The Guidelines are the beginning.

Submissions are being sought worldwide so we get the best ideas not just the thoughts of a few NZ Telco executives.  Spread the word, be part of securing our safety.

Andrew Crawford

safetowers@gmail.com

A clear submission with a whole Auckland point of view

Committee Secretariat  

Auckland Governance Legislation Committee  

Parliament House  

Wellington  

 24 June, 2009 

 

 

Tena koutou katoa, 

Submission to the Auckland Governance Legislation Committee on the Local 

Government (Auckland Council) Bill. 

 

Introduction 

1) Thank you for the opportunity to submit on the provisions of the Local 

Government (Auckland Council) Bill.  This submission is made on behalf 

of… 

 

2) I wish to appear before the select committee to speak to this submission. 

 

3) I am opposed to the bill in its entirety. 

 

4) The primary reason I am opposed to the bill is that I do not believe that 

major restructuring of local government is necessary in the first place.  Any 

issues with governance in Auckland could be resolved with relatively minor 

changes in existing legislation to more clearly delineate council roles and 

responsibilities, so that conflicts from overlapping functions can be avoided.  

The shake-up proposed in this bill and the associated legislation is heavy 

handed; it lacks an appropriate level of analysis and rationale, and the 

expense its implementation will incur to ratepayers is likely to be 

extortionate. 

 

5) In addition, I do not believe that the council structure proposed would 

provide well for the democratic and effective governance of the Auckland 

Region and its diverse communities, or for the sustainable use and 

protection of its natural resources. 

 

6) The proposed top-heavy structure will have little hope of fulfilling the 

purpose of local government in accordance with the Local Government Act 

2002.  I agree with the purpose of local government defined in the Act, and 

consider it important that Auckland local government achieves that purpose: 

i.e. to enable democratic local decision-making and action by, and on behalf 

of, communities; and to promote the social, economic, environmental, and 

cultural well-being of communities, in the present and for the future. 

 

7) I am opposed to the creation of a single large government edifice to govern 

all of Auckland. A range of government levels from national to local is 

necessary to allow democracy, effective communication, resourcing and 

decision-making at a local level, as well as to provide appropriate scale and 

resources to deal with larger matters (e.g. integrated protection of 

indigenous biodiversity, sustainable energy, water, wastewater and public 

transport).  

 

8) Consequently, I am opposed to the concentrated power envisaged for the 

Mayor and the executive in the proposed Auckland Council.  In addition I 

consider that the proposed model of numerous small, powerless and non- 

autonomous community boards is flawed and will be ineffectual. 

 

9) The greatest challenges facing Auckland, and indeed the world today are 

related to environmental quality and sustainability.  No measure of economic 

success will allow the Auckland region or New Zealand to avoid dealing with 

environmental sustainability issues.  The result of any review of Auckland 

governance must be designed to tackle the growing resource and 

environmental issues that we will be facing in future years, not be focused 

on the issues or politics of the past.  Any future governance structure for 

Auckland should be tailored towards implementing original, small scale and 

distributed solutions for sustainability.  Similarly, it will need to effectively 

deliver small scale, empowered governance for sustainable communities.   

 

10) Should the government persist with this legislation, specific clauses of the 

Bill that I wish to submit on are as follows: 

Clause 8 – Governing body of Auckland Council 

 

11) All Councillors should be elected from wards, with none voted at-large. 

Auckland is such a large region that at-large elections would favour only the 

wealthy or famous, and not necessarily the best representatives for 

Auckland’s communities.  

 

12) I strongly favour the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system for the election 

of mayor and councillors at any level.  This will ensure proportional and 

democratic representation across the region’s communities, and in particular 

will ensure ethnic groups and minorities are not disenfranchised. 

 

13) Twenty councillors cannot represent the population of Auckland, and would 

fail to provide ‘local’ governance in any sense of the word.  Regardless of 

the final council structure, the number of councillors should be increased to 

represent Auckland’s 1.4 million citizens fairly. 

 

14)  Crown sovereignty and thus all government organisations in New Zealand 

are built on the foundation of the Treaty of Waitangi.  Consequently, 

dedicated Maori seats must be included in future Council representation.  

With the complex and overlapping Maori interests in Auckland, three Maori 

seats would be a bare minimum in my view.  I would also support a more 

innovative formula for Maori representation than a simple seat count, if it 

would lead to better representation of the various tribal interests in the 

region. 

 

Clause 9 – Mayor of Auckland 

15) The notion of a single individual vested with the powers envisaged by this 

clause is anathema to me, as it would allow him or her to effectively control 

the Council without proper debate or scrutiny, and it would not provide for 

democratic representation of Auckland’s communities.  I strongly oppose the 

clause. 

 

16) If an ‘Auckland Council’ is created, the Auckland mayor should have the 

same powers as other mayors in New Zealand.  The full council, not the 

mayor, should appoint the deputy mayor and all committee chairs. 

  

Clause 10 – Local boards 

17) As discussed above, I do not agree that the general structure of Auckland 

councils needs to be changed to provide more effective governance for the 

region.  However, if the structure is changed, I am opposed to the model of 

numerous weak local boards.  These would be entirely ineffectual. 

 

18) Instead, I submit there should be several local councils, with boundaries 

based on existing communities.  (I am not overly concerned at the number of 

councils). 

 

19) It is important that the local councils are all autonomous, and resourced 

sufficiently to plan, fund and deliver services locally.  Only those services 

that must be delivered at regional level should be governed at a regional 

level (e.g. regional parkland, sustainable water, wastewater and public 

transport and integration activities to protect indigenous biodiversity). 

 

Clause 11 – Status of local boards 

20) Local boards or councils should be formally established as legitimate local 

authorities, not merely as powerless consultation committees reporting to a 

bigger council.  Local Boards should have clearly defined roles and powers 

under the Resource Management Act, Local Government Act 2002 and 

other relevant legislation. 

 

Clause 11 – Membership of local boards 

21) As I have submitted above, I strongly favour the democratic Single 

Transferable Vote (STV) system for the election of councillors and/or board 

members, to ensure proportional and democratic representation. 

 

Clause 18 – Local Government Commission to determine boundaries of 

Auckland 

22) I am opposed to sub-clause (2) of this section.  The proposed redefinition of 

the southern Auckland regional boundary would result in an administrative 

split of one of mainland Auckland’s most significant natural and ecological 

features – the native forest of the Hunua Ranges.  This area is currently 

managed mostly within one park by a single entity (Auckland Regional 

Council).   

 

23) Local government has the responsibility under the Resource Management 

Act to maintain indigenous biodiversity.  The proposed boundary shift would 

result in an unnecessary and inefficient splitting up of the management of 

the Hunua Ranges (including forest and parkland) between Auckland and 

Waikato.  The boundary should be left where it is, or alternatively moved 

further south to encompass the southernmost portion of the Hunua Range. 

 

Other matters 

25) Any other clauses that need to be changed in order to give effect to the 

preceding recommendations should also be amended. 

 

26) I oppose the privatisation of public assets.  Public assets such as parks, the 

buildings and contents of libraries, galleries and museums, water and 

wastewater infrastructure, public transport assets, and Auckland zoo have 

been paid for by Aucklanders, and should remain in their ownership and 

control. 

 

27) It is with considerable disquiet that I have observed the progress of 

government’s hasty efforts to reorganise Auckland governance since it 

received the Royal Commission report earlier this year.  If local government  

is about anything, it is about the fair and democratic representation of the 

views of local communities in decisions on matters that affect them. 

 

28)  The government has not consulted Aucklanders on whether they want to 

disestablish their existing democratically elected councils.  Nor has it fulfilled 

its legal obligation to poll Auckland citizens on whether or not they support 

the proposed reorganisation, as required by Schedule 3 of the Local 

Government Act 2002. 

 

29) Nevertheless, I trust that the select committee will hold the democratic right 

of Aucklanders to be fairly represented in local government foremost in their 

minds during their deliberations on this legislation.  I look forward to a 

governance model in Auckland that truly enables democratic local decision- 

making and action by, and on behalf of the region’s communities.  I also 

urge the select committee to develop a governance structure that will be 

innovative and flexible enough to solve the resource, sustainability and 

environmental issues that we increasingly face. 

 

Thank you for considering this submission. 

 

Yours faithfully, 

 

 <name withheld on request>

 

Oi! Mr Hide, Are you listening?

In just seven days from when we first put this site up we have received over 200 visits and over 70 just yesterday. We have seen erudite and interesting submissions from the community board, the radio trust, the community planning group and individuals.  This is not just happening here on Waiheke.  Small communities all over Auckland are creating their own local action movements to tackle the issues of the supercity.  Take a look at http://savepapakura.com for example.  About 1000 people took to the streets of Waitakere on Wednesday for a protest march, and another 200 crammed into a meeting in Manuakau.   Editorials in the Aucklander and 10 Auckland local papers ask “Who stole our voice”.

trouble at the bottom

Here is a fundamental issue: how can 12 ward elected councillors honestly represent local communities? Who actually believes that a more centralised, more top down approach will lead to better representation?

Over the last 10 years how do islanders feel about their access to decision makers in the city council?  Has it been a good experience?  How do you feel about your one elected councillor not being allowed to represent the island.  Will islanders continue to have to wear a groove up Queen St to the council offices on every issue that arises?

This is not purely a Waiheke issue. This affects all communities around the city that are trying to improve their social cohesion, environmental sustainability, local democracy and representation.  Decisions made far away from the place where they take effect are usually wrong ones. Decisions made on pure economic factors regardless of the people involved cannot be the best.  

You might feel that so many people have made submissions about the issue that there is no point in adding your own voice.   But please do, please write today, or email, identify your own feelings on this, draw on your own expectations and experiences.  We want our shout to be LOUD.  because otherwise it might be the last chance to be heard.

Andrew.