Government gives clean solution for Auckland

‘Super city’ to be in place next year, Maori seats axedDr Pita Sharples has slammed the Government’s decision to abolish three Maori seats on the soon to be formed Auckland Council. The Government scrapped the Maori seats, recommended by the Royal Commission, in today’s announcement… [NZ Herald Politics]

The dog’s breakfast that is the current city structure in Auckland looks to have been cleaned up by the government who have also taken the broom to the messy Royal Commission reccommendations, leaving a relatively clean solution for Auckland.

The structure is to be:

  • One unitary Auckland Council for the region
  • One Mayor, elected at large, with governance powers
  • 20 Councillors, 8 at large and 12 from wards
  • 20 to 30 local boards as the second tier of governance
  • Local Government Commission to determine ward boundaries and number and shape of local boards
  • No Maori seats (unless voted for by the public)
  • Continue with a three year term
  • No Minister or Cabinet Committee for Auckland but an Auckland Transition Committee to be chaired by Rodney Hide.

Good to see that pandering to Maori with unelected seats has been dispensed with and also to see some “at large” seats remain. This system seems to favour “tickets” rather than independents which would eliminate a fool like Andrew Williams ever getting through the pack.

I would personally favour ward boundaries to roughly match electorate boundaries. This is for a number of reasons. Almost everyone knows which electorate they reside in currently and almost no-one knows which ward they reside in. Keeping boundaries the same would simplfy ongoing boundary adjustments as changes made apply to General Seats as well as Local body ward boundaries. This system would also allow for Maori representation as well.

I think that the solution can best be summed up as a clean solution after the mess we have now and the mess the Royal Commission reccomended.

This solution also makes The Clown of Campbells Bay’s ranting in the media look foolish and the Open leter Len Brown of Manukau had in the papers look presumptive and churlish.