Friday, April 17, 2009


Yesterday the government "consulted" Auckland's mayors on the proposed Auckland SuperCity plan. Unfortunately that "consultation" wasn't all it was cracked up to be:

But Mr Hide made it clear those who opposed the plans for the Super City and how it was being structured should prepare to be disappointed.

"The mayors will have an opportunity to contribute, like the rest of Auckland, to the legislation, but Parliament will ultimately decide it, not me, not the Government, not a particular party - Parliament will decide it.

"We're open to the engagement but what we don't want to hear is particular self-interested groups talking about it."

Translation: "we've already made up our minds, so don't bother disagreeing with us". Where have I heard this sort of autocratic top-down talk recently? Oh, that's right...

It's also more than a little disingenuous of Hide to say that the decision will be made by Parliament. While true in a legal sense, National and ACT hold a majority in the House, and will present and pass the options they want. As under FPP, the legislature will be treated as a rubber-stamp for a decision pre-ordained by Cabinet. Which is what happens under a majority government (and given the high level of agreement and virtual coalition deal between National and ACT, that is effectively what we have). Parliament only performs its proper role as a scrutineer of legislation when the House is divided and the government lacks a majority and so must negotiate with multiple parties in order to secure the passage of legislation. The situation we have now is simply a return to the old FPP elected dictatorship - with all the arrogance that that implies.