Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dodgy as hell

Jim Anderton has uncovered some dodgy dealings between WaterCare Services and the various Auckland councils which seem to be aimed at preventing any public scrutiny under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act of the new Auckland water monopoly. As part of the Auckland reorganisation, local councils' water assets will be transferred to WaterCare, the new monopoly provider. But WaterCare is forcing the councils to sign a confidentiality agreement purporting to prevent them from disclosing any information to the public under the LGOIMA - meaning that there will be no oversight of and accountability for what goes on. The kicker? WaterCare is owned by the very councils it is signing these agreements with. In other words, they're effectively (via a few legal cutouts) signing a contract with themselves to insulate themselves from public oversight in a particular area.

This simply stinks. But it's National's "SuperAuckland" down to a "T": secretive and unaccountable. As Anderton says, first they've taken away Aucklanders' democracy; now they're taking away their right to know.