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Sunday
Jul142019

LGA Conference Gets The Government Message!

Be afraid – be very afraid – Twyford having being given control of the Urban Development Agency while still smarting from his ignominious dismissal from the Housing portfolio, will be seeking to make bold moves that will affect all of us in the medium to long term.

Jane Clifton nailed it in her Listener article dated 23 July concurrent with the Local Government annual conference when Mayors pleaded for more taxing (rating) powers while the relevant Government ministers were busy, not only rejecting such demands out of hand, but outlining the removal of planning functions, along with the treasured ‘three-waters and climate change response’ that represent the only real rationale for the existence of 73 odd local councilsaround the country.

I include planning in this list, because of the stated intention that the Agency be given: 

“considerable powers to over-ride local bodies zoning, and even pick and choose the bits of the Resource Management Act it will abide by in developing new affordable homes for sale and’/or for rent”

Amalgamations were ’off the table’ according to these same ministers, but 'the writing is surely on the wall' for the period immediately following the elections. .After all, what on earth is left to justify the existence of such a large number of emasculated, and extremely expensive units – roads, cultural activities and playgrounds? – I don’t think so!

Clifton describes the policy as rather scary, and likens it to Muldoon’s 1979 National Development Act that was enacted to smooth the way for the “Think Big” energy projects that in the main ended in tears. The Government clearly believes that any argument about the dissolution of democracy will hardly stand up given the level of local government electoral participation.

One cannot imagine for one moment that Twyford will muff this hospital pass – far more likely that he will accept, and enjoy the opportunity to put what this Government considers a generally redundant local government sector in its place, and impose central planning of the like this country has never seen before.

Cindy’s socialist tendencies should be well satisfied before this is all over, and at least partially off-set  the Kiwi-build ‘albatross’ that has clearly shaken her confidence, and finely tuned image.    

 

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