Dunno what your average Aucklander thinks about what’s going on with their governance arrangements.
Not much, probably, because in Alf’s experience your average Aucklander is thoroughly devoted to enjoying the good life and accordingly has no time to worry too much about governance arrangements or consequences.
The election of John Banks to Parliament is one piece of evidence attesting to the truth of this observation.
This indifference means scant attention will be paid today to a bemusing item in the NZ Herald (here) about a council meeting.
The meeting will propose what is described as a “bureaucratic monstrosity” of up to 52 decision makers – half of them unelected – to decide the future of the Hauraki Gulf.
This has the strong whiff of “co-governance” all over it (no, make that a strong stench), although “bureaucratic monstrosity” is a pretty good description.
Oh, and it’s a costly monstrosity.
“It’s a lot of bureaucracy and a lot of cost, but not much democracy,” said councillor Mike Lee.
Well said, Mike.
These things never have much democracy attached to them, which is why Alf campaigns strongly against them.
For his troubles he is ignored by non-Maori (who are blissfully disinclined to give a fat rat’s arse) and denounced as a racist by Maori (who have been misled into believing they are special and entitled under the bloody treaty to special treatment).
The next bit of the Herald story affirms that this is about co-governance.
The council proposal, for today’s Auckland Plan committee meeting, is one of two options on the agenda for the Hauraki Gulf Spatial Plan’s project steering group – which is additional to a stakeholder forum, an expert advisory group and a project team.
The first alternative is to have 26 Maori representatives and 26 representatives of councils and government agencies, such as the Ministry of Fisheries. The second option is eight of each, in which case Auckland Council’s representation would be limited to just two.
Yep. That’s how these things work.
Unelected Maori big-noters grab themselves a position at the board table, where they grudgingly allow themselves to be joined by an equal number of elected public representatives.
But this is just a step towards what the Maori big-noters really want, which is total control.
We have this on the good authority of King Tuheitia, who had command of a truck before getting into the king business and as such (see here) has learned how to drive a hard bargain.
The co-governance arrangement for managing the Waikato River is not good enough for him.
The power to manage and control water and allocate water rights should rest with Maori, rather than the regional councils, he said.
But let’s get back to what’s going on today.
Councillor Lee said there already existed a statutory body of 21 members, 15 of them democratically accountable, to deal with Gulf issues – the Hauraki Gulf Forum – and it was bizarre to suggest setting up a “bureaucratic monstrosity” dominated by unelected people in its place.
Next thing you know, lots more plans will be produced (at huge expense and even huger implications for your average fun-loving Aucklander).
That’s what the Independent Statutory Maori Board did, for example – it produced its own blueprint for Maori development over the next 30 years in Auckland, to set alongside the council plan.
And the purpose of this report?
The Herald said (here) it would be used to advocate for better resources for Maori.
This means “build a bigger trough for Maori”.
The plan – which Aucklanders can study here if they can give up their fun for half an hour or so – includes a demand for more junkets for Maori, for example.
It wants Auckland Council
…to facilitate increased participation for Māori businesses in new market development activities, such as trade delegations.
And it wants the Auckland Council
…to utilise existing channels (online, events, media) and business events to promote and showcase Māori business to
When it was published Cr Cameron Brewer called on Mayor Len Brown (here) to write off the plan, saying Aucklanders cannot afford it.
He pointed out that the board had had a chance back in May and June to put its oar in when councilors debated and signed off the council’s 10-year budget.
“To deliver their wish-list when we’ve literally just printed the Long Term Plan is not good process and subsequently is not going to happen.
“I just can’t see where all these hundreds of millions of dollars are going to come from,” he added.
It’s going to come from ratepayers, silly.
And do we have any inkling of how much ratepayers must pour into the Maori trough?
Sure we do.
They want $295 million over the next 10 years.
And dammit, they will go to court if they don’t get it – just like the Maori Council went to the Waitangi Tribunal to stake its claim to water.
An account of their budgetary aspirations can be found here.
The idea is that Maori citizens get their fair share of the council budget allocated for general expenditure, plus – the rich swill on top – another $295 million over 10 years earmarked for Maori use only.
The good citizens of Boston rose against the principle of taxation without representation and triggered the American War of Independence.
Aucklanders, silly bastards, are too busy having fun to give a toss.