Now this is an actual loophole: Auckland City may fall apart

A real loophole, one which may be able to be used to attempt to rein in out of control council.

Less than six years into the life of the country’s biggest local body, Aucklanders are being asked for new ideas on the way the city is governed.

The Local Government Commission has been required by legislation to make the move, deciding debate on a breakaway move by Auckland’s rural north needs to be widened because it would affect the entire region.

Aucklanders will be given just 40 days starting from the middle of this week to propose alternatives to the current structure of Auckland Council, which was established in late 2010 and faces elections in six months.

The decision to throw open the debate spun out of a move by the city’s northernmost rural community to attempt to break away and form a North Rodney Council.

The commission decided that would affect all of Auckland, and the law required all Aucklanders to be consulted on how they thought the city should be run.

Read the full decision by the Local Government Commission (PDF, 100KB)

Mayor Len Brown said the debate was unhelpful and due to a gap in legislation. He hoped that either the commission or the government would reject it.

What is unhelpful is a lame duck mayor.

“It’s completely contrary to the super city legislation,” he said.

“If you’re going to set it up to fail by leaving a loophole, that any aggrieved community around Auckland can jump through and open up a Pandora’s box for a whole range of other applications, then what was the point of going through the change?”

The commission said there was demonstrable support in Auckland for local body reorganisation. That included a telephone poll of 237 residents, and what the commission called media reports suggesting some level of discontent.

A poll pf 237 residents? That is pathetic. The margin of error would be enormous.

I don’t think there will be any changes. Our best hope for change is to elect a mayor and a council who will practice fiscal prudence.


– Radio NZ

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.