Sunday, December 15, 2013

Add more rules

Auckland Council has been set up similar to the American system of governance. The President (Mayor) proposes the budget/vision for the Country(City) to the Senate/Congress(Council).

Under the old legacy Councils Council officers came to Council with their vision for the year ahead and the budget required. The Council and the Mayor could turn around and accept the Officers recommendations in full or in art or not at all following consultation with the public.

Now the Auckland Council with Mayor's vision and budget. A bit like the President of the US does except he asks the Congress and Senate for their endorsement or not of his programs for the country.

The US President can also of course be impeached and thrown out of office by the Senate/Congress. They tried with President Clinton (re sexual relationships) and Nixon stepped down over Watergate before he was impeached.

Question then why not have an impeachment process for a Mayor. Further as in the US the Mayor should only be able to stand for a maximum of two terms (perhaps all other elected members should only be allowed to stand for a maximum of three terms). That way we may encourage fresh ideas and faces into the system.

I am a member of Cogs (Community Organisation Grants Scheme) and can only stand for a maximum of two terms. And I am unpaid.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Local Government Blogs with John Riddell

The 2013 Local Government elections have been and gone, and the question is did you vote? If you did not vote why, and do you believe in democracy and the right to vote? Many people overseas go to war, or at the very least take part in violent protests in order to persuade their Governments to give them the right to vote. That being so, once you have the right to vote should we exercise that right or not. Should it be compulsory to exercise your vote. 
A new  issue arose during the election and different from previous elections was that candidates had to indicate whether or not they lived in the area they intend to represent. A Western Leader poll indicated that 80% of voters would not vote for someone who lived outside the area. The Ward Councillors Linda Cooper and Penny Hulse live outside of the Waitakere Ward, while Warren Flaunty and Vanessa Neeson were elected on to the Henderson Massey local board and live outside of the Henderson Massey Board boundaries. Question did people read the profile booklet that came out with the ballot papers, or because the names Flaunty and Neeson are well known, people just automatically vote for them?  It could be that in the future that the ruling be along the licencing trust requirements that a candidates primary place of residence be in the area that they intend to represent. Thus Warren Flaunty who lives in Rodney would not be able to stand for the Henderson Massey Local Board, because his primary place of residence is in Rodney. He can still stand for the licencing trust simply because where he lives is in the Lincoln Ward, and of course the Waitemata District Health Board again is another position he can stand for. While being perfectly capable in total the number of positions if it was stipulated that you could only stand for the local area where your primary place of residence is, would mean that Warren would only have three official roles instead of four. 
The Labour Party ran a good campaign and three members on their ticket were elected. New faces were elected on to the Local Board which is great. However the might of a Central Government party election machine with its access to the marked rolls, canvassing information from the local MP, ability to send direct mail to Labour voters, Labour supporters who come out and support candidates by door knocking or telephone canvassing and so on could mean that the day of the independents has gone. It is widely believed that Linda Cooper had support from the National Party and the use of their resources helped her beat the favourite at the beginning of the campaign Christine Rose. Question do you believe Central Government political machines should be involved in local government? The perception which may not be the reality will be that MPs will have a high degree of influence over the successful Labour Party candidates. Local Government is about the books in your library and the parks and the roads and the trains and the buses, the sewage and the rubbish. The Ratepayer may end up having to pay more and more for the policies of a particular political party over and beyond what the taxpayer ends up having to pay.  
 Local board boundaries will be reviewed for the 2016 Local Government elections, the Waitakere Local Board geographically is large while population wise the Henderson Massey Local Board is large, we are unaware of anyone from Ranui, Massey or Western Heights has been elected to the local board. The successful Board members live in Te Atatu, Henderson or outside the Board boundaries. Do you believe that the boundaries should be changed to make the board areas smaller and more representative and reflective of communities of interest?

John Riddell