He makes a minor mistake:
"Instead of .... eight local transport entities.... there will be one of each." No Rodney, there will be three core transport infrastructure agencies, Ontrack and the NZ Transport Agency will both be responsible for the railway and the motorway networks. ARTA is the single local transport entity that is meant to co-ordinate local road network development. So no material change here.
However, more fundamentally he evades the core issue.
What should be the role of local government in Auckland?
The government's answer appears to be "whatever local government wants it to be".
ACT's policy appears quite contrary to this.
- Local government will be required to shed its commercial activity, thereby eliminating the need to separate regulatory and commercial functions between local and regional councils.
- Roads and piped water will be supplied on a fully commercial basis.
- Abolish the local government power of general competency.
- Require councils to focus on their core functions.
- Ensure there is much greater scrutiny of regulations that undermine property rights.
- Promote contracting out of many council services.
- Lower the cost of complying with the Resource Management Act and other regulatory regimes.
- Review the two-tier structure of local government.
So why is Rodney Hide doing next to nothing to implement ACT policy on local government?
It isn't good enough.
If an ACT Minister of Local Government is just going to maintain the Labour/Alliance/Green policy - then what was the point?