Tuesday, April 07, 2009

What do you want local government to do?

Well under the Local Government Act 2002, which National and ACT are willing to continue with, for the Auckland megacity, a council can do the following:

Open restaurants
Establish independent and integrated schools.
Open hospitals
Establish welfare benefits
Set up its own bus company
Run its own taxi company
Start its own plumbing business
Open a chain of hairdressing salons
Establish massage therapy centres
Establish bookshops
Open a supermarket
Set up a telecommunications company
Set up a courier and postal operation
Open a florist
Establish an architecture firm
Promote tourism
Open its own hotel
Start a tour service
Start an airline
Open shoe shops
Establish a radio station
Establish a tv channel
Establish a newspaper
Open a bar
Publish local literature
Set up a comedy troupe
Fund any Auckland sports teams
Sell Christmas Trees
Run a harbour cruise company
Establish a bakery
Establish crèches
Set rules on what colours your property must be
Open a clock factory
Subsidise software sales
Buy out a magazine
Buy SkyCity
Establish a museum of erotica
Establish a museum of racism and homophobia
Establish a museum of religion
Establish a museum of socialism
Establish its own trucking company
Establish a water bottling company
Open a chain of stationery stores
Develop its own Wikipedia
Provide gardening advice to home owners
Organise raffles
Establish language schools
Set up a national political party
Start a fish farm
Start a dairy farm
Start a sheep farm
Buy out a deer farm
Buy out a vineyard
Subsidise motor mechanics
Subsidise braille classes
Subsidise home water collection systems
Celebrate Hannukah with a parade
Celebrate Buy Nothing Day with a parade
Celebrate Margaret Thatcher's birthday with a parade
Celebrate the Queen's Birthday with fireworks
Publish recipe books of Auckland recipes
etc etc etc.

Do you want this? or do you want your council to be able to do the bare minimum of planning under whatever happens to the RMA, look after footpaths and parks, let rubbish collection, water and sewerage become utilities, and manage the stormwater network under roads as long as it looks after local streets?

You see, it seems that the power of general competence that Labour, the Alliance (with Jim Anderton then) and the Greens passed, now has the tacit approval of Peter Dunne, the Maori Party, National and ACT - despite the latter two parties voting against it.

Is this what you voted for? Shouldn't you be letting John Key and Rodney Hide know loud and clear if you disagree?


Anonymous said...

Don't forget they can decide how much energy you should be using and send up spy planes to make sure your house isn't losing too much energy


Oswald Bastable said...

"Footpaths and parks,rubbish collection, water and sewerage become utilities, and manage the stormwater network under roads as long as it looks after local streets."

All done by contractors, so the council are no use really...

Nick K said...

Scott, Rodney Hide has said the LGA will be amended and this will include a cap on Rates to inflation + population growth. That cap will get rid of these quangos overnight even if the power of general competence remains.

Libertyscott said...

Nick. No it wont, it wont get local government out of business, it will only get it out of unprofitable business. It is easy to remove such a cap, far less easy to restructure local government powers to be tightly constrained.