Saturday, May 02, 2009

Hard left against Auckland uber city?

Well there is a website against it, and frankly if what it is saying about the supercity is true, I might be far more relaxed about it.

Sadly, I think not.

It suggests "Water, Transport, Waste management, Parks etc will
become Council Controlled Organisations (CCO’s)" so would be at arms length, run professionally to deliver good service and recover costs from those willing to pay for the services, and wouldn't be subject to politicians pillaging ratepayers or manipulating the provision of services to meet narrow interests.

It suggests "We the public will pay for services we already own outright." You know, because it costs nothing to supply water, roads or collect rubbish. Once you own something you never have to pay to use it ever again, or maintain it. What mindless drivel

Then "Our Public assets will be Commercialised, Corporatised and then Privatised. Metrowater is a perfect example of profiteering from essential public services. The intention is to set up one giant metrowater and spread user pays for waste water across the entire Auckland region." If only! Food is a perfect example of profiteering from essential public services. So is clothing. Why the fear? England has fully privatised water, and nobody has dehydrated as a result. Why shouldn't users pay, unless of course you use a lot and think others should pay for you by force.

The inane errors in the arguments conclude with the ideal "Originally Auckland was run by the Auckland Regional Authority (ARA) and Borough Councils, this model was dismantled in the 1980’s under Rogernomics so private companies could profit from public services. The destruction of this system was called amalgamation."

Yes the ARA presided over an uninterrupted continuous plummet in bus patronage as it ran its starved bus monopoly into the ground, underinvesting, with no bus priority systems and no transfer ticketing. Well done. Auckland's water, wastewater and stormwater starved too, so much so there is a huge backlog of stormwater work still being done. It grossly underinvested in Auckland airport so much that Air NZ spent its own money upgrading the domestic terminal, the then Ansett built its own terminal, and the international terminal could barely handle growing demand. Oh and road investment in Auckland was starved so much that designated corridors to complete the South Western Motorway, Henderson and Central motorways were abandoned.

Oh it was dismantled so that ratepayers could get better services at lower cost than council run monopolies that arrogantly didn't give a damn about customers. It has partly worked.

This campaign is being led by Penny Bright of the Marxist "Water Pressure Group", who think water is a "right" so nobody should have to pay for it, which begs the question how you maintain the system and operate it. The rabid mob don't care as long as the users don't have to (force anyone but the users to pay). It has support from leftwing rag "The Aucklander" and cheekily links to an Owen McShane article damning the super city for very different reasons.

The rhetoric is all about democracy, which of course means pillaging a minority to pay for what a minority say is good for the majority.

So it's kind of funny. The hard left think the supercity is about privatising Auckland by stealth, libertarians think it is plain old amalgamation while keeping the left's vision of fully empowered intrusive local government.

Who is right?

No comments: