District council desperate bid for self-preservation
Essentially Auckland Regional Council media release 26 May 2010
Rodney District Council is currently calling for submissions on a private member’s bill to become a unitary authority, even though the bill is struggling to find a parliamentary sponsor.
Previous investigations into the district council’s ability to become a unitary authority rejected this course of action.
Mike Lee, chairman of Auckland Regional Council:
Rodney’s latest desperate attempts at self-preservation are ill-founded and a waste of ratepayers’ money.
They are also causing concern and confusion amongst Rodney residents, a number of who have complained to me.
Rather than serving the best interests of Rodney residents, and ensuring it is best poised to hand over a credible legacy to the new Auckland Council, Rodney continues to pursue improbable paths of action. This latest desperate scramble flies in the face of opposition from many Rodney residents, who have previously rejected similar proposals. The unitary authority idea for Rodney has been soundly rejected by independent analysts and select committee processes. The proposal defies reality given the proven benefits of a regional approach that involves integrated management across urban and rural Auckland.
Given the pace of current reforms we simply do not have the time for this.
If the district council is now in a panic about its approaching doom it has brought this on itself. Its rates increases in particular have been the cause of widespread community anger over many years.
Although the private member’s bill is unlikely to attract a sponsor, Mr Lee urges Rodney residents to submit on the district council’s notified proposals and roundly reject them.
There is concern that the powers-that-be may take silence from residents as concurrence with the district council’s attempts at self-preservation.