A healthy dose of overdue democracy
It has huge appeal.
Many would love to be lord of their own domain, kingdom, republic or, in the case of Rodney district mayors, unitary authority.
Mayor John Law gave it a shot, only to be brought back to Earth by the reality of the cost of delivering the governance required by legislation, which is currently provided by the regional council. Not content to learn from recent history, Mayor Penny Webster made a desperate bid to break away, rather than participate in helping design the region’s new governance arrangements.
The Mahurangi Magazine has published 20 pieces on the new structure since January 2008. The mayor’s contribution was effectively summed up in Parliament yesterday by Tau Henare:
Mr Henare was, of course, talking about the private member’s bill, which was cynically supported by the Labour, Green and Māori parties. Deservedly, it failed to get a first reading.
Rodney District Council didn’t wait to consult with its constituents before commencing its campaign to go it alone, and spent up on Wellington billboards without so much as a by your leave from the chairman of the finance committee. These same people later proclaimed:
The sorry fact is that the truly first democratic process in the entire amalgamation process will be from 17 September to 9 October, when the first Auckland Council is elected.
Mrs Webster apparently sees no contradiction in wanting to represent the Rodney ward of the new council; it is to be hoped that the residents of the ward can.
The candidate who does deserve consideration, is current Rodney regional councillor Christine Rose. Mrs Rose fronted up to a Pūhoi Hall packed with over two hundred pro-motorway-access citizens, in an uncompromising mood.
That is leadership.