The Mahurangi Magazine


As a name for the region, Auckland is wrong – a right royal-commission failure

Twin tweaks to conquer

Status quo would be the less satisfactory option. Corner to corner, the Rodney Local Board area stretches 86 kilometres—a 165-kilometre, 2-hour drive by road, plus at least an hour’s walk at either end. In the context of an area of nearly 87 000 hectares, local board... read more

If it’s broke, fix it

From Day One he’s wanted a better slogan than ‘the World’s most liveable city.’ For his trouble, and even before hearing what that slogan might be, Mayor Phil Goff is being rubbished and ridiculed for wanting to replace the city’s tragically generic branding, with... read more

Mahurangi-initiated 50-year plan hit by mainstream media

Dr Ronald Locker had suggested it as a national park. It was 1973, when he had suggested creation of a national park to protect his beloved Mahurangi Harbour, in Seacoast in the Seventies, which he co-authored with Professor John Morton and David Thom cbe. What Locker…

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Draft unitary plan draws focussed feedback

September’s scheduled notification of the Auckland Unitary Plan is now in doubt. Despite that, it is possible that any further informal discussion of the draft plan will only be between Auckland Council and selected groups, and Mahurangi Action is not in that... read more

New unitary authority not going to plan

Len’s in danger of loosing it. As was all too apparent halfway through the term of Aotearoa’s first mayoral office to enjoy significant executive powers, Mayor Brown has bet the farm on a project for which he has little to show, come local body election year. Had... read more

Submission suggests city green growth capital

Submission as lodged at 3.42‍ ‍pm today: Q1 There will need to be five transformational shifts to make Auckland the world’s most liveable city. Do you agree or disagree with the five transformational shifts identified in the Draft Auckland Plan and why?... read more

Auckland Plan for the ninety-nine percent

The wonder is that it took quite so long, to be occupied. Had it happened as he was being elected, President Barack Obama would have been presented with a mandate to save the planet rather than Wall Street. Instead, the grassroots revolt is happening on the eve of the... read more

Global warming gets chapter to itself

It is all the royal commission recommended and more. The recommendations made by the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance two and a half years ago, cite global warming, and sea level rise in particular, as a significant argument for a new, unified council: The... read more

Mayor silent on Aucklanders’ affair

It was once a paradise fought over by a hundred lovers—makaurau. Today, rather than a hundred, there are 1.5‍ ‍million lovers, or residents of the region. But particularly, they are passionate lovers of Makaurau’s 26 regional parks. According to the Encyclopaedia of... read more

Regional sea-level rise chapter revisited

North Carolina has gone one better. Aotearoa merely curtailed work on a national environmental standard on sea-level rise, in a calculatedly cynical strategy to oblige each local territorial authority to run its sea-level rise policies by a gauntlet of, typically,... read more

More support for Rose for Rodney

The royal commissioners failed the fundamentals. At the last election, 55% more voters supported Christine Rose for her regional role, than elected the mayor of Rodney. Even Bill Smith, the lowest-polling regional candidate, polled more votes than the mayor. The... read more

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... read more

As a name for the region, Auckland is wrong

The sloppy language slipped in at the beginning. Whereas its terms of reference diligently referred to the Auckland region, that key word was omitted from its very name: Royal Commission on Auckland Governance. Then the commissioners themselves were careless of the... read more

Mahurangi Magazine open letter to Labour

Darien Fenton and Phil Twyford Members of Parliament   Dear Darien and Phil Regarding Rodney District Council’s private member’s bill. The Mahurangi Magazine has worked assiduously to encourage involvement of its readers in the process of devising new governance... read more

Action plan preparing Mahurangi for the transition

Saying no to the chairman was not part of the plan. But when he put the question ‘But don’t you consider that this provides the mandate?’, it couldn’t be dodged. This, was the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance. And no, it did not provide a mandate to impose a... read more

Electing the mayor of Mahurangi

If the vote is split, the first regional mayor may all too easily be the abrasive John Banks. The risk of vote splitting could have been avoided, had local government embraced preferential voting—ludicrously, its implementation under the Local Electoral Act 2001 was... read more

Bad language but boundary brilliant

The New Zealand Herald story will be very welcome news to friends of the Mahurangi. Particularly those overseas, whose evening television coverage would have struggled to report on the battle of the Pūhoi–Makarau Line, in the absence of actual blood on the floor at... read more

Rodney didn’t speak, Rodney roared

In spite of the rain and short notice, Ascension’s banquet hall was packed to the rafters. The choice of venue had many pondering his motives, and many a facetious inquiry was fielded as to whether Dr Lockwood Smith would be shouting the first drink. The pressure for... read more

Key calls for a Pūhoi–Makarau Line uprising

There is nothing sacrosanct about the existing northern boundary of Rodney district. It should possibly be changed. But definitely: not at this time; and never in such a way that it excludes Mahurangi–Matakana–Leigh from the region that it is functionally part of. The... read more

Notion to exclude Mahurangi uncalled-for

Preposterous—the word Mahurangi Action founder John Male impassionedly used. He was describing a proposal whereby 80 copies of the 416-page Jade River: A History of the Mahurangi be photocopied to nominally discharge the undertaking to publish given to its terminally... read more

New Zealand Labour Party minority view

Introduction The need to reform Auckland’s governance structures is obvious; the many problems that beleaguer the region are universally discussed and widely agreed. That in part was why the previous Labour Government established the Royal Commission on Auckland... read more

Mahurangi Action’s last glossy gasp

It’s always a challenge, to make a submission stand out. Particularly when committee members are facing the last batch of submitters for the week, on the Auckland governance legislation. Late of a Friday afternoon, they could be excused if their minds were beginning... read more

Vote yes and no

Auckland governance legislation select committee submissions closed Friday 26 June By this time next year, there will be a Mahurangi plan. Mahurangi Action founding chairman John Male made the first bid for a Mahurangi plan in 1975, pitched at the old Rodney County... read more

Crude devices and the R-word

Worldwide, local government reform is notoriously unpopular. It invariably creates resentments that can linger for decades, and fails to deliver on promised cost savings. Consequently, experts such as Brian Dollery advocate amalgamating service delivery, leaving the... read more

Name needed for new plan and for Rodney

The Royal Commission on Auckland Governance recommendations are essentially excellent news for the Mahurangi. If Thursday’s Rodney Times had been remotely on the money, the Mahurangi could have kissed goodbye to the care that is being lavished on the catchment.... read more

Twin Streams floated their punt

Project Twin Streams features in the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance recommendations, and that is a promising sign for the Mahurangi. The 788-page report, which is eminently readable, is peppered with examples that inspired the commissioners. The report... read more

Can get bitter or get learning

Mahurangi ActionThen known as Friends of the Mahurangi’s submission to the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance could be its one opportunity to have its say on the subject. Or not. It all depends on what the government does with the commission’s recommendations,... read more

Aucklanders in need of well-developed models

It seems difficult to credit it now. When the editor’s family moved to Waiwera, in 1959, the local council offices were in Greys Avenue, Auckland. Coming from Te Kūiti, which had its own council offices, this seemed bizarre. But much that is taken for granted about... read more

What time’s the tide on Saturday 24 January 2060?

Speculative and unhelpful. These are the words the Honourable Peter Salmon QC used when chastising the New Zealand Herald for its front page announcing Auckland is to become a super city with a London-style mayor with executive powers. In May 2008, at the Royal... read more

Regional governance inquiry: In the hands of Aucklanders

Mahurangi residents need to categorise themselves as Aucklanders. That is, if the Mahurangi wishes to be heard by the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance. Either that or Auckland regioners—ghastly language, which the Mahurangi Magazine is reluctant to encourage.... read more

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