Spokesperson for the Green Party
The amalgamation of Auckland councils, championed as a major exercise in efficiency, has had one clear outcome – an increase in rates for Auckland ratepayers.
Local Government must deliver core services (infrastructure to keep our environment operating, our economy working, and our people safe), and promote the four wellbeings (environmental, social, economic, cultural) ensuring that we live happy lives.
Thirty years ago, the principle that “future users should pay for current development” was established for LG. Also, through the RMA and LGA (and revisions), central government has delegated increasing responsibility to LG.
The heritage is LG overwhelmed with debt. Well, we are the future users, and we are not happy.
Central government is retrenching because LG struggles to deliver on all its responsibilities in the context of “growth at any cost”. Environmental wellbeing, the most important of all, will take the biggest hit due to the mistaken belief that it is the least important element of our economy.
Ian McLean is a spokesperson for the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand.