Rather interesting article from Matthew Hooton who is a Centre-Right supporter. I am mentioning this article here at VOAKL as this comment struck a point – it was:
John Key was the best thing that happened to NZ politics in a 100 years – we voted him in and we watched him run a great PR programme for the first term – but little else.
He was the one guy who could transform NZ with new innovative world leading legacy policy. By the beginning of last year pre the last election it was evident that he had the intellect but not the balls to deliver.
He scraped in at the last elections but very nearly got the old proverbial caning from a group of opposition party lightweights.
Now we are well into his second term and still waiting for his legacy policy. The new Ministry is a lame aggregation of numerous lame ministries who never deliver and never will until they have a clear direction and focus.
Nick Smith restructuring Local Councils is another joke. Local Councils have only accumulated such large debt because successive Governments have transferred responsibility and costs for infrastructure like roading and social responsibility to the Councils – reduce Government debt increase local body debt ( net benefit nil to the taxpayer/ratepayer ). Now that lunatic Nick Smith is endeavouring to be the saviour to ratepayers by restructuring inept councils – give us a break Nick – you are an idiot.
So we all ask ” when is John key going to transfer his energy from good guy/great public speaker at business functions ( which by the way isn’t representative of the majority in the street who don’t get free corporate functions to listen to John ) into the “REAL DEAL” – we want and deserve a period where NZ Inc has once again led the world with legacy policy – once again in the upper levels of the OECD wealth tables.
We need a number of new ” Fisher & Paykel“s ” ( which once had world leading technology and all production was based here ) – Rakon’s etc etc. We need exports full stop. That is the only way to get this country forward.
So things like Nick Smith juggling money between local councils and central government and creating a new Ministry are pathetic examples of what little this National Government is achieving so far – absolutely no innovation or visionary thinkingThe Doctor | Saturday, March 17, 2012 – 8:45am
The comment is worth its weight in gold – but it was the bits I have put in bold that are worth their weight in platinum! Why? Because what this person said is beyond 110% true in regards to Central Government reforming in a meaningful manner Local Government. Look Auckland alone is facing some nasty rate rises pushing 10% and debt blowing out to $8.4b by 2021. Effectively (according to Cllr Cameron Brewer) in the year 2021 $521m of our ratepayer’s money is going to pay JUST the interest of $8.4b debt – or 25% of my rates bill for that year. Central Government needs to reform Local Government to get costs and debt under control.
Black and white prescriptions need to be set out on what councils can and can not do: starting with an extremely close look on “social” aspects of council responsibility and doing away with this ‘Powers of General Competence (or rather Incompetence as the late Owen McShane would say) crap. Look if the Rates, Road and Rubbish philosophy (and battle cry of the Centre-Right) was ever carried out – automatically $5.5b of expenditure (from the Culture and Lifestyle budget line) would be wiped off the Auckland Council main budget. The savings could be used for that City Rail Link or giving us a rates decrease.
However I seriously doubt we will get any meaningful reform so issues such as: rates, road, rubbish and even urban/transport planning are still going to earn the ire of Auckland.