*** I recently wrote this post on the National Government’s LTMA Bill, which is currently before parliament. One of our readers felt sufficiently motivated by issues with this Bill to submit the following letter to his local National MP, in which he outlines his concerns. His local MP just happens to be John Key. ***

Hi John,

I really have a problem with the way aspects of the above Bill are re-aligning the objectives of Auckland Transport away from regional objectives set by Auckland’s elected Council representatives to those of National objectives set by nationally elected Politicians.

I am a constituent of yours and a long time supporter of the National Party, particularly its policies to reduce bureaucratic & Government intervention in our lives and enhance personal reliance. I am also a long time supporter of strong local government and supported the creation of Auckland’s single Super City Council. With the Council less than three years old and well before it has a chance to prove it’s worth it is not helpful to be hobbling it with legislation like this.

For me the biggest problem is that this legislation misaligns representation and taxation (as represented by property rates). The Council is clearly the rates collector so should be able to direct AT in how to spend its portion of those rates. If rate payers are dissatisfied with the direction of spend they can first lobby the Council then vote them out if necessary. When AT’s direction is set by the Government’s Policy on Transportation via NZTA it becomes a lot less clear as to who we should be lobbying and voting out should we be dissatisfied with the direction of spend.

I think there are probably other ways to ensure that AT’s activity and national objectives are aligned than this sort of draconian power grab legislation.

I look forward to hearing that you are reconsidering this legislative approach.

*** How say ye John? P.s. I emailed Nikki Kaye but have not yet received a response. If anyone out there knows Nikki can you please ask her to check her inbox? I know she’s busy, but you know, she represents Auckland Central. ***

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  1. Equally of concern is the budget announcment that central government will override the district scheme to approve housing developments in the name of affordable housing. Why don’t we just scrap the whole planing process John key and get central government to do it instead.

        1. Saying what? Anything beyond a platitude…? more ferries perhaps. What is her response to the CCFAS? Oh she’s not allowed a view on that, and Big Gerry is running scarred of a few Transit advocates…. This is no government for cities or city people is it?

        2. She was talking about being a cabinet member as an educational lecture, and not policy. But she was very careful to avoid anything to do with CCFAS.

    1. I emailed her and never heard a response, and to be honest I don’t expect to hear anything, she doesn’t want to say anything to harm her chances moving up the ranks of National. Despite her supposedly representing Auckland she’s in it for herself.

  2. Interesting coincidence that latest Roy Morgan Poll has Labour+Greens at 47% versus National on 41% (http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/new-zealand-voting-intention-may29-201305290604)

    Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I do wonder if National has underestimated the degree to which their negative attitudes to local government in Christchurch and Auckland may be negatively affecting their vote in those areas? For example, most of the polls I’ve seen suggest Aucklanders support Len Brown and want the City Rail Link, so one would expect that National’s positions on those issues might erode their support over time.

    Perhaps it’s time for National to acknowledge that most New Zealanders do – on some level – appreciate Local Government’s contribution to our lives?

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