Dear Auckland, after disastrous election turn out – isn’t it time to re-examine the far right experiment that is the SuperCity?

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Auckland SuperCity was always far right experiment in choking off real democracy

Comrades, brothers & sisters.

I’m no urban planning guru, nor am I a local government geek and I don’t have Simon Wilson in my Facebook friends list, but it seems to me that when we’ve just had the lowest voter turn out in the SuperCity history, ‘praps a wee gander as to why so many Aucklanders weaponised their apathy and simply didn’t bother voting might be called for because over and above all the smug self congratulations by so many Auckland councillors on social media is the naked truth they have no mandate and rule over a burnt and broken democracy.

Now, I’ve suggested that Aucklanders weaponised their apathy because the Supercity democracy is a farce, a grotesque masquerade of democratic representation to trick people into participating so that it has the pretence of legitimacy, and Aucklanders, stuck in their gridlock see how hollow the promises of infrastructure investment really are.

There is of course a reason why Aucklanders feel this way.

It’s because it’s the truth.

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Because we have a collective memory no longer than last weeks twitter feed, no one is actually remembering that this entire SuperCity creation was a far Right fantasy created by none other than Rodney Hide.

ACT + National annexed Auckland by mis-using urgency to steal a City and enforce upon it a model designed to destroy local democracy, cut back real power and remove the assets of Auckland into oxymoronic ‘Council Controlled Organisations’ that had no actual control by Council over them.

If people are serious about lifting the abysmal participation rates, they have to look at the way the SuperCity was purposely designed to rob Aucklanders of real democracy in the first place.

All these diverse youth quakes that supposedly erupted and reshaped the political landscape don’t mean jackshit if you can’t actually change anything once in power. We can’t combat the climate crisis if once we get elected we can’t actually do anything.

The disappointment plaguing Jacinda at the inability to be transformative will be reflected in the next Mayoralty election so if you want to make any actual gains, reopen the SuperCity and reform it.

Allowing the far Right of NZ politics to annex a City and enforce upon it a system designed to limit democracy and then acting surprised when that system results in the lowest voter turn out on record is a reminder that if no one remembers the past we are simply doomed to keep making the same mistakes.

 

19 COMMENTS

  1. Supercity was indeed ACT’s corporatist fantasy, enabled by National. Unfortunately for them no openly National aligned Mayor has been elected to date. So the final sell offs of public assets have not happened yet. Instead weak as piss Labour aligned Mayors and divided Councils and Boards have resulted. Overpaid neo liberal managerialists essentially control the city. Cycleways and cultural events are a good distraction while they beaver away in the interests of business.

    Auckland is not quite “Gotham with sunshine” but is near enough.

  2. they might be weak as piss but at least they haven’t sold the last of our silver they will leave that to the right leaning national mayors who are also weak as piss so where does that leave us

    • It leaves us in a place tricky for individuals to figure out, there are hundreds of $100,000 plus salary recipients not wanting anything sorted, but how about…
      –Replacing the undemocratic CCOs with fully publicly owned and accountable Authorities overseeing Water and Transport in particular
      –Fare Free public transport and a full commitment to public transport and park’n’ride rather than more roads
      –Relocate Port to Northland
      –Give local Boards proper budgets and more autonomy, return to polling booths with a holiday for voting day as Martyn has raised a few times, promote unpublished roll so migrants, women and debtors are more likely to vote
      –Embark on a Council owned rent controlled House/apartment build

      And radical…put up a “Full” sign for say 5 years, to stop the incremental developers and major population increase until gridlock is actually lessened.

  3. My thoughts – Get out of Gotham City while you still can.
    There’s still a stunningly beautiful land out here, with so many tranquil and soul-regenerating places to live. AKA just about anywhere else in Aotearoa. 🙂

  4. Supercity is supershity. But the left are in denial about what Auckland is really about, aka removing democracy and social memory.

    That’s why our immigration policy has moved under the Natz (supported by the woke) to favour countries with high levels of corruption, high levels of discrimination against women, and low human rights with dictators in the hot seat, as the preferred new residents and citizens here with Auckland being ground zero, and Auckland controls circa 30% of the NZ election votes apparently.

    Generally higher levels of education and women favour left social outcomes… well we don’t want that in the super city! Natz political campaign led with a barista last time and a whole load of construction workers, that’s the goal!

    Poorly educated consumers, and lots of them who will work for next to nothing and be consumers for social bonds, is our bright future while the executive class make fat cat salaries while selling off the assets and council contracts to mates.

    But Labour doesn’t seem to have much of a different focus on the surface from the Natz, it’s construction, diversity and sort of kinder benefits for all, in particular people who now need a benefit while being in full time work!

    Many locals then can’t work because they are taxed so putatively on work above $200 p/w while on a benefit…

    The cycle of being out of touch and stupidity from the left continues…

    • “people who now need a benefit while being in full time work!”

      That is a consequence of the previous govt’s socially irresponsible policies. During their reign-of social-terror, both rents and housing costs exploded, – these increased beyond anything we’d ever seen, becoming waaaay out of reach of your ordinary garden variety Kiwi. We’re still cleaning up their mess, and will be doing so for some time.

  5. There is little doubt that the REAL purpose of creating the Super City organisation was the political right’s belief that it would bring them power. It will be mine….all mine…..hahahahahahah! etc.
    Unfortunately for them, they didn’t calculate on National Party local body political apathy. They assumed that the National Party would henceforth organise themselves for an openly National ticket like Labour. But the Nats still have this schizophrenic adage that we should keep national politics out of local bodies – openly that is. They still run National Party tickets, but not under the National Party banner, instead under names like Auckland Future. So why don’t they want to campaign openly against Labour and the Greens but are quite happy to do it behind people’s backs? Could it be lack of confidence in the National Party brand?….

  6. The Super City has been a right royal cock up IMHO, coupled with mass immigration and a housing PONZI SCHEME it has turned Super Shitty for the average Auckland punter IMHO ?

  7. Brilliant image.
    A word of advice to Aucklanders.
    Run.
    Run.
    Ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuun ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
    ( Many of you Aucklanders will hate what I’m about to write. And I mean HATE.)
    Auckland is entirely grifted, then sequestered, farmer-earned-export-monies dating back to the 1900’s.
    Entirely.
    This is what will happen next.
    While being mindful of the fact that almost all our country-wide, farmer-money-built infrastructure has been pinched and plundered so there’s nothing left to sell one must then ask “ What next?”
    Now that the big four banksters have boosted the myth of the value of your average Auckland home to improbable and absurd levels and now that they have you netted by a legal document, the dreaded mortgage? You. Are. Fucked.
    Because now is the time to watch on has interest rates sky rocket, unemployment triples and beyond and the Big Rich Boys help themselves while you wriggle helplessly in your sheets as the mail person rattles the letter box as you, in your somnolent malaise, will wake to the dire realisation that there’s nothing left of AO/NZ’s priceless agrarian infrastructure but for a few shitting, pissing cows the Chinese are soon to no longer have a use for.
    My advice stands for those young and beautiful of you with the hyper mortgaged, multi million dollar Ponsonby Hut that you may have leveraged a new Rangie against.
    Run, because here comes a shit storm.

  8. Golly what a shower of bad news. And it seems to be true. Builders going bust, not paying subcontractors, when building is supposed to be a ‘live’ industry. And concrete buildings held together by rusty hairpins.
    Everything done on the cheap but smart looking on the outside, like a pair of imported shoes with built-in obsolescence. In them you are on the ground when they fall apart.

    What Tiger said earlier sends a map to find lines that can be unwound so you can be free to fight battles about worthwhile things. Everything has to be contested in an organised way, and thoughtful people will get informed perhaps choosing different areas, and keep in touch so that a vanguard of wise people can come together and create a driving force for an alive, not a dilettante city.

  9. Would all the non Aucklanders kindly shut the hell up. Let’s not just roll over and give up on out largest City.

    • rob – my comment (‘Get out while you can’) was intended for anyone who feels they could be heading for burnout as a result of living in that city. (Perhaps any city. I don’t know.) Someone in my family went though that, thought they could just keep going, even as the stress continued to take its toll. It has taken years for that person to recover when all they really needed was to get back to a quieter, saner way of life.

      And, just because we don’t live there now does not mean that we never have. I have, several times in my life. Though it was not the ‘supercity’ then.

  10. Our family have lived in this city for well over 55 years. We have seen changes during that length of time. Some have been good but most have been to put it mildly a right friggin botch-up. It’s like the so-called “powers that be” have a ‘Hit or Miss” approach to this city.
    The amount of pure botch ups is just so incredible. But a majority of the botchups is probably due to pure arrogance and failure by the various Auckland Councils of the time to admit they made mistakes or put such things as road, public transport, infrastructure into the well known ‘Too Hard Basket for the next mayor and council to deal with”.
    And so after seeing so much damage done to Auckland(or as I now call it Dorkland and often more crudely Fuckland)I have lost complete faith and trust in anyone in the Auckland Council and especially their self-serving executives(whom it appears are being paid far better than most low income Aucklanders who pay through OUR rates for the pay-packets of the overpaid and underworked AC executives).
    In the recent election and despite the fact I am firmly Labour Party I did not vote for Phil Goff.
    If Phil Goff has any play on the matter it is likely Aucklanders will be paying more in rates for very little in return.
    Meanwhile the CRL that has caused so much SHIT(STORE HIGH IN TRANSIT)in commuters lives is likely to continue for another 7 bloody years. Gawd who the friggin Hell would want to spend 5 minutes in Dorkland if that is the case? It’s a mess but undoubtedly the bill will always be passed onto those residents in the outer suburbs in rates increases whilst the executives of Auckland Council rip us rate payers off more so than ever before.

  11. I believe that if there was a survey done on the North Shore, there would be an overwhelming majority of people wanting to break with the super-city.

    In essence the Shore has become a vassal state – a donor with little money coming back the other way. There is correspondence in the public space by Goff confirming that.

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