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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Council waste #1

Wandering past another Auckland City park and they are busy tearing up all the new bollards they installed only a few months ago - and appear to be replacing them with older type ones. This is the same park that had an extensive upgrade including (in the words of the local Community Board Chairman) "a semi-wet wetland" that became too wet as the old rubbish dump underneath being exposed started to stink and turn to mud. So they filled it in and turned it back to grass which it originally was and should have been in the first place. Also, next to the bollards on the footpath is a seat - it faces in the opposite direction of the park. Now what fuck knuckles are responsible for these mistakes? Is there a worse council?

Everything the Auckland City Council does, in relation to public amenities at least, is similarly afflicted by stupidity and waste. I've seen shiny new seating and bus stops etc built only to see them moved to where they should have been a month or two later. It's as if they click and drag these things like it was sim city without realising what the actual impact of circumstances are for each case.

I know people who work for various councils in various capacities and they accept their lot and the way the system operates. Spend it or lose it - that's the budget system. If the officer says do it then the elected representatives tend to follow their lead. The project will suck up as much resources as possible and will never be completed if there is no next stage because the people in power (ie. the planners and other bureaucrats) will lose that power once it is over - and the roading and other lobbies want them to spend as much as possible... then there's the bung tendering system... Well, it needs to change.

There is a reason that the only pot-holed or cracked paving you will see in a city like Christchurch are patches that are in the midst of being replaced - and there is a reason that Auckland is one shattered, patchworked mosaic of one inferior and temporary layer upon another - one city is competent, modest, understands its priorities, is responsive to its ratepayers, gives value for money, while the other is bloated, pretentious, changes its priorites every three seconds, consults till the cows come home and then ignors it all, and gives poor value for money.

People who think joining the 1.2 million people and the five urban councils together into an ├╝ber city must realise that there may be no efficiencies of scale at all - in fact there could well be inefficiencies of scale. If you thought the parade of white elephants and over-spending at the Auckland City council were bad, imagine what they would be like with triple the budget!


At 23/12/05 10:58 am, Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

Your precis won't be read at this stage unless someone browses to your weblink using the categories (currently broken) rather than the right-hand side panel.

At 23/12/05 11:44 am, Blogger t selwyn said...

Thanks - I'll just post news links now I've tested it.


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