Picking over the Über Stadt Bill
The C&R vultures are starting to rip at the carcass now - like they already own it.
The Final Auckland Bill has limped back from committee still in a mess. Had a perusal. Basically the legislation is unchanged; very disappointing.
Flicking through it I see there's rates exemptions for private water companies, there's the toothless "local boards" with no funding guarantees, there's the CCOs unaccountable. Strike out accountability.
One mangled section after another.
The add-on Maori advisory committee still has all the same defects as before:
You don't see the Auckland Transport chums getting that treatment - compare the Maori committee's clause 2(f) above with the Transport board's 3 (c) below. Their original draft for the Transport members has the disqualification only for the duration/completion of the penalty - as it should be, the same as it is for elected officials like MPs - not the lifetime ban it is for the Maori advisory board. That part is now struck through however, so it is deleted; but I cannot find what replaces it. Maybe nothing replaces it - maybe it's silent on the issue. So Alan Hawkins can still be qualified for appointment to the Auckland Transport Board but someone who was convicted of anything worth doing in connexion with the Springbok Tour for example - or even sedition (that's 2 years) - cannot be a member of the Maori advisory committee? That doesn't sound like fair and square - that sounds like under-handed Jim Crow bullshit to try to make sure the Auckland Council's decisions aren't going to run into any activists on the rubber stamp collaborationist panel. That's their plan.
Their own mates, meanwhile, can run the CCOs without the same disqualification applying to them. How is that fair or just? If in practice this is an example of a less-restrictive rule, for the Pakeha appointees - and a different and more restrictive rule for the Maori appointees then it is something that the Human Rights Commission should be concerned with. Unfortunately although I pointed this disqualification inconsistency out to a couple of National MPs on the select committee it has not been remedied. The gagging clause is still there too:
And yet one of my other, albeit lesser, concerns - with signs and balloons etc. not being able to be attached to bill boards - has been addressed.
They can be pimped up. The pedantic 45 degree rule has gone too. I don't know if this was just a concern of mine, but at least they have fully addressed something I mentioned.
Less happy with the racist stuff obviously - that whole advisory committee is set up to fail. By fail I don't just mean because the groups who are supposed to make up the committee are against the concept of the committee and might boycott the committee I mean because the whole idea is a sham. The Michelle Boag clause is just pure shamola:
It's not the Remuneration Commission (that sets the rates for the rest of the Council's members) setting the fees, instead the bill is written so it compels the Council to approve whatever their chosen consultants - and last time it was the firm of a former National Party Chair, Michelle Boag - thinks the Maori committee should be paid.
As I said the bill is a train wreck (the report is 380 pages - incl. minority reports) and it may be some time before I can give a considered post on it - which is a bit inconvenient - because they are due to start the second reading/ramming-it-through-the-House stage on Thursday.