More spin from Lyn and bluster from buster.

So democracy is under siege says Lyn Patterson.

“A proposal could go to poll in the Wellington region and smaller areas like Masterton don’t get a say. The majority from one area will dictate the decisions made for many small areas. My question is: is that democratic? And my opinion is no, it’s not.”

You don’t have to be Alan Turing to see we are back to the supercity debate and a preemptive measure from Lyn.

Actually, why I am even writing about this is beyond me. Machiavelli nailed [pg.10] what I am trying to say 500 years ago! I paraphrase:

“Taking an initiative in forming a new government is very difficult. The reason is that all those who profit from the old order will be strongly opposed to the innovator, whereas all those who might benefit from the innovator are, at best, tepid supporters of him, because they are risking a great deal more in supporting an innovator than supporters of the old order risk by defending. The result is that whenever those who are opposed to change attack the innovator, they do so with much vigor whereas his supporters act half-heartedly.”

Now….where have I seen this happen lately? oh yeah! Bully boy Ron right here!

Well Lyn, should the worst happen and a super city eventuates, they will put the interests of the greater area ahead of a few small time Mayors fighting to hang onto their chains. Council-and to be fair not just under Lyn’s leadership- have done an excellent job of proving this is an extremely good idea- see the Masterton Sewage Ponds for a fine example. See Kaipara Council for an even better one.

It has become self evident that councils the country over cannot be trusted with nearly anything big ticket. Letting local boards deal with the basics like rubbish, libraries and watering the plants is actually quite generous. More ramblings on that a few paras down.

But according to the Mayor, now that a regional majority can overcome a minority local village’s view, democracy must be dead. Righto. I think its more a case of this:TURKEY FINAL

I call it progress. A step away from one of the only downsides of our inarguably great system- the paralysis of democracy.

Let us remember that not so long ago Castlepoint was spitting venom and predicting genocide at having to amalgamate with Masterton…. was that such a bad decision in hindsight? No.

It’s a step in the right direction to address people’s frustration at the bumbling small councils who inhabit the goldilocks zone of accountability (rather lack of it): Small enough to avoid national interest and a boot up the arse from the beehive, big enough to go waste millions, and inhabiting a geographical area small enough that everyone has the “just get along” mentality, and media fear upsetting one of their larger advertising customers.

Lyn has said in a matter of words that minority rule is the ticket…well MDC wouldn’t like it very much if the town plan couldn’t be finished because the good people of Vogel Cres object to some thing or another, and its the same thing at play here. 

I reckon she’s just kicking up dust because it sounds like the government is thinking of new avenues to disband all our tiny hopeless councils.

MDC, CDC and SWDC spent a fair chunk of change (almost 1 million $) lobbying  the LGC and the locals about what they thought was best. They got some pretty noisy people to hold a few meetings in Carterton and accost people at supermarkets and claimed victory. Aided in no small part by eunuch Bonallack at the Times Age, the pros and cons of a “super city” were never explained in the fair and balanced manner you would expect for such an important matter. People never  got the chance to learn why it was supported by most stakeholders;  the chamber of commerce, Fed farmers, Iwi, sustainable Wairarapa, and well respected previous leaders of ours. In Masterton alone, the two previous mayors and the two previous county chairs were supportive of the “super city”. 

True to form, Ron Mark was in for comment too:

“Why should Wellington City – 220,000 people – dictate to Carterton, which has been running its affairs very efficiently … why should it be dictated to by the majority?” he said.”

Very efficiently you say Ron? Like that “modest” 4% rates increase last year in Carterton?

Thank god Lyn didn’t say Masterton was being run very efficiently too, that would have been too funny, and put her in impeachment territory. In between $100,000 by the half dozen strainer posts, free town squares that aren’t free, lovely greenspace developments in  Lansdowne to support businesses, that no business in Lansdowne wants, Lyn also lays on the entertainment thick with headlines like “Rates savings the jewel in the budget” at only 3.9%. You can frame those turds all you want but that’s a lot more than inflation, and blaming sewage upgrades counts for nothing. A good local government shouldn’t frame core service catch ups as “unexpected surprises-oh dear”, they should have been factored into budgets every year since the things were bloody built . I realise Lyn is not to blame for decisions to avoid work decades ago, but her and Ron being cute with subpar performance is just appalling, and part of the problem.