Local government is to be reformed, Granny Herald has announced. I blogged about this twice in recent weeks, the writing on the wall was hard to miss.
So, what will the reforms consist of? Can't be that difficult to guess:
- Amalgamations, and a blurring of the line between regional and local government.
- Less democracy through reducing the number of elected representatives, which in turn encourages party tickets and wealthy individuals to run for office.
- Removal of the provider/regulator split, to support asset sales.
- Union busting, through increased contracting out aka labour market flexibility.
- Restrictions on rate rises, to drive asset sales.
- Moving back to the limiting of the functions of local government to those specifically allowed, as per the 1974 Act.
At least there was a laugh in the announcement, the government thinks the amalgamation in Auckland has been "successful". They should use some of the money they take as tax to purchase a dictionary.