One of the sad results of the demise of the ACT Party is that they can not be held responsible for the mess they made of local government in Auckland. As a party that was founded on principles such as personal responsibility, it would be gratifying to see Rodney Hide admit that he got it wrong.
A couple of examples of how dysfunctional the new council is have come to light recently. The first was the significant payouts to several senior staff who had resigned after being bullied by a tier three manager. With the secrecy around the payouts there's only so much I can say, however it is clear that the management culture at a senior level is poor. I'd put that down to having a booze baron with no local government experience chosen by Hide et al as the CEO at the new council.
Then there was the $12million loss at POA. The lack of personal responsibility by the Board and management, most of whom were hand-picked by Hide and senior figures in the National party, is common to the otherwise separate employment issues. Unions don't strike on a whim, or for fun. In this instance they went on strike to protect existing conditions. The Board and senior management should resign, or be sacked. If the council laacks the wherewithal to sack the board, they should resign too.
National would like to apply the "bigger government, more bureaucracy, less democracy" model to local government across the country and are prevented mostly because the most competent minister for local government they have is the disgraced Nick Smith. Which doesn't say much for the rest of cabinet. It looks increasingly like reform of local government will have to go on the backburner, because it is the least of the government's problems. Apart from the reform of marriage laws.
Queens of the Stone Age - Era Vulgaris, 2007