Saturday, June 25, 2011

Local Bodies, Murphy's Musings

As the New Zealand Central Government, to quote Lindsey Perigo "has become a drooling hydra headed monster" so too has local Government morphed into an Overweight Bloodsucking Leach.

With over 40% of the work force drawing their pay from the public sector the country is truly in trouble.

The need to downsize both Central and Local Government is imperative, before New Zealand drowns in this sea of bureaucracy and strangles itself with red tape.

Both have taken on function which should be left to the private sector.

Local Government was a bit like Topsey it just "growed". After the abolition of the provinces in 1878 management of infrastructure passed to the cities, boroughs, towns and counties in a rather ad hoc fashion. When a need arose or appeared to arise the citizens did the usual Kiwi thing and formed a committee. Hence we ended up with a multitude of boards, there were drainage boards, river boards, domain boards, harbour boards, rabbit boards, highway boards. The list goes on and on.

It was relatively easy for citizens to set up a new local authority and as only rate payers had a vote, fiscal responsibility was the policy followed by most local authorities.

"He who pays the piper calls the tune". Alas good old egalitarian N.Z. had to stuff it up and and introduce adult universal suffrage for Local Body elections. The start of squeaking wheel politics.

The 1989 Labour Government in true socialist style set about reforming Local Government with amalgamation of  Local Bodies reducing the 800 or so to 86. This was done with little consultation.

That socialist Government also drafted the "Resource Management Act", a document that probably ranks with Karl Marx's "Communist Manifesto" in the advocacy of the destruction of private property.

Labour was replaced in the 1990 election by the Bolger National Socialist Government which rather than consign, the communist document to the rubbish bin, promoted the bill and made it law.

The two acts the "Local Government Amendment Act" and the "Resource Management Act" rather than reducing the size of Local Government led to the creating of the cancerous bloated bureaucracy we now have.

Certainly the number of local authorities was reduced but the number of bureaucrats exploded.

The Helen Clarke led Labour Government, gave local authorities the power of general competency, this allowed local authorities to enter into any lawful activity.
Go into business and incur debt in the name of their rate payers, a lot like giving your credit card and car keys to your teenage son. Wants became needs and the proliferation of edifices endemic.

The Clarke Government saw Auckland as dysfunctional and in true socialist fashion decided that more amalgamation was the answer. A decision made with little thought as to the ramifications and little concern as to the final cost - to be born by the ratepayers of the greater Auckland region.

The amalgamation of eight local authorities, all with their own long term plans and their own annual plans.
Though all complying with the Local Government Act and a myriad of other acts, regulations ect. Each had their own way of running their patch.
Eight different philosophical outlooks, eight different, non compatible, IT systems.

Why for a population of 1.3 million do we need three health authorities yet only one council ?

Another crazy socialist scheme, as I have said before all government should be made smaller, the myth that bigger is better is just that a myth.

Again, Labour was voted out before the legislation could be enacted.
History repeats itself, on gaining office the National Socialists rather than consign the entire flawed concept to the shredder. Took up the bill, putting their coalition partner in charge of the process and rammed it through.

One speculates if they actually thought, their party hopping, now ACT's Epsom candidate could win the Mayoralty.
Someone should have told him, he had no chance of winning, with the corrupt Local Body postal voting system.
Yes, it is a corrupt system, any voting system that allows ballot papers to be distributed and returned by un-secured mail. Where there is no check on the identity of the voter can and will be corrupted.

This system must go, just as MMP must go.

People go into politics for three reasons.
 What they can rip off out out of it
 They are control freaks.
 They are NIMBYs.
Some enter for all three, this applies equally to national or local body.

We now have the Auckland city, not much super about it, same old seat warmers, same old dead heads, same old mudguard politicians. Now joined by the new breed, the professional politician with shinning morning face, laptop in satchel. All joining the talk factory an expensive way of keeping them  off the streets.

But remember, you voted them there, true there will be less of them but I predict the bureaucracy will continue to grow; there will be more crony appointments, more statuary boards.
More bureaucrats promoted above their level of incompetence, more racist appointments, rates will continue to rise. If not next year certainly the year after the next Local body election.    

Grow up

Message; to Alasdair Thompson show some back bone, you owe no one an apology, your statement is based on actual research. 
Women receive equal pay for equal work.
Message to the any one who disagrees with Wayne.
Stop whinging and  grow up.
New Zealand has become a nation of whingers and spineless  appeasers.
Get real it is an unequal world and always will be.

So Alasdair  hang in there, your board is proving to be as spineless  as the DonKey led Government.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Public Art; Muphy's Musings

Statues, murals and monuments adorn the parks and plazas of our city and towns.
Most of it I can take or leave, Rodin said "a statue is just a lump, it is how you look at the lump that maters."
However I am a firm believer that public art should be privately funded.
The Takapuna Community Board when in it's death throes splashed out $25,000 on a sculpture by James Wright to be erected at Hauraki Corner.
Cost of sculpture $ 15500, installation $ 9500.
The sculpture was not installed due to road works.

Enter the Auckland Council Arts Department, the sculpture will now be installed however, surprise, surprise installation costs have now inflated a little.

Breakdown of project costs;
Original Artist fee & sculpture $ 15,500
Consent foundation ect. $ 9,500
Total $ 25,000

New Auckland city; Design Manufacture $ 15,500 no change
Building consent fee $ 5,500
Resource consent fee $ 3,000
Consultants fee for resource consent $ 5,000
Installation $ 1,500 no change
Stone Plinth $ 3,000 no change
Site work &foundation $ 5,000 no change
Lighting & power supply $ 3,000
Plaque $ 500
Transport $ 500
Contingency $ 3,500

Total $ 43,000

Yes! They know how to spend your rates dollar wisely.

As I said at the start of this post I have no objection to public art provided it is entirely PRIVATELY funded.

Why do we have an arts department? It's just another boondoggle, another sheltered workshop for the otherwise unemployable.

Note $ 13,000 in resource consent.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Local Bodies 2 , Murphy's Musings

Local bodies 2
We now have Auckland city, not much super about it, same old seat warmers, same old dead heads, same old mudguard politicians. Now joined by the new breed the professional politician, shining morning faces, with laptop in satchel, vowing to change the world. But ensuring, that though re-organised it remains the same.
Joining the talk factory; council or board, an expensive way to keep them off the street.

But remember you voted them there, true there are less of them, but I predict the bureaucracy will continue to grow; there will be more crony appointments, more statuary boards.
More bureaucrats promoted above their level of incompetence, more racists appointments. Rates will continue to rise not this year but certainly the year following the next local body election.

The answer is not bigger Government but smaller. Local Government should be devolved.

The power of general competency should be removed from local authorities.

No one should be allowed to incur debt on behalf of another person, another generation yet to be born.

Remove the power from the politicians and bureaucrats and you stop back scratching, which at the end of the day is corruption.

Local bodies should return to their proper functions.

That is not building, owning and running theaters, stadiums, swimming pools or railways.

Not spending the ratepayer hard earned dollars on world cups and yacht races, those who want theaters, swimming pools or stadium should put their money were their mouth is.

The squeaking wheels should be ignored; we as a nation must stop running to government when we think we have a need.

There is no money tree; every cent spent by government must be appropriated from the ratepayer or taxpayer.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Student Debt

While much breast beating goes on about the millions of dollars owed both by expats and residents.
There is a simple answer, in the case of the expats.
Sell the debt by international tender, the debt dodger will not want their credit rating affected.
Not a good look for a high flyer.
The same  for the resident non payer, again sell the debt to a local debt collector.