Public opinion sinks super-city

This Wilde ambition

This Wilde ambition

By Ewan Tavendale

These days, after the National Party winning the general election last September, when workers still lack the confidence to take militant action, and when there are injustices all around, any successes against the forces of reaction are gratifying. The decision by the Local Government Commission to throw in the towel and drop their Wellington and Northland “super-city” plans is one such welcome triumph. The Commission, however, is pressing on with their Hawkes Bay super-city scheme; all depends now on a poll of Hawkes Bay electors. [Read more…]

Wellington Super-City Stumbles

wellington-city-cbd-looking-from-mt-victoria-nov2014-edward-swift

By Ewan Tavendale

One strand of the neo-liberal policy of the Key government is an anti-democratic deform of local government in an effort to inhibit the public service role of local councils. This role, inasmuch as collective provision is made for services, has a social-democratic character that has often been dubbed “municipal socialism.” Many public services are delivered by the local state, mainly at district or city level and some at regional: libraries, museums, rubbish disposal, water and wastewater, roads, paths, street lighting, support for culture and the arts, planning and regulation, parks, sports facilities, swimming pools, public transport and many more. To the right-wing parties local public services are not just “old hat” but abhorrent to their project of widening the scope for private profit. Their ideal is privatisation, but if that is not realistic their next best option is to see public services taken from direct council control and farmed out to misnamed council-controlled organisations and run on commercial lines. [Read more…]