Auckland 'super city' - new form of corporatisation?

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Mar 8 2010 20:29
Auckland 'super city' - new form of corporatisation?

Has anyone been following the development of the 'super city'?

The general consensus among anti super city groups seems to be that its a re-emergence of rogernomics (read: NZs version of thacterism/reaganomics). Basically a cover for privatisation and transforming local councils into a unacountable corporate organisation in control of $28 billion of public assets. There remains councillors but '7 CCO's (council controlled organisations) will control at least 75% of council business'

Transport for example;

Quote:
NZ Herald : Auckland Transport will commandeer about $630 million from Auckland ratepayers to spend on everything from new roads to broken footpaths and potholes.

It will be run by between six and eight directors, two of whom can be members of the Auckland Council. The New Zealand Transport Agency can also appoint one non-voting director.

Under a proposed Government bill, Auckland Transport is not obliged to delegate any transport function to the Auckland Council or local boards, listen to communities, hold public meetings or front up to dispute resolution when things go wrong.

Mr Lee says this is just the tip of the iceberg. The bill also means Auckland Transport does not have to act in accordance with the requirements of the Auckland Council or follow the council's transport and planning policies and can sell assets and enter into major financial commitments without council approval.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10630787

NZ is often said to have been a trial run of privatisation in the 80s - is the supercity another trial? This time on how to replace councils with companies? Or is this sort of thing happening elswhere too?

http://www.stopthesupercity.org.nz/

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Mar 10 2010 01:52

There was a similar thing in Adelaide, "Super councils", amalgamating councils like corporate bodies. I'll try and dig up some more info on it.

Skraeling
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Mar 20 2010 07:44

i would veer away from social democratic analysis on this one -- they see privatisation in social democratic terms, and their analysis lacks class content.

i'm not an Aucklander but to me its about an aggressive capitalist class in NZ is seeking to form a super city for its benefit, the clumsy Auckland city councils are not good for capital accumulation, so they think what is needed is breaking down boundaries, forming better transport and infrastructure for NZ's biggest commercial and industrial city so that commodities can be transported to and from the market, and workers to and from work (capital most often needs the state including local govt to do its infrastructure building for it -- for overseas readers Auckland is very spread out and yet has virtually no public transport), as well as the drive by capital to get its hands on the assets of the city councils and profit from them.

and the capitalist class can prob do this given the low level of class struggle in auckland, and how the more overt opposition to the super city is not class based (eg. many Maori are opposing it on a non-class basis even tho most Ngati Whatua etc are of course working class). the social democratic strategy in the past was to get social democrats like Bruce Jesson elected onto city council and block them selling assets. time to move beyond that, methinks. the water pressure group did, and provided effective working class opposition to water charges in auckland for a while.

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Mar 29 2010 07:18

If you mean the stopthesupercity link then yeah its pissing in the wind i just posted it as a link to basic info on what the s.city is.

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the water pressure group did, and provided effective working class opposition to water charges in auckland for a while.

They did? I used to see them around all the time (used to live very near metrowater). Water supply/installing meters will be the first on offer to the highest bidder IMO.

And, yes, race based struggle is triving in NZ, almost a psuedo national liberation struggle. I guess something has to fill the void that is left by the complete collapse of anything resembling organised labour.

ps, has anyone ever written anything on maori nationalism vs class solidarity with a historical context? I have wanted to for a long time but my politics/nz history skills arent really up to doing a good job of it.

Skraeling
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Mar 31 2010 09:25

well yeah water pressure failed, meaning auckland water is still commodified, but for a leftist group they were unusually popular, based on direct action, and genuinely working class community based. i mean they got out of the activist ghetto, and had numerous groups going. of course, they had flaws, eg, electoralism. but their reconnection squad street parties were a high point in class based resistance in auckland.

on maori nationalism and class, no there is not much written on it. there is some criticism of current corporate iwi/tribal capitalism from people like elizabeth rata from an academic marxist point of view. it is useful to read.

but the whole history of maori and class has not been written -- there is a whole story to be told about how maori, once the state and capital had enclosed their land, became rural labourers and basically built and serviced the farms esp in the north island that were the backbone of this society (ironically, on land that taken from Maori). (most Marxist histories just focus on the enclosures and not what happened afterwards). and then became freezing workers, timberworkers and other blue collar jobs, and how maori were at the forefront of class resistance in the 1970s.

maori used their communal culture to good effect at worksites as a basis for collective resistance. this strain of maori struggle is of course overlooked by the whole treaty industry which is busy writing working class maori out of history in favour of an idealised liberal partnership between capital and its state and the maori elite. its not just about the land.

i would say, however, technically speaking, maori are not nationalists in the main, given than their main form of organisation is the sub tribe or hapu. maori loyalty lies with this more so than pan-Maori nationalism.