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Thursday, 21 May 2009

DEMOCRACY HAS TEETH, INTEGRITY IS ALL GUMS

People who have great power will usually act only if there is something in it for them. But the super-council will never have any reason to do anything for Waiheke. We will have only 0.6% of the vote, and zero councillors out of twenty, so why should it do a blind thing for us?

Requests that mean everything to us will mean nothing to them. Pleas on our behalf from the Waiheke Local Board will fall on deaf ears.

The government may set some delegations in legislation, but as it itself has just proved by ramming through a 'technical' Act that trashed the democratic obligations of the Local Government Act 2002, legislation is only as good as the notice taken of it, no matter how good its intentions and black and white its wording. The good Dr Jekyll ends up trashed in the wicked soul of Mr Hide.

If the super-council ignored the law it would not suffer the slightest penalty, and there would be no incentive to obey it for pip-squeak Waiheke.

So we would be entirely reliant on the integrity of a majority on the super-council, and the integriryt of the bureaucracy making recommendations to it.

Integrity. Hmmm! Relying on that from a far-off super-council that will have no incentive to listen to us would be as stupid as believing in Santa Claus, Tinkerbell and the Tooth Fairy.

I would rather rely on democracy. If the Hauraki Gulf Islands were with Thames-Coromandel District Council we would have 23% of the vote, Waiheke would have two councillors out of twelve, Great Barrier would have one, and the reorganisation proposal also has the mayor on both community boards and the regional councillor present at every monthly meeting.

A full house beats an empty hand every time.