Give local governments freedom (and responsibility)

Local government needs to be given freedom from central government interference, combined with clearer accountability to voters, says ACT Leader David Seymour in the wake of the New Zealand Initiative’s latest report on localism.

The report summarises its idea as “setting clear roles for each tier of government, with limits on the ability of either party to act beyond these limits”.

Sloganeering bureaucrats are out of control

ACT Leader David Seymour says it's time to put councils back in their box, after Auckland Council bureaucrats spent $500,000 coming up with the slogan "The place desired by many".

"I'm out door knocking in the Epsom electorate today and what I generally hear constituents want from Council is not a new slogan but some other things," says Mr Seymour.

Auckland Transport needs to get back in its box

ACT Leader David Seymour is encouraging mayoral candidate Vic Crone’s stand on political billboards. Crone has been forbidden by Auckland Transport to use billboard sites for her campaign by Auckland Transport, even though the sites have already been approved for commercial uses.

“She is absolutely right.  Why should candidates not be allowed to use billboard space that would have had some form of billboard anyway?

Auckland Councillors must engage with public on rezoning

ACT Leader David Seymour is urging councillors to make their positions on rezoning plans clear after tomorrow’s extraordinary Council meeting.

“Reports are that Councillors are receiving veiled threats from officers to keep them quiet are an affront to local democracy," said Mr Seymour.

“Having been pushed back hard in 2013, it seems that unelected elements in the Auckland Council have come back for another bite at changing the character of Auckland communities.  This grind-em-down strategy is unacceptable.

Auckland Council’s rules killing beer festivals

ACT Leader David Seymour has criticised Auckland Council over the cancellation of this year's New Zealand Beer Festival.

"Auckland Council are clearly being too punitive with their liquor rules," says Mr Seymour.

"This is precisely a festival celebrating quality and creativity over quantity. And yet it's been shut down in the face of overzealous regulation supposed to target the bad-behaving few, who probably don't even attend these kinds of events.

Council gets the money and the bag

The Government has let Auckland Council off the hook, gaining no concessions on land supply or rate rises, according to ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Writing a big cheque was the time to bring Auckland Council to the table,” says Mr Seymour, “but instead the Council got away with the money and the bag.”

Auckland Council upends democracy

Auckland Council has engaged in breathtakingly undemocratic arrogance by foisting zone changes on central Auckland residents a week before Christmas without consultation, says Epsom MP David Seymour.

“In a democracy the elected representatives should be in charge of the officials.  In this case the officials swore the councillors to secrecy. It’s extraordinary. 

“The councillors who stood by and let this happen have sat on council too long.  They should either get back in control of the asylum or offer residents their resignation.

Councillors have a duty to speak up on rezoning

Epsom MP David Seymour has called on Auckland councillors to state their real positions on the rezoning of Auckland’s central suburbs.

The Herald today reports that councillors have been sworn to secrecy over intensification plans for Epsom, Mt Eden, and other central suburbs. If this is true, then it’s an affront to the purpose of elected office. If it’s false, then all councillors should deny it immediately," said Mr Seymour.

Local Government (Auckland Transitional Provisions) Amendment Bill - First reading

DAVID SEYMOUR (Leader—ACT): When the member who has just resumed her seat, Jan Logie, apologised for her state of mind, I thought she was just being gracious, but as her speech proceeded, I realised she was actually being quite honest.

Auckland Council must stop coveting neighbours’ assets

“It is incredibly arrogant, even by their standards, for Auckland Council to include the Auckland Energy Consumer Trust in its asset review as a ‘potential’ asset,” says Epsom MP David Seymour.