It’s still a dump
Mr Balthazar Matheson took offence to a Ngati Whatua submission calling a dump “a dump” (MM Nov 18). Now here is a man who does not get around much. If it smells like a dump and pollutes like a dump – it’s a dump. Mr Balthazar Matheson may like to call it a landfill, but if you put lipstick on a pig, it is still a pig.
Chas Benest, Snells Beach
Review the boundaries
I can’t see any reason why any current member of the Rodney Local Board would be objecting to a review of the Rodney election boundaries (MM Nov 18). It is seeking to improve democratic representation for both our townships and rural communities. Communities who don’t have common interests should be more clearly aligned with the communities they do have common interests with. I support Mr Sayers asking the public their opinion about the idea of the improved realignment of election boundaries.
Catherine Ashby, Wellsford
The idea of an Auckland Supercity arose as a result of the 2009 coalition agreement between the National Party and ACT, which expected that “reform” of Auckland local government would be led by the ACT party leader Rodney Hide. Ignoring the recommendations of a recently completed Auckland Local Government Royal Commission, the nascent Minister approached the task with a “business-knows-best” attitude, using Brisbane as a template for the new Auckland Council – the Australian state capital where uncorrupted democracy had struggled for survival for decades. The Government’s principal target for destruction was the Auckland Regional Council (ARC). A popular and powerful administration, the ARC was an example of regional government excellence with a 50 year history of service to Auckland containing the best corps of regional government officers in the country and an elite competent political structure. With the absorption of the ARC, the Government began the pursuit its undeclared goal of privatising the city’s assets. Existing council structures became non-democratic CCOs, which early critics correctly predicted would become silos of covert civic activity acting at the direction of their own highly paid CEOs and boards. Add to this an autocratic Mayoral role, and the rest of the political structure soon became anaemic. It is this model which causes confusion and inertia for councillors and local board members within Auckland Council. Rodney Local Board has always contained ACT Party members. It is concerning that none have expressed any public regret about the role ACT played in forcing the ill-conceived burden of the “Supercity” on Auckland.
Brent Morrissey, Te Arai
Increase interest rates
Whilst accepting that housing demand currently exceeds supply, causing rising prices – particularly as New Zealand citizens are returning home to escape Covid-affected countries – this is not the only contributor. In the belief that low interest rates will help stimulate economic growth, the Government is following this policy to help support businesses and employment. While this is true up to a point, artificially low rates encourage asset price inflation, discourage savings, lead governments to overborrow and lead to investors looking elsewhere for better returns. This has led to rising investment in housing (increased demand) as rental returns are higher than alternative investments, as are the potential capital gains. It would seem sensible for there to be an increase in rates to calm things down. It would also help if the loan-to-value ratio was increased for investment properties, which could then be reduced for first time buyers.
Julian Wade, Warkworth