19 May 2009

Super-city delay chaotic, says Labour

4:39 pm on 19 May 2009

The Labour Party says the Government's handling of the planned Auckland super-city is becoming chaotic

The Cabinet on Monday failed to agree on appointments to the transition agency which will oversee the restructuring of the region's local bodies into a super-council, and an expected announcement was delayed

The proposed make-up of the agency was discussed by the Cabinet but no decisions were made.

Prime Minister John Key said on Monday the Government needed more time to work through what is an important decision. It is finalising the last name and who will be the chairperson.

Labour leader Phil Goff says the Government has become "gun shy" after controversy over its appointment of Christine Rankin to the Families Commission.

He says it shows there are serious questions about the suitability of some of Local Government Minister Rodney Hide's nominees.

North Shore mayor Andrew Williams says the delay points to deep divisions in the Cabinet.

Mr Williams believes some of the candidates put forward by the Mr Hide would have been unpalatable.

However, Alex Swney, from Heart of the City, says the delay is welcome and careful thinking is needed.

He says the process of forming a super-city should not be undermined by any controversy over appointments for the sake of a couple of days.

Radio New Zealand political staff say Watercare Services chief executive Mark Ford, Bank of New Zealand board chairman John Waller and businessman Wayne Walden who formerly chaired boards at Maori Television and TranzRail, are being tipped as likely board members.