27 Apr 2010

Labour promises to reverse Auckland asset sales

6:08 am on 27 April 2010

The Labour Party is promising to undo some of the Auckland super-city reforms and to prevent the sale of any strategic assets.

Leader Phil Goff is also promising the country's mayors a seat at Cabinet committee tables prior to big decisions being taken about their areas.

In a speech to mainly party faithful in Auckland, Mr Goff accused the Government of clearing the way for the privatisation of local body assets after the Auckland council is created in November.

Mr Goff says Labour would require a referendum of ratepayers before any sales and would reverse any that are made without such a poll.

Labour would also give Aucklanders greater say over the responsibilities of seven unelected, council controlled organisations, regarding water, sewerage and transport.

Mr Goff says Labour would also give as much responsibility as possible to 21 community boards.

Minister of Local Government Rodney Hide has described giving mayors a place at the Cabinet table as absurd.

Dunedin City's mayor Peter Chin says it would be helpful but rates it as a nice dream.