Government on the Run
So early in the term and already Clark's mob are in defense mode - it is not a good look.
TVNZ unravelling by the day. They have completely shafted that organisation. The best Maharey could do today was claim they had saved it from being sold off. Some rescue. Private enterprise with the right set of incentives and controls is probably best placed to deliver public broadcasting objectives. As usual with socialists they confuse ownership with service delivery. Now we have the lunatics running the asylum.
Telecom - saw the Government off two years ago - now Clark is declaring she will change the regulatory framework to enable to NZ to catch-up in broadband. Where has she been these past two years. Australia has broad band at 7 times the speed of NZ for half the cost. Who has any confidence Clark and her lapdog Cunliffe can deliver. Cunliffe who cannot even put a wetsuit on the right way round for a craven photo-op - see today's Sideswipe for a photo.
In December 2003 the Labour Government announced new governance arrangements for (re)building public transport infrastructure, facilities and services in Auckland. Governance was to be simplified by eliminating one regional body and replacing it with two - ARTA and ARH under the control of the ARC.
The results have been shambolic - now the Government proposes another additional body, Auckland Passenger Rail Reference Group (APRRG) to provide "a more formal mechanism for resolving differences" among the Auckland Regional Transport Authority, Ontrack, the government agency controlling the rail tracks, and Land Transport New Zealand, the government funding agency.
What a friggin joke. Labour don't want Auckland's roading fixed. They want the notion of progress and an electorate beholden to the Government for a few more crumbs.
Just for the record - Labour's President, Mike Williams, sits on the Boards of ARTA, and Transit NZ (whose charter states... "the Board of Transit New Zealand directs both overall policy and funding allocation).
The government is now grizzling that the panacea for Auckland, a regional petrol tax, is not generating the expected funding because high petrol prices have reduced consumption - duh! I see markets prices do work eh? No mention of the higher GST receipts I might add...
What William's has done is this - used his pivotal positions and information flows to subvert roading projects to ensure Labour's control of key urban electorates outside Auckland. Transit's long term plan nationally, had 17/20 highest priority projects in Auckland. William's intervention saw the number funded in Auckland reduced to 3. ie he leapfrogged 14 other less deserving projects. He bodgied the numbers/process to get other regions into the trough. Result - Labour elected. See here for another example of the tentacles Williams has spread.