Thursday, November 21, 2013

When the tail wags the dog: Auckland Transport controls Auckland Council

When the tail, Auckland Transport, wags the dog, Auckland Council

Thakur Ranjit Singh

This article is in response to Auckland Transport’s interference in the 11 year old tradition of Santa Parade in Henderson, which resulted in Christmas History of Henderson being altered because the tail is now wagging the dog. THERE WILL BE NO SANTA PARADE IN HENDERSON IN 2013. (PLEASE BRING BACK MY BELOVED WAITAKERE CITY COUNCIL)

Santa and the kids-a flashback to 2011 Henderson Santa Parade. Thanks to interference of Auckland transport, Henderson people, used to Santa Parade for over a decade will miss it because of Super City Uncontrollable organisation
I am not sure when Rodney Hide thought of a Super City and creating its Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs), whether he realised he was creating a Frankenstein monster. Indeed it is F – Monster (what “F” means remains your personal preference), something they created as controllable, even by giving it that name, but Auckland Council ends up being controlled by CCOs, not the other way round, as intended. What an irony, where this F-Monster, Council Controlled Organisation, as a tail, now, directs its dog, Auckland Council. These unelected, and often faceless bodies, wield extreme powers which even seems to override the decision of elected representatives of people. This is a concern to ratepayers, and this blogsite, KIWI PUNDIT, will bring along other atrocities and miseries caused by such F-Monsters of the Council. If you have concerns, please contact me at

Vanessa Neeson, Chair of Massey Henderson Local Board, is very disappointed with the attitude of Auckland Transport:The Christmas Parade was cancelled because Auckland Transport wouldn't give permission to the route that has been in place for the last 11 years. It’s like holding a gun to Santa’s head.
Vanessa Neeson (present and past) Chair of Massey Henderson Local Board attributes this shift in history to the officiousness of this new monster that seems to be answerable to nobody. For 11 years Henderson, under Waitakere City Council had Santa Parade with little or no objections. But this new monster, sitting in the former Waitakere Council building, raises concerns which are officious at the best, and stupid and irrational at the worst.

Auckland Transport raised concerns about disruption to bus services, but this was refuted by the two major bus companies who service the routes around the area. According to Western Leader (Thursday September 19), both Ritchies and NZ Bus admitted that while this parade does cause problems, like any public function, they were able to accommodate this, as only few hundred customers were involved, and they were prepared to work around the problem.
In an election forum organised by Waitakere Ethnic Board on 19 September, 2013, five mayoral candidates attended. From left, John Palino, John Minto, Uesifili Unasa, Reuben Shadbolt and Penny Bright. All were critical of runaway council expenses, financial mismanagement, loss of democracy and unbridled powers of Council Controlled Organisations, which have become UNCONTROLLABLE. Actions by Auckland Transport has brought their suspicion to reality

But NO, Auckland Transport had to flex their muscles, make its presence felt in Waitakere, and to substantiate how misplaced our trust has been on the Super City and the controllable aspect of this unelected monster. I remember this date of 19 September, when Waitakere Ethnic Board was having its Local Government Election Forum at the West Hub at Corban Street. Yours truly as Chair of the Forum raised this issue with potential mayors. John Minto, John Palino, Reuben Shadbolt, Uesifili Unasa and Penny Bright (minus Len Brown) were there and the unbridled powers of the unelected, and at times, unaccountable CCOs were seen as a matter of concern. Penny Bright was the most ardent critic of CCOs:I believe that big corrupt corporates control Auckland through Council Controlled Organisations “(CCOs) where unelected businesspeople run the Auckland region like a business, by business, for business. CCOs must go,” she told the forum.
Penny Bright is a strong critic of Corporate control on Auckland Council and its Council Controlled Organisations. She was a mayoral candidate and polled third largest votes:I believe that big corrupt corporates control Auckland through Council Controlled Organisations “(CCOs) where unelected businesspeople run the Auckland region like a business, by business, for business.

The former and current Chair of Massey Henderson Board, Vanessa Neeson was also present and raised her concerns about this matter. She was very disappointed and expressed her utter displeasure at the action of Auckland Transport.

The Christmas Parade was cancelled because Auckland Transport wouldn’t give permission to the route that has been in place for the last 11 years. I tried very hard to change their mind but couldn’t. Rotary were very upset about the decision and now are going to Westgate instead. “Vanessa Neeson said

A flashback to 2011 Parade. Henderson will miss it this year.Add caption

 She said the local board did not want to deprive the children and families the decade – old tradition and fun of Christmas provided by Waitakere City Council. As a result, Massey Henderson Board and “officers have gone to a great deal of trouble to organise a Christmas Festival which will be this next Saturday.” So, the alternative to Henderson Santa Parade is Westgate Parade on 30th November, 2013, starting at 10am. And thanks to Auckland Transport for spoiling the fun. “Why do you want to kill Christmas? It’s like holding a gun to Santa’s head,” Vanessa Neeson told the Western Leader

The issue that Auckland ratepayers need to ponder is inconsistent and irrational decisions of Auckland Council. Here an arm is concerned about disruption of bus services to a few hundred people for two hours in a small suburb of West Auckland. On the other hand the Auckland Mayor and Auckland Council,  have no trouble in shutting off Queen Street to allow topless women to have ‘Boobs on bike’ or some nonsensical parade that far outweigh the fun and pleasure of so many children in Waitakere. Closure of Queen Street cause far more disruption than ever would be done by  a Santa Parade in Henderson. The Council needs to have its priorities right, have some control over its unelected CCOs and not allow the over-paid bosses in ivory towers displace our elected representatives and Local Boards. The action of Auckland Transport in Henderson is questionable and very worrying, and the Council, its CEO and the Mayor cannot just say they have no say or control, on this disservice to the community in Henderson.

Santa  Parade , with happy children that Henderson will no longer see, thanks to Auckland Transport.
It is hoped Auckland Transport which sits in old Waitakere Council building can have decorum, demeanour and understanding like other great Westies, such as former Mayor Bob Harvey, Social Development Minister Paula Bennett, former Minister Chris Carter and Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse.

We hope this article is a cue to ratepayers to empower themselves and be more vocal about a Council that is becoming more and more uncontrollable and unaccountable, and maybe with questionable ethics and logic.

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