You know the problem with councils? The problem with councils is twofold. I mean it’s many fold, but two really stick out.
Number one: not sticking to their knitting.
Number two: the numpties running for council.
That’s the conclusion you reach when you look at the rates report card the Taxpayers’ Union’s put out today. It’s mind boggling when you realise how much debt some of the councils have around the country.
25k per household in Christchurch. 22k per household in Auckland. 10k per household in Wellington.
Where’d that money go? How’d we get to a place where we have that much debt loaded against households in this country. We have major infrastructure needing to be built, but apparently we can’t pay for it because of the existing levels of debt. We have tourist numbers straining council incomes and grumpy residents to subsidise the industry.
Are we dealing it? No.
Why? Because we’re dealing with other things.
Because, as I said, councils aren’t sticking to their knitting, and they’re being run by numpties. Councils have major issues on their hands, things we desperately need them to get on and deal with, but what are they doing it?
They’re declaring climate change emergencies. Spending money on making cities bilingual. Buying crayfish costumes for adverts about burning treated wood. They’re quite frankly wasting time and wasting money.
Probably the reason for that is because we’re electing numpties.
Seriously. We have the local body elections coming up. How many of the candidates near you inspire you with confidence? Probably very few, and you’re not imagining it.
This was one of the problems identified by the productivity commission in its draft report into local government released this year.
It said: "The elected member governance model does not consistently deliver a mix of councillors that collectively possesses the full range of skills required for effective governance, and effective decision making."
So it recommended training. Training for elected politicians - there you have the problem.
Fortunately for us we have the elections coming up soon, and we can always hope for a different outcome, but I’m not going to hold my breath.
Post election I reckon we’ll still have two problems with councils: run by numpties and not sticking to their knitting.