Red Alert


Posted by on September 16th, 2009

I would not normally comment on Auckland issues as there are plenty of others who do. But on behalf of the 2/3rds of the country who dont really care what happens up there, all I ask is that whatever this indecisive Govt decides and imposes on us all, it must be real progress. Seems to me that political interference will once again destroy any chance of that occurring. The rest of the country subsidises Auckland and provides it with the wealth to exist. While we accept that reality we dont want to waste the chance to sort a few things out and give it a chance of becoming a truly world class city supported by the right infrastructure and functional governance. I trust the Royal Commission over the greedy ACT objectives that now seem to be prevailing. Poor old unprincipled Maori Party gets done over again.

25 Responses to “Auckland???”

  1. Spud says:

    Agreed. 😀

  2. Jezza says:

    What the hell are you talking about..? I suggest you have a look at the tax on fuel Auckland has contributed to the government’s coffers since 1990 and then compare that to what has been spent on transport since 1990 before making such ridiculous statements as the rest of NZ is subsidising Auckland…

    Also the government can’t be imposing and indecisive at the same time…

    In future don’t comment on Auckland issues…

    I really have to wonder how some of you get into parliament…

  3. jennifer says:

    Agree with Jezza over transport tax out vs transport tax in. Auckland has been bled white over the years by rural electorates needing fancy roads for stock trucks and milk tankers and little other traffic, maybe the occasional 4X4 or ute, or farmer’s Merc.

  4. LabRat says:

    Jezza, this one got in on the list.

  5. […] List MP Damien O’Connor blogs: The rest of the country subsidises Auckland and provides it with the wealth to […]

  6. Patrick says:

    DPF cites a report that undermines your view Damien;

    “Incidentally a report in 2006 concluded Auckland sends $3.8 billion more tax to Wellington than it receives back in spending’

    one of you is right, and the other……….well, I do know DPF can do his math

  7. Draco T Bastard says:

    The rest of the country subsidises Auckland…

    I’d really like to see the proof of that.

  8. Damien says:

    you exposed the very issue that so many miss. Tax of any kind depends on wealth created through export revenue. Auckland consumes far more than it creates. That imbalance is something we all need to address.

  9. Phil Twyford says:

    @ Damien – Currently Auckland’s share of the NZ population is one-third, and the share of the economy slightly more than that. Many commentators project that share to rise to closer to 50% within the next generation. How do you feel about that?

    I ask because there has been surprisingly little public debate on the effect the super city may have in increasing Auckland’s political and economic dominance. Any thoughts?

  10. Hilary says:

    Hilary while I think you are right you are well off the thread – will try and get one on education cuts up over the next week Trevor

  11. Damien says:

    Basic economics might suggest we differentiate GDP from GNP and follow the BOP to work out what we must do to improve our economy. Ie grow our exports, reduce our imports and own more of our companies to reduce the outflow of profits. Assess Ackld against those criteria, D

  12. Patrick A says:

    I think Damien calling the Maori Party unprincipled is a tad rich.

  13. Jezza says:

    Well I take back what I said Damien a Labour MP with some grasp on the problems in the economy but why didn’t Labour in the last 9 years:

    – Introduce a capital gains tax and remove the GST exemptions on rent and mortagages to encourage investment in the productive export economy and remove encouragement of property speculation..? It could have been offset with GST exemptions of fruit and vege and removal of the ridiculous tax on savings and/or tax free thresholds, all things that would benefit traditional Labour voters most..?

    – Why did you introduce WFF (and exclude beneficaries) instead of tax free thresholds..? Surely this would have benefitted working class people most or was WFF really about buying middle class votes..? Labour is critising National now for giving tax breaks to rich people who don’t spend as much when they essentially did the same thing (just lower down the income ladder) with WFF..?

    – If Labour is serious about NZers owning NZ assets then why did it not pass legislation saying strategic assets such as power, water and communications companies, etc could only be sold to NZ companies, citizens and permanent residents and release shares in SOE’s to the public using the money to by more NZ assets and repeat the process a’la Labor in Aus in the 80’s and 90’s..?

    – Why did Labour not make Kiwisaver compulsory and much larger in scope..?

    – Why is Labour pretending (along with National) that we can maintain universal pensions of 66% at 65 when much richer countries like the US, Britain and even Aus have indicated rises to 67 and 68..? Continuing this madness in consigning older NZers to larger cuts and steeper age rises…

    Honestly I could go on and on… By not dealing with these problems Labour has consigned us to Rogernomics II in about 15 – 20 years which will be a disaster…

    Why didn’t they deal with them you ask..? Well it seems it’s easier to try and stay in power and Auckland-bash…

  14. George says:

    How does the rest of the country subsidise Auckland?

    Yes Auckland is wealthy but there is a net outflow of tax from Akl not the other way round.

    You say tax is dependent on exports and that Akl consumes more than it creates, well how do you suggest we address this “supposed” imbalance? Given that these subsidies aren’t coming from tax investment (net outflow) should we not sell goods and services to Akl? Not invest in infrastructure? Stop transmitting power North? Actively campaign to reduce the wealth of Akl? Then what? what happens when the imbalance is addressed and all of a sudden Akl is no longer in a position to be a net contributer to the tax pool?

    I’m sure Akl bashing is a vote winner in some electorates but honestly.

  15. WH says:

    Interesting Damien,

    Readers may want to have a look at the Progressive Turmoil website and look at the recent posts on compact urban forms and agglomeration, productivity and Auckland. There are others questioning the ongoing subsidisation of Auckland.

    On Auckland productivity if you went to the NZTA website and look at the recently released NZTA NLTP information (, there regional summary for Auckland shows pop’n as 34% of NZ and GDP as 27% by comparison Canterbury region is 13% of pop’n and 13% of GDP, Taranaki 3% pop’n and 3% GDP (not to forget the 2.6B+ in oil royalities from the region), West Coast 1% pop’n and 1% GDP. As simple ratio’s this NZTA information suggests people in Canterbury, the West Coast and Taranaki contribute more per person to GDP than people in Auckland do.

    I don’t care about the royal commission vs national/act, but I do care that large parts of the rest of the country have for years under both governments have suffered from “pork barrelling” Auckland voters. Cut the subsidy like SMP’s were cut in the 80’s and let the productive regions get on with making NZ a better place to live for everyone.

  16. mickysavage says:


    This is a rather silly comment and argument.

    Lefties should be about unity, not divide and insult.

  17. jabba says:

    Damien, you are to Auckland what Andrew Williams is to the rest of the country.

  18. Scott says:

    You cannot be serious.

    Take Auckland out of the economy and the rest of the country would be much worse off.

    What is this subsidy you talk about? Auckland infrastructure has been chronically underfunded for decades. Who is subsidising whom?

  19. Mike says:

    Damien – you obviously don’t understand economics. Tax is not created by export wealth. The wealth of any country is the sum of all it’s economic activity. Only 10% of USA GDP is generated by exports

  20. Xavier says:

    Your statements smack of provincial hocum and Auckland envy, Damien. The fact is Auckland is the most economically productive region in the country, per capita, and acts as the centre of the goods distribution and service industries. Whether you like it or not, New Zealand’s economic performance depends as much on Auckland’s performance as it does on our agricultural outputs (which is really just a marginal economic activity, at best). We provide more tax than we receive, and draw the short straw in transport funding. The greatest irony is, no matter how much the rest of the country bags Auckland, you generally don’t find the opposing anti-provincial attitudes in Auckland. [Edited – admin]

  21. Banksie says:

    Whaleoil…oops, I mean Jabba… I take it that you mean Damien is standing up for his community in the same way that Andy Williams is. And as such, I agree with you.

  22. jennifer says:

    I’ve been following the wider Auckland governance debate fairly closely, and in my view, Mayor Williams is doing a fine job in raising the real issues. I accept that the extreme right do not like hearing it.

  23. jabba says:

    Banksie .. WOBH calls him the mad mayor of campbell bay or something. I have never met either but Williams really does come across as a prat.
    Jennifer, I am not the extreme right, I have recently moved to just right of center.
    If you think Williams is doing a gr8 job raising “the issues” then you must love Michael Laws because he does the same but the extreme left do not like hearing that.

  24. jabba says:

    I’m having a really bad day. 77% of my people (Wanganui born and or citizens) have been shafted .. democraZy be dammed and my present home town in the Franlklin Zone forced to be 1/2 Jaffa 1/2 Mooloo when over 80% wanted nothing to do with Tamaki Makaurau.
    What’s going on?

  25. Carolyn Stirling says:

    I remember the day when the city subsidised the country. Huge farm subsidies to inefficient farmers. Auckland keeps the internal economy ticking over.