Of the five people who will play a radical role in shaping the future of the Auckland SuperCity there is one woman, Queen's Counsel Miriam Dean. Here's a profile of Dean that I found via my friend Google:
Ms Dean is a senior barrister who specialises in commercial litigation and dispute resolution, with particular expertise in competition and consumer laws. She has previously served as Deputy Chair of the Commerce Commission, Director of the Competition Law and Policy Institute of New Zealand, member of the Civil Aviation Authority and Chair of Lawyers Engaged in Alternative Dispute Resolution.Lots of experience, but I'm not seeing much in the area of local government or other areas that require high levels of community engagement. You can read a fuller CV here [PDF]; I'm getting a picture of someone very strong in the commercial law area, but this is more about public law, which is a different beast entirely.
(Miriam is the woman in the blue jacket on the left)
The group is to be headed by someone with a conflict of interest the size of Cosseys Reservoir, namely Mark Ford, the CEO of the wholesale provided of much of Auckland's water, Watercare. But don't worry folks because he is going to stand down from that, and the chair role at the Auckland Regional Transport Authority, and assumedly leave any ambitions for a commercial monopoly in Auckland's water market in his old swivelly chair on his last day. /sarcasm
Here's Ford is all in his grey-headed suited glory:
Then we have accountant John Waller who currently heads the BNZ:
Mr Waller has vast commercial experience with more than 20 years involvement in mergers and acquisitions, corporate advisory services, business reviews and a wide range of corporate activities. He is also a member of the Takeovers Panel, on the PWC New Zealand Board, Chairman of the Eden Park Redevelopment Board for the Rugby World Cup 2011 and has been appointed to join the Fonterra Board in 2009. He has a Bachelor of Commerce and is a Chartered AccountantWayne Walden brings his experience as chair of Maori TV and running Farmers Deka to the table. I imagine there is some hope that he will be able to assuage the huge concerns Maori have about the proposed structure. I know basically nothing about him, and would be interested in readers thoughts.
And finally there's someone with actual local government knowledge from having been there and done that; John Law was mayor of Rodney (whose people want out of all this Super nonsense) in a past life:
So to steer the Great Ship of Auckland to an Exciting and Vibrant New Port, carrying all of its many and varied peoples on board to their final destination, where there will be ponies and broadband in every home and we shall all live in harmony and prosperity for every more, we have:
- a competition lawyer,
- a bank accountant,
- an ex-mayor from one of the smaller components of the future Superness,
- and two CEOs.
I don't know where they all live yet, and will be interested to find out which of the current TLAs they hail from. But I do know that these five people do not look all that much like Auckland. Or rather they do look like the caricature of the Auckland region that some people have, based largely on perceptions of our CBD. Shame Epsom's Member for Parliament seems to think that is ok for determining the democratic future of Manukau, Waitakere, North Shore, Auckland, Franklin, Papakura and Rodney.
Diversity? U haz FAIL.