Having been in the business of public life for many years, Mr Ford knows exactly what he is saying when he says: "...this is not public policy..."
Q: What do you think is the hardest part of the job?
A: "It is a very tight timeframe. That is my skill. I have delivered projects and this is a technical process. This is not public policy. This is following project guidelines and delivering on time."
This is a significant answer. Some of us might think there will bejust a little public policy involved in sorting our service procurement arrangements when there is just one buyer. For example, at present roadside rubbish collection, footpath paving, pothole filling - etc, are services that are subcontracted at present by Auckland's four city councils. There are several service providers, in competition with each other, to win those lucrative contracts.
When there is suddenly just one buyer, the rather thorny issue of competition policy raises its head. Mega mergers tend to disable competition. The free-market gets threatened. There will be a need for a bit of public policy to think that one through....
But broadly, I'd like to agree with the sentiment expressed by Mark Ford. Whatever I might think of the whole governance restructuring thing, I definitely agree that the public policy objectives, purposes, goals and etc of that thing, must be the responsibility of Central Government. There should be no possibility of blame for this being dumped on the Transition Agency. In a sense it is acting as Government's hatchetman. Doing a job that must be done. Acting under orders. Government orders. Government determined public policy.
So how about letting us know what that is? So we all know.
It's called transparency. Or is there really no solid public policy behind this restructuring?
Is it being made up from week to week?