I was interested to read that councillor Cathy Casey has supposedly resigned in disgust from her role as the council’s child and family advocate.
That would be quite a statement if the role actually existed. However it doesn’t, and hence why the council hasn’t named another person to replace her as advocate.
As someone who has worked for the Auckland City Council and currently works alongside the council, I understand from officials that under this new council no one had been appointed to be its child and family advocate.
In fact even under the previous Hubbard administration, while a child and family action plan was endorsed by a committee resolution in August 2006, no committee ever formally appointed Dr Casey as the council’s official advocate for such matters. Dr Casey’s title was merely a political one.
Given there’s been a major political change at the council, Dr Casey did not voluntarily resign from this post. Rather, Auckland voters effectively rejected this role and others at last October’s local body elections. If Dr Casey is so passionate about social policy, the biggest political difference she could make would be as a Member of Parliament.