Rodney Hide, left, shakes hands with his mate Dave Henderson at the launch of Hendo's Five Mile township near Queenstown in 2006. Five Mile was put into receivership in 2008 with debts totaling some $90 million.

The neoliberal zealot Rodney Hide is still peddling his failed creed.

The Minister of Local Government has been given approval by the Cabinet to, potentially, take the axe to local council services that he doesn't think are 'core services.'

Hide says that the core services are transport and water services and public health and safety, such as rubbish collection.

Which means Hide would like to take the axe to social, cultural and environmental spending by local councils. Here in Christchurch, for example, the council's large social housing stock would not be considered 'core' by Hide and would be privatised.

However the bright spot is that Hide's neoliberal lunacy is something that Prime Minister Key also finds less than attractive.

Although the Cabinet signed off on the review, Key said yesterday that he did not agree with Hide's definition of core services.

He said social policies were an important role for councils.

So Key might just be letting little Rodney let off steam before stopping him in tracks when he presents Cabinet with his ugly proposals.

Even so, a wary eye will have to be kept on little Rodney.

Last year the Christchurch City Council bailed out his mate and fellow neoliberal zealot Dave Henderson. It paid $17 million for five overvalued properties.

Does Hide regard this business bailout as a 'core ' council service?


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