Power and politics in provincial New Zealand: a test of the growth machine theory and its implications for social assessment research
Restricted Item. Print thesis available in the University of Auckland Library or may be available through Inter-Library Loan. Central government 1980s think-big projects stimulated a number of social impact monitoring research projects. I set up the Marsden Point oil refinery expansion social impact monitoring project. Social monitoring was also carried out in relation to other energy developments in the 1970s and 1980s.I argue that social impact monitoring projects have ignored the power dimension of local communities and the impact of this dimension on decision-makers. Consequently, monitoring findings had limited influence on resource allocation decisions, and other growth management responses. Methods used cannot be seen as the reason for this as all social impact monitoring projects conformed to a large degree with the consensus of New Zealand social assessment theorists and practitioners on what makes good social assessment research. I argue that Molotch and Logan's growth machine theory provides many explanations for this failure.Data collected through interviewing 140 positional power holders in North Taranaki, Waiuku/Franklin, Whangarei and Wanganui, and the allocation of three development levies in North Taranaki, Whangarei and Waiuku/Franklin were used to test for the presence of a "growth machine ideology" in each locality, and provide insights into local community dynamics. This research provides support for the growth machine theory. Powerful people within local government are shown to express strong pro-growth ideologies, and often see their role as serving the interests of the growth machine coalition. This continues the marginalisation of groups who hold an anti-growth ideology, in part through resource distribution as illustrated by the allocation of development levies.The growth coalition is shown to be dominated by men, especially senior male councillors, local businessmen and senior council officers. Those representing traditional Maori cultural values, women and farmers are marginalised.Social assessment research can be shown to fit into one of three growth orientations: pro-growth, managed growth, and anti-growth. Future social assessment needs to be aware of where it fits in relation to growth ideology and therefore the part it plays in the local power structure.
|Year of publication:||
|Authors:||McPherson, Jill N.|
|Type of publication:||Book / Working Paper|
|Type of publication (narrower categories):||Thesis|
PhD Thesis - University of Auckland
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