Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

ARC's 'consultation' erodes democracy


ARC's 'consultation' erodes democracy

"The ARC has structured 'public consultation' on its draft plan to give the answers its ruling faction want to hear," said Grant Morgan, spokesperson for RAM - Residents Action Movement.

"In the ARC newsletter Region Wide, delivered to every home, there are only spaces to tick either the ARC's 'proposed method' of rating, which continues the present rating policy, or else three 'variations', none of which go anywhere near reversing last year's massive residential rate rises."

"The same is true of the ARC 'consultation' website, www.getinvolved.co.nz. Despite its 'Get Involved' tag, people are restricted to the narrow options allowed by the ARC's corporate politicians."

"Nowhere in the ARC's newsletter or website is there an opportunity for people to express their own views about rating policy. This is the 'consultation' you have when you don't have real options. It's 'consultation' that erodes democracy," said Mr Morgan.

Two of the ARC's three "variations" include a busines differential, whose removal last year was the major cause of homeowners' rates going through the roof.

"But these 'variations' set the business differential at such a low rate, just 1.5 times the residential rate, that its pathetic reductions in what homeowners pay actually cement in place last year's unjust rating policy," said Mr Morgan.

In the 2003 draft plan, the ARC rejected a business differential of 2 because, in the words of ARC officials, "a much higher differential (than 2) would be required to have a significant benefit for residential ratepayers, particularly in relation to North Shore residents". (From the ARC research paper "ARC Rating Policy Review, 2003".)

"Yet now the ruling faction is putting up two 'variations' which would include a differential lower than 2 ­ even though their own officials said last year that such a small differential would have no significant benefit for homeowners. So these 'variations' turn out to a fraud on the public," said Mr Morgan.

"The ARC has refused to put the only real alternative in their draft plan ­ a rating U-turn which includes a business differential of more than 5, the figure ARC officials said was needed to reverse homeowners' rate rises."

RAM held an overflow public meeting with ARC councillors on 6th April where a resolution was passed unanimously which supported a business differential of more than 5.

"I have asked the full ARC to add this 'RAM variation', with a differential of more than 5, to the draft plan so that citizens have a real choice," said Mr Morgan. "Will the ARC agree to this democratic proposal?"

While there are legal impediments to altering a draft plan, where there's a will there's a way. The "RAM variation" could, for instance, be publicly acknowledged by the full ARC as the only option that would reverse last year's residential rate hikes. This would open up public debate, instead of censoring the option of a rating U-turn, as the ARC's "consultation" documents now do.

Another resolution passed at the 6th April meeting supported RAM's call for a People's Assembly, embracing a broad range of grassroots organisations, to be convened by the ARC to debate the draft plan before it's voted on by the ARC on 28th July."

"I have sent the request for a People's Assembly to the full ARC. Again, I ask if they will listen to the voice of the people? Or have they learnt nothing from the Rates Revolt?" said Mr Morgan. RAM protests As part of RAM's campaign for real democracy at the ARC, placard protests will be held at the ARC's first two "public consultation" meetings this Tuesday & Wednesday. Details:

TAKAPUNA 6.30pm Tues 13 April at Takapuna War Memorial Hall, The Strand.

CENTRAL CITY 6.30pm Wed 14 April at ARC head office, Vodafone House, 21 Pitt St, Auckland Central.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election