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

 

Ōpōtiki Mayor backs Kaipara’s opposition to court closure

Ōpōtiki Mayor backs Kaipara’s opposition to court closure

For immediate release: 5 December 2012

Ōpōtiki Mayor John Forbes has pledged his support for Kaipara groups uniting to oppose a decision that would see Dargaville District Court becoming a ‘hearings only’ court early next year.

Mayor Forbes says he empathises with the groups, having had the same treatment in in his own District in recent weeks. Ōpōtiki District Court was reduced to only six hearing days per month, with the court's paperwork transferred to the Whakatāne District Court, meaning counter services were no longer provided from the site.

“Rural communities need access to certain service providers; policemen, teachers, GPs, and banks, post offices and courts. These things all make up the fabric of a rural community,” Mayor Forbes says. “As soon as you start picking off these services, one-by-one, that fabric begins to fray.”

“There’s an argument from the Ministers that ‘it’s not about cutting services, but about changing the way we access them’. It’s all good and well to tell someone to go online and fill out a form, but districts like Ōpōtiki and Kaipara faces challenges that make this impossible for many of our people,” he says.

“Accessing the internet might be a given for someone in Wellington, but we’re still a long way off in our districts. We have homes in our town that aren’t even connected to power, and parts of our District are still without cellphone coverage, let alone broadband access. There’re issues of affordability and literacy that some of the decision-makers in Parliament have neglected to consider also.

“With central government taking the community wellbeings out of our local government purpose, t’s high time the Ministers started looking at ways to build rural communities, rather than continually breaking them down.”

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Max Rashbrooke: On How To Make Government
More Open

It’s true that New Zealand scores well on many international rankings of openness... Those findings are all important, and welcome. But we cannot ignore the fact that there are still serious problems.

For a start, those international surveys, while often complimentary, have also pinpointed major weaknesses: political donations are badly regulated, for instance, and appointments to government boards frequently go to those with strong political connections. More>>

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The Fallout From The Barclay Tape

This is hardly a case of cleaning out your desk and being turfed out onto the pavement. As others have pointed out, the disgraced Clutha-Southland MP will remain on the public payroll for three months until the election, and for three months afterwards. More>>

ALSO:

Visions: National Party Conference

National Party leader Bill English today outlined his vision to take New Zealand into the 2020s and his key priorities for the next Parliamentary term – including further raising incomes and reducing taxes. More>>

ALSO:

Ombudsman: Canterbury Schools Reorganisation Mishandled

An investigation into the Canterbury schools reorganisation after the February 2011 earthquakes has found significant gaps and flaws in the Ministry’s engagement and communications with schools and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Contempt Report "Protects Right To Fair Trial"

The proposed Act limits what news media representatives and bloggers can report on court proceedings, but it also makes clearer than the current law where the line is between contempt and freedom of expression. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog