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


Water and local democracy focus of bill submission


28 July 2016

Water and local democracy focus of bill submission

Waikato Regional Council is calling for changes to a new local government bill to help ensure sound water management and protect local democracy.

A submission on the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) 2016 was today approved by councillors.

The submission says the bill fails to carry forward provisions in current law that encourage handling flooding and water management issues on a whole-of-catchment basis during consideration of local government reorganisations.

“It is not possible to effectively manage water allocation, water quality, flood risk and other catchment issues unless a regional council or unitary authority has the ability to management whole catchments,” the submission says.

“There are many examples internationally of the problems that can arise if more than one jurisdiction has responsibility for management of a major river system.”

Holistic catchment management of water bodies is also a “very important principle” for iwi and Maori and this is reflected in many Treaty settlement arrangements, the submission adds.

Meanwhile, the council called for the retention of current law that says local government reorganisation proposals must have “demonstrable community support”. It disagreed with the bill’s proposal for “the likelihood of significant community opposition” to become the focus of considerations by the Local Government Commission.

It said public polls were useful in helping decide on reorganisation proposals but warned they shouldn’t be the final part of the decision-making process. “Public polls can be strongly influenced by vested interests, it can be difficult ensuring that people fully understand the implications of decisions, and polls may not reflect the needs of future generations.”

Poll results should therefore be considered alongside “any other available evidence of community support”.

The submission also noted extensive efforts underway through the Waikato Mayoral Forum and other steps to improve council service delivery and infrastructure provision in the region.

It said the bill should recognise this type of work and ensure that existing initiatives “are not unnecessarily compromised by changes made through Local Government Commission processes”.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>




Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>


Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>


Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>


(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>






Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election