Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Loony Wetsuit Law Sparks Warning

Loony Wetsuit Law Sparks Warning

Tuesday 27 Nov 2001 Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Governance & Constitution

Government plans to give Local Authorities "powers of general competence" are loopy, but the wetsuit law shows how ominous they could become under a law change planned by Sandra Lee, ACT Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"Law must mean what it says. It should be enforced. If it is not to be enforced it should be repealed. Telling us not to worry about the wetsuit law because officials will not enforce it just highlights how little understanding there is of the essential elements of the rule of law.

"Sandra Lee should be asking Local Authorities to repeal this nonsense. Respect for the law is destroyed when laws are foolish and enforced only at whim. This wetsuit law is likely to be used when the enforcers want to pick on people who might otherwise have committed no offence.

"The power of general competence will allow Local Authorities to make rules about anything they like. The current constitutional position evolved over hundreds of years to protect liberties. It means governing bodies can do only things they are expressly authorised to do.

"The power of general competence will mean Local Authorities can do anything they like unless it is expressly prohibited. Can we assume that Local Authorities consulted Sandra Lee over the wetsuit law, and she supports it?"

Mr Franks has written to Sandra Lee asking what role she or her office have played in this debacle.

For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Tax Working Group’s Road Map

Trying to analyse the interim report on the Tax Working Group (TWG) is like trying to review an entire All Blacks game, but at the half- time mark.

With so much still to be finalised, Sir Michael Cullen and his colleagues are going to need all the All Blacks’ fabled finishing skills to get a coherent, fiscally neutral package together by the February 2019 deadline. More>>


Meth Testing Report: Housing NZ "To Right Wrong"

Phil Twyford “Housing NZ acknowledges that around 800 tenants suffered by either losing their tenancies, losing their possessions, being suspended from the public housing waiting list, negative effects on their credit ratings or, in the worst cases, being made homeless.” More>>


No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>


Pay Equity Bill: Making History For Women’s Pay

The Equal Pay Amendment Bill, introduced to the House today, will make it easier for workers to make a pay equity claim , using a more simple and accessible process within New Zealand’s existing bargaining framework. More>>


Suffrage 125: NZ A Trailblazer For Women

“We acknowledge the work of Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, and all of the suffragists who tirelessly campaigned for the vote… Today we also need to ask each other: how we can continue to make our country a fairer and better place to continue the legacy of the suffragists.” More>>


Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>





InfoPages News Channels