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


Greens keep water services in public hands

Greens keep water services in public hands

Keeping public control of New Zealand's water services is among key changes the Greens have secured to the Local Government Bill, Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today.

"Under the bill as introduced, councils could not sell their water assets but could contract out the whole management of their water and wastewater systems for 15 years," said Jeanette. "Our changes mean that only the operation of plants can be contracted out while key decisions on pricing, water quality and water sources must remain with the council.

"At present, and under the bill as introduced, there is no restraint on public private partnerships (PPPs) for the delivery of water or wastewater services. We have secured changes to the bill that mean that private partners may not own the infrastructure at any stage and key policy decisions must remain with the council, as they do for contracting.

"Many New Zealanders contacted me during the course of the bill to voice their fears about the international agenda for water privatisation becoming even more established here. I believe we have prevented that from happening.

"The new conditions on private participation are even tighter than those we succeeded in getting for roads in the Land Transport Management Bill."

Jeanette is also pleased with changes she achieved to incorporate sustainable development into the bill, aligning us with the international movement established at the Rio Earth Summit and supporting councils that have adopted "Agenda 21" and "Triple Bottom Line" programmes.

"We have also made consultation processes more flexible, less prescriptive and required much earlier in the decision making process.

"We have included a requirement for councils to consider the community's views when defining problems and objectives; when identifying options and when developing proposals. This will ensure communities are included in the planning process at a much earlier stage, when they can have some real influence.

"There is also a requirement that councils listen with an open mind."

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Another Reason To Loathe HR Departments (And On The Teachers Strike)

This morning’s news item about Police emergency call centre staff turning up for work while they’re sick – because they’re afraid their sick leave statistics will be used against them, and their jobs put in jeopardy – is not an isolated case...

Obviously, sick people shouldn’t be being treated by doctors and nurses who are themselves sick and potentially infectious. Similarly, Police emergency calls also need to be fielded by people who’re feeling alert, and on top of their game. More>>


MPs' Computers To Be Searched: Inquiry Into Leak On Simon Bridges' Expenses

An inquiry has been launched to find out who leaked the National Party's expenses to the media... Parliament's speaker, Trevor Mallard, said a Queen's Counsel would lead the inquiry with the help of an employment lawyer and also someone with forensic IT skills. More>>


Teachers Strike: Nationwide Rallies And Marches

Teachers and principals voted for a full day strike to be held on 15 August to send a strong message to the Government that the current collective agreement offers from the Ministry of Education would not fix the crisis in teaching. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: City Council Ends Its Support For Jackson’s Movie Museum

The Wellington City Council and the Movie Museum Limited have today announced a mutually-agreed parting of the ways for a joint project between the Council’s Convention Centre and TMML’s Movie Museum... Both parties remain optimistic for the future of their respective projects. More>>

Pay Equity: Historic Settlement For Education Support Workers

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) and the Ministry of Education today signed Terms of Settlement to address a pay equity claim for 329 support workers who work with very young children in early childhood and primary schools. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Stereotypes About Jacinda Ardern

Routinely, female politicians get depicted as either show ponies or battle axes, with little room for anything else in between. .. More>>

Weekend Interviews: "Discriminatory And Racist" Aussie Deportations

The former president of Australia’s Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs says deportations have risen dramatically in Australia since 2014 when ministers and ministerial delegates were given the power to cancel visas - and half of those being deported are New Zealanders. "These are massive numbers, actually escalating dramatically."... More>>


Legal Challenge: Prisoner Has 9 Boxes Of Documents Seized

Human rights organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa says a prisoner they advocate for has had 9 boxes of legal documents seized from him just days before his case against the Department of Corrections was to be heard. More>>

Single-Use Plastic Bags: Govt To Phase Them Out

Single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out over the next year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. More>>





Featured InfoPages