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


Labour's disgrace: 259 ghost towns

3 March, 2004

Labour's disgrace: 259 ghost towns

The worst fears of rural and provincial New Zealand have been realised today with the government's ruthless decision to consign 259 communities to the economic scrapheap, Green MP Sue Bradford said today.

She said that Social Development Minister Steve Maharey and Work and Income have ripped the heart out of the heartland by dooming so many areas as no-go zones, denying benefits to people moving to 'low employment locations' and actively case-managing existing beneficiaries out of these areas.

"It's a disgrace that a Labour government, which supposedly supports regional development, has condemned 259 communities to the economic scrapheap," said Ms Bradford, the Green Social Services spokesperson.

"Denying people the right to live where they choose is nothing short of crude social engineering. Even worse, the refusal to accept that tangata whenua with papakainga links to a district should be excluded from this policy abrogates Te Tiriti o Waitangi at a really fundamental level."

Ms Bradford said the list of no-go zones created by the government reads like a roll-call of shame.

"Labour has blacklisted Blackball, the birth of the labour movement and a town which has made great efforts to stimulate their economic growth and save their school. Their efforts have been swept away with this list.

"Whangara, home of the Whale Rider movie, is another area which now will have no chance to begin any exciting ventures off the back of the movie's success. Likewise, almost the entire Coromandel peninsula and Great Barrier Island have been blacklisted despite their tourism potential," she said.

"The Jobs Jolt package flies in the face of the government's supposed commitment to regional economic development. Instead, it has filed 259 communities in the too-hard basket.

"Why should a lack of public transport penalise people?" she asked. "The government should instead work on supporting local economic development and providing better public transport to these communities, not just wiping them off the map as they have today.

"The Government made a major miscalculation in attempting to ram through its school closure programme. It's a real pity that they haven't been willing to reconsider the no go zones in the same way that they are now reconsidering forced school closures," said Ms Bradford.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election