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


Smith looks to close local govt loophole

Subject: ufnz media release -- local govt loophole Date sent: Mon, 26 Jul 2004 12:02:35 +1200 From: "Mark Stewart" To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Media Statement For immediate release Monday, 26 July, 2004

Smith looks to close local govt loophole

UF MP Murray Smith has launched a Member's Bill to close a loophole in the Local Government Act that is being exploited by the Hutt City Council and a few other councils in the South Island to allow the appointment of ward committees rather than the election of community boards.

Hutt City has three community boards and four ward committees and Mr Smith, who is also Deputy Chairman of the Petone Community Board, said that they all get paid the same and have been delegated the same functions by the council.

However, Mr Smith said, the key features of a community board are that it is an autonomous authority separately elected by the voters of the community that it represents which has the primary task by statute of representing and advocating for its community to the territorial authority. On the other hand, the usual distinguishing features of ward committees are that their members are appointed by the local authority instead of being elected, that their responsibilities are solely controlled by delegation (i.e. they have no statutory functions) and that they (and their members) exist at the whim of the local authority and are therefore not independent.

By exploiting the loophole in the Act, Mr Smith said, the council is, once again, showing its propensity for flouting democratic safeguards and is denying ratepayers the right to appoint their own representatives to express their concerns and to make decisions affecting their own areas.

"By appointing the ward committee members, the council affects their ability to fearlessly advocate for their communities because, if the local authority doesn't like the criticism they get by those members, they can simply not reappoint them next time."

Mr Smith believes that there is already evidence that the Hutt City Council has done exactly that.

While the Bill is yet to be drawn in the ballot, Mr Smith is heartened by the fact that it has already received the strong support of the Minister of Local Government, Chris Carter, as well as last weekend's meeting of lower North Island community board representatives.

He has asked the Government to include the amendment in its next Local Government Amendment Bill (if it has not been drawn beforehand) and is confident that will be done.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…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