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


Wellington Council seeks to muzzle its critics

26 July 2006

Wellington City Council seeks to muzzle its critics

The Green Party is concerned that the Wellington City Council is trying to muzzle critics of its intention to scrap the mobile library, and prevent them from voting on whether or not to retain the service.

Attempts by Wellington City Council to prevent Councillor Jack Ruben from speaking out or voting on the Council's plans to scrap its mobile library service should be of concern to every believer in open government, Green Party Local Government Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

"Cr Ruben has been warned in writing that he should declare a 'conflict of interest' and withdraw from discussion and voting, since he has allegedly displayed a closed mind on this issue, as evidenced in his emails on the subject.

"A double standard seems to be at work here. Repeatedly, deputy mayor Alick Shaw has stated that the mobile library service should be scrapped, without similar sanctions being brought to bear on him.

" On 28 April for instance, Cr Shaw told National Radio that he thought the mobile library should cease. The Wellingtonian, 4 May 2006. carried Cr Shaw's views on the mobile library and his belief that it should go. On the front page of the 30 May Independent Herald, Cr Shaw says the mobile library service should go. On page A5 of the Dominion Post on 20 June, Cr Shaw says the mobile service should go.

"If it is good enough for Cr Shaw to expound his strongly held views in public, critics of the library decision should also be allowed the same liberties," Ms Kedgley says.

"The existing injunctions against 'closed minds' were not meant to stifle debate and voting on of contentious issues. They were supposed to ensure that genuine consultation and consideration of issues takes place

" That can hardly happen when the Council is apparently seeking to muzzle its critics. It is a bit rich for the Wellington City Council to be rushing to defend the process of consultation from Cr Ruben's influence, when the Council itself seems to have completely ignored the majority of the public submissions made during the consultation process, 90 percent of which were in favour of retaining the mobile library.

"Personally, I think the mobile library performs an incredibly valuable social service - especially for solo mums, the aged and the unemployed. If the service was retained and upgraded, patronage would increase. I also believe co -sponsors should be actively sought, in order to help defray the costs involved."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Zimbabwe: New Democracy, Or A False Dawn?

Gordon Campbell: Robert Mugabe = Hosni Mubarak. The current jubilation on the streets of Harare at the fall of Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe is genuine, and one hates to be negative about the country’s future. Yet the situation is eerily similar to the scenes in Cairo in early 2011, when a popular uprising swept Hosni Mubarak from power in Egypt. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election