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


Local Government reforms will sideline local communities


The Hon Dr Pita Sharples
Maori Party Co-Leader | MP for Tamaki Makaurau
19 March 2012

Local Government reforms will sideline local communities - Māori Party

Māori Party Co-leader Dr Pita Sharples says efficient local government depends on strong communities, and proposed reforms will sideline them.

“We are strongly opposed to government requirements for cheap local government, that take no account of whānau and community well-being and resilience,” said Dr Sharples.

“The new purposes of Local Government are to be achieved ‘at the least possible cost’ to households and businesses, by focusing on infrastructure, and deleting references to the social, cultural and environmental well-being of communities.

“But cutting financial costs today can leave a huge legacy of social and environmental damage for future generations to put right,” he said.

“Neither central nor local government has reliable ways to measure the social, cultural or environmental costs of their policies. These proposed reforms will give New Zealanders a ‘budget’ form of local government run by regional business roundtables; while central government over-rides local knowledge, traditions and values.

“There are many things councils do now, in social housing, recreation and arts and culture, to make cities and regions more liveable, attractive and healthy, that have huge economic benefits – but those things will not be accounted for under the new statutory regime,” he said.

“The work programmes of Māori standing committees and advisory bodies in the local government system will fall outside the newly defined purpose of local government – so their role will be reduced, contrary to the Crown’s Treaty guarantee that tangata whenua can have a democratic say in decisions that affect their customary rights and interests,” said Dr Sharples.

“Given that many Treaty issues are local issues, such as land and waters, I think tangata whenua will have serious concerns about their future role in local government. And these changes are happening without proper consultation.

“The Māori Party approach to community development is to invest in whānau and communities, to empower them to be more responsible and self-governing, and to reduce their dependence on central and local government support,” he said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Ellen Rykers on The Dig: Community Conservation – The Solution To The Biodiversity Crisis?

There are backyard trapping networks doing their bit for Predator Free 2050, farmers planting native trees along their waterways, and iwi protecting whenua rāhui. There are 62 biodiversity sanctuaries across 56,000 hectares, with around two-thirds of them community-led. There are citizen scientists counting birds in their backyards and landowners conserving habitat in 3,500 Queen Elizabeth II National Trust covenants.

It’s increasingly clear that a government agency alone cannot combat the biodiversity crisis successfully. These grass-roots initiatives are a growing resource in the conservation toolbox. More>>

Closing This Weekend! Have Your Say On The Issues For NZ's New Biodiversity Strategy

Scoop and PEP invite you to help decide how we should protect and restore our biodiversity over the next 50 years using Scoop’s online engagement platform, HiveMind. HAVE YOUR SAY HERE>>

Biodiversity HiveMind Preliminary Progress Report
Open data report summarising preliminary findings of the Biodiversity HiveMind. Read Progress Report Here>>


PM In Japan: Jacinda Ardern’s Remarks Following Abe Summit

Today we discussed a wide range of topics. Broadly the themes were: a deeper, high-value trade and investment relationship, greater cooperation in the Pacific; and strengthening our security partnership. More>>


Replacing All But Chair: Twyford Appoints Five NZTA Board Members

Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced the appointment of five new members to the NZ Transport Agency Board... There remain two vacancies on the NZTA Board which will be filled in due course. More>>


Climate Change: Adaptation And Risk Assessment Framework Released

“We are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate such as coastal inundation and increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, fires and storms. This framework is an acknowledgement that we must start adapting”, James Shaw said today. More>>


Ihumātao: Mana Whenua Reach Decision On Land

Māori King Tūheitia says mana whenua have finally reached consensus over what to do with Ihumātao - they want it back. More>>


PM To Japan, New York: Ardern To Meet Trump During UN Trip

“I’m looking forward to discussing a wide range of international and regional issues with President Trump, including our cooperation in the Pacific and the trade relationship between our countries." More>>

PM's Post-Cab: "A Way Forward"

At Monday's post-cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a number of actions in response to the Labour Party's mishandling of sexual assault complaints. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s... The charge of left wing bias was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>

Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>





InfoPages News Channels