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


Gordon Campbell: On Reforming Parliament’s Toxic Culture

It would be nice to think Parliament was a forum where rationality ruled – and where policies are raised and evaluated in terms of their contribution to the greater good. Obviously, it isn’t like that... More>>

Historic Assualt Allegation: Parliamentary Service Staff Member Stood Down
Rt Hon Trevor Mallard said today: “I do not want to cut across any employment or possible police investigations, but I am satisfied that the Parliamentary Service has removed a threat to the safety of women working in the Parliamentary complex." More>>


Fatal 2018 Crash: Police Officer Should Not Have Engaged In Pursuit

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that a Police officer should not have tried to stop or pursue a car thought to contain young people in Palmerston North on 28 May 2018. More>>


New Poverty Targets: Goals Overlook 174000 Children In Worst Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group is pleased to see the Government set ambitious 10-year targets for child poverty reduction, but we are disappointed not to see a target set for improving thousands of young lives where the worst of poverty is found. More>>


Study: Guidelines Needed To Avoid Risks In Government AI

New Zealand is a world leader in government algorithm use – but measures are needed to guard against their dangers. This is the conclusion of a New Zealand Law Foundation-funded report from the University of Otago’s Artificial Intelligence and Law in New Zealand Project. More>>


Pike River: Families Welcome Opening Of Drift

The group representing 29 of the Pike River Families - the Pike River Family Reference Group - has welcomed the unsealing of the mine at a private family event this morning... More>>


Auckland Harbour Bridge: New Design For Walking And Cycling Crossing

The NZ Transport Agency has released plans for its preferred option for a shared path over the Auckland Harbour Bridge which will transform walking and cycling not only across the harbour, but throughout the city. The Transport Agency says its preferred ... More>>



Shaw First Reading Speech: Climate Change Response Bill

Madam Speaker, today we begin the task of amending the Climate Change Response Act [2002], to fulfil the commitment that we have made, as a country, to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. More>>


Housing: More Unsold Kiwibuild Houses Bought By Govt

The Crown underwrite for unsold Kiwibuild homes has been triggered for a second time. Now lack of sales in Mike Greer's development in Canterbury and Auckland means the government has had to buy back seven more homes. More>>





InfoPages News Channels