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


We must protect free access to public libraries

Megan Woods
MP for Wigram

12 June 2012

We must protect free access to public libraries

A Bill to protect New Zealanders’ access to free public libraries has been lodged into the Parliamentary ballot by Labour MP for Wigram Megan Woods.

“With the introduction today of National’s Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill, councils will soon face increasing pressure to cut services.

“It is important now more than ever that Government ensures that public library services are free for all New Zealanders,” Megan Woods said.

“Under present law local authorities who provide for libraries are only obliged to ensure local residents can join the library free of charge. Over time we have seen a growth of user charges. The Government’s proposed amendments to this Act will only make this situation worse.

“My Bill fulfils UNESCO Guidelines on Libraries and Information by ensuring that all local authorities provide libraries and ensure that there is no charge for library services, including books, digital information and access to the internet,” Megan Woods said.

“If we want an economy based on knowledge and innovation we cannot deny the coming generation of Kiwi kids access to the treasure troves that are our libraries. I developed my love of reading and learning at the old red brick Christchurch Public Library, and I am determined to protect this right for future generations.

“It is important that this vital public service is protected by law and kept free and available for all. Public libraries have been a cornerstone of our local communities for generations, and we must ensure that they continue to be for future generations.

“Public libraries should not be seen as a way to generate revenue by councils, and need to be maintained as a free and essential service for communities. Labour supports the call by the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) to have such free public library services enshrined in law.

“The Bill would also require the National Librarian to monitor and report on the implementation to provide free library services and to make recommendations concerning those obligations.

“I urge the Government to support this legislation to ensure that the role that public libraries play in our communities will be maintained for all New Zealanders, and to ensure that public library services do not fall victim to the Government’s proposals for tightening council services,” Megan Woods said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Gun Buy-Back Scheme

Do gun amnesties and buy-backs save lives? Since it’s always difficult to exclude all of the socio-economic factors that may be operating in parallel, the die-hard denialists in the gun lobby will always be able to find a bit of wiggle room.

Yet when taken in tandem with the actions already taken by the Ardern government to outlaw rapid fire rifles and shotguns, there is ample reason to conclude that the buy-back and amnesty scheme announced this morning will indeed save lives in New Zealand. More>>


World Refugee Day: Former Refugees Say Policy Must Change

This year, 1000 refugees will be able to resettle here in New Zealand - but there are restrictions on where those people can come from. More>>


Operation Burnham: Hit & Run Author 'Believes Insurgents Were In Village'

One of the authors of Hit & Run has backtracked from a key claim in the book, revealing he now believes armed insurgents were in a village attacked by New Zealand elite soldiers. More>>


The Lobbyist Staffer: PM Defends Handling Of Conflicts Of Interest

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she's comfortable with the way her interim chief of staff's conflicts of interest were managed. More>>


2020 Election Changes: Same Day Enrolment, Supermarket Voting

New Zealand’s democracy is to be enhanced, with voters gaining the right to enrol on election day at next year’s general election and allowing ballot boxes to be placed in supermarkets and malls to make it easier for people to vote, Justice Minister Andrew Little has announced. More>>


"Population Density": Stats NZ, Phone Companies To Track People's Movements

Stats NZ is partnering with cellphone companies to launch a new way of tracking people's movements every hour. More>>


QS University Rankings: NZ Ranks Well "Despite Resourcing Constraints"

New Zealand universities continue to do well in international rankings, with the release of the 2020 QS world rankings showing that all eight universities remain in the world’s top 500. More>>


Mosque Attacks: 21 Month Prison Sentence For Sharing Live Stream Video

A Christchurch man who admitted redistributing the livestream video of the mosque killings has been sentenced to 21 months in prison. More>>





InfoPages News Channels