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


Democracy Begins at Home

Andrew Williams MP
Spokesperson for Local Government
10 March 2014

Democracy Begins at Home

It’s time for political leaders to listen to the people and desist from imposing their will to force through change, says New Zealand First spokesperson for Local Government Andrew Williams.

“Let the people of our regions and cities, like Hawke’s Bay, Northland and Wellington, decide through a referendum whether they want to be governed under a ‘super city’ model or not,” he says.

“Unfortunately, the prevailing attitude of the National Government over the past five years has been to impose its party beliefs and centrist doctrines on New Zealanders without question.

“Local body leaders must not follow this example, they must resist any temptation to push through change, against the will of the people.

“Strangely, Prime Minister John Key has suggested the outcome of a proposed referendum in Crimea, on whether it should remain in Ukraine or become part of Russia, is up to the people and should be binding.

“It’s an oddly hypocritical statement to make when Mr Key ignored the wishes of the majority of Aucklanders who opposed the forced amalgamation of the region.

“Another example in the pipeline is Napier. The wishes of the local community must not be ignored, they deserve better and must have a chance to cast a binding vote on an important and historic decision as to whether they become part of a greater Hawke’s Bay council.

“Having spoken to many people in the region it is clear that some find the idea of being absorbed into a bigger regional administration quite daunting and fear that their proud city will suffer. Others hold the view that big will be better.

“Voters can make up their own minds having digested the arguments and listened to the many and varied opinions.

“The best way forward, and so there is no blame game in the future, is to give residents an opportunity to tick the box of their choice, just as Mr Key would like to see happen in Crimea,” says Mr Williams.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Gordon Campbell: On John Key’s Trip To Iraq

In the embedded press coverage on this trip, the absence so far of any evaluation of the wider context of what New Zealand thinks it is doing at Camp Taji has been striking. More>>


Labour: Parata Puts Brakes On Charter School Appraisal

“When the Ministry of Education recommended they compare the achievements of children at charter schools to those of their counterparts at state schools, the documents show Hekia Parata specifically prohibited them from doing so." More>>


Bad Day For Universities: Gun, Bomb Threats On Three Campuses

Dunedin Police are continuing their investigation into the threat made against the University of Otago. Staff are following a number of lines of inquiry, and police are working to verify the authenticity and source of the post. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Deal Reached In Atlanta

Yes, the TPP has helped to knock a few points off the tariffs facing our exporters. Yet some of those alleged dollar gains may well have been made regardless over time – and without the negative baggage of the concessions in the non-trade areas (intellectual property, copyright extensions, investor-state dispute mechanisms etc) that the TPP deal also brings in its wake. More>> (Cartoon by Dave Wolland)

Public Summaries:


Wellington.Scoop: Serco – First The Prisons, And Now It Wants To Run The Trains

As the government continues its inquiry into Serco’s discredited administration of Mt Eden prison in Auckland, here in Wellington there’s further scrutiny of the British outsourcing company – because it’s competing to take over the running of our commuter trains. More>>


Pre-Signing: Gordon Campbell On The TPP Countdown

To date, the Key government has been unwilling to share any information about this TPP deal until it is too late for outraged public opinion to affect the outcome... the disclosure process is likely to consist of a similarly skewed and careful exercise in spin. More>>


Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news