Parliament

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.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

South Island Flooding: Focus Moves To Recovery

As water recedes throughout flood-impacted areas of the South Island, Minister of Civil Defence Nathan Guy has praised the efforts of those who were involved in the response to the flooding.

“Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups have acted proactively and decisively to keep people and property out of harm’s way,” says Mr Guy. More>>

 

PM's Press Conference: Boris, Infrastructure, Immigration, Drugs

Prime Minister Bill English opened this week's post-cabinet press conference by revisiting that day's announcement of 'Crown Infrastructure Partners'... More>>

Employers Pleased: Reports Of Govt Backdown On Low-Wage Immigration

MEA: We are pleased to hear that the Government is planning to review incoming immigration changes with a specific focus on how they will affect the regions. Effectively addressing skills shortages in manufacturing and other sectors needs to remain a core part of our immigration system ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Ch-Ch-Changes At IRD

Job cuts aren’t happening at the IRD, exactly. Instead, there’s apparently a ‘transformation’ in store, and jobs won’t be axed ; no, they will be ‘transformed’ before our eyes into… non-jobs, if you happen to be among the unlucky legion of 1,900 who are being lined up for transformation... More>>

ALSO:

Christchurch Mental Health: Hospital Too 'Awful' For Reviewers To Visit

Jonathan Coleman has to stop the stalling over a new building for mental health services in Christchurch to replace the quake damaged Princess Margaret Hospital, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark... More>>

ALSO:

Greens Call For Govt Action: Children Sick Because Of NZ Housing

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians president-elect said today that children with preventable respiratory illnesses are being re-admitted to hospital because they're being sent back to cold, damp homes. More>>

ALSO:

Less Tax Cut, More Spending: Labour Launches Fiscal Plan

“Labour will invest $8 billion more in health, $4 billion more in education and $5 billion more for Kiwi families through Working for Families, Best Start and the Winter Energy Payment than the Budget 2017 projections for the forecast period.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Greens’ Room For Political Pragmatism

The Greens here are currently being criticized by the commentariat for not making the same kind of pragmatic choices that sunk the Democrats in Australia. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog