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Government rides rough shod over local democracy

Government rides rough shod over local democracy

The inability of the public to hold to account a hand-picked governance board developing the Wairarapa Water Use Project must sound alarm bells for local ratepayers and the wider public, Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri says.

“It has been revealed today that the board appointed in March to make quick decisions on the project sits outside the Local Government Act and therefore won’t be open to public scrutiny or subject to the Official Information Act.

“The hasty formation of this board last month was a condition of the proposed Wairarapa dam receiving central government funding.

“The Government is once again riding rough shod over the community and local landowners; 13 out of 15 of which don’t want to lose their homes to this project.

“It is also worrying that this board appears to have been developed with a view to keeping concerns about the proposed dam out of the media.

“Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce has threated to acquire the sections of opposed landowners through the Public Works Act.

“This is an outrageous. The people of Wairarapa are being ignored.

“A Labour government will listen to local communities and restore democracy to ratepayers who are treated with contempt by the National Government,” Meka Whaitiri says.

Ends

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