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

 


Minister must come clean on amalgamation

Su’a William Sio
Spokesperson for Local Government

17 July 2014

Minister must come clean on amalgamation

The Minister of Local Government is telling porkies to its supporters on local government amalgamation, says Labour’s Local Government spokesperson Su’a William Sio.

National’s arrogance on amalgamation was all too clear when the Minister shut down Napier’s deputy mayor at a recent meeting when she questioned the policy.

“Unless Paula Bennett publicly declares that her government isn’t going to be pursuing amalgamation, people have no reason to believe her.

“Let’s not forget that this Government changed the rules when they amended the Local Government Act in 2012 and mandated the Local Government Commission to effectively invite a free for all applications for regional amalgamations. The push for local government amalgamation came from National using the Auckland supercity model as the example. The 2012 amendment to the Local Government Act 2002 permitted any person, body or group to apply for local government amalgamation and made it more difficult for citizens to oppose these applications.

“Prior to this change the law guaranteed to all citizens the right to a say in a binding ballot over any proposed reorganisation or amalgamation of their local council, and this right was removed by National.

“These changes opened up the door to forced takeover of local governments and local democracy. It took away the right of citizens to have a say in the size and shape of their local council.

“Most local government practitioners would know that the one size fits all approach does not wash, nor does it make sense that big is better or big is cheaper. Look at the significant cost challenges that Auckland, under its supercity structure is having to face.

“It would be appropriate for the Minister to declare that all amalgamation proposals before the Local Government Commission should be put on hold until after the election.

“Labour has consistently said that while we are not opposed to amalgamation, the key for us is ensuring that local democracy and local participation are not lost. No region should be forced to amalgamate without its citizens being involved in making that decision.

“We already have significant examples where the regions are already working together in the provision of shared services without being forced to amalgamate,” said Su’a William Sio.

“It is of concern to many in the local government sector that the current process being advocated by the National government for forced amalgamation is ad-hoc, has no clear and coherent framework or strategy and risks the creation of a ‘dogs breakfast’ for local government in New Zealand and our regions.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

Ridiculous reported comments on RNZ this morning by Trade Minister Tim Groser, as he sought to dampen down concerns about the leaked draft of the IP chapter of ther Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. According to Groser, ‘extreme’ positions are common at the outset of negotiations, and these get whittled down over the course of negotiations. Fine.

Except that we’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations.

Still, Groser did promise that the cost of medicines would not rise as a result of the TPP trade deal. Great. But this is not what politicians in other countries are saying. More>>

.

 
 

Parliament Today:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Review Team Named, Leadership Campaign Starts

Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban.

ALSO:

Roy Morgan Poll: National Slips, Labour Hits Lows

The first New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll since the NZ Election shows National 43.5% (down 3.54% since the September 20 Election). This isn’t unusual, National support has dropped after each of John Key’s Election victories... However, support for the main opposition Labour Party has crashed to 22.5% (down 2.63% and the lowest support for Labour since the 1914 NZ Election as United Labour). More>>

ALSO:

In On First Round: New Zealand Wins Security Council Seat

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed New Zealand securing a place on the United Nations Security Council for the 2015-16 term. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news