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Auckland Council question in the House today

Forwarded by Water Pressure Group

Auckland City Council--Meetings, Local Government Act

12. KEITH LOCKE (Green) to the Minister of Local Government:

Will she undertake an investigation into whether the chairing and decision-making at the Auckland City Council's meetings of 28 February and 13 March 2002 complied with the requirements of the Local Government Act 1974 and other relevant legislation; if not, why not?

Hon. MATT ROBSON (Minister for Courts), on behalf of the Minister of Local Government: It is not the role of the Minister to monitor in detail events at individual meetings of local authorities, or individual local authority decisions. Questions of whether particular actions and decisions of local authorities comply with the law are appropriately questions for determination by the courts, not Ministers of the Crown. Whether electors agree with particular decisions that local authorities take is a matter for them to take up with their locally elected members and, ultimately, through the electoral process. Alec Neill: What steps would the Minister take if he arrived in this Chamber to answer this question and found a protester sitting in his seat, wearing a cowboy hat and with her feet up on his desk, and crowds of other protesters in the gallery chanting and trying to invade the Chamber; would he say that they were exercising their democratic right to protest and turn Parliament over to them, or would he call for security?

Mr SPEAKER: That is a very wide question. The Minister may givea very brief comment.

Hon. MATT ROBSON: It would depend how large they were.

Mr SPEAKER: I can tell the Minister he is being flippant. As far as I am concerned, that would not be occurring, or I would not be in my job.

H V Ross Robertson: How does the Local Government Act and associated legislation govern the way that local authorities conduct their meetings?

Hon. MATT ROBSON: The Local Government Act and the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act include provisions governing the conduct of meetings of local authorities. The provisions of the Local Government Act require councils to adopt a set of standing orders for the conduct of their meetings, and include the processes for adopting and amending these. They state that standing orders are not to contravene any other legislative provisions, and require all members of the council to abide by standing orders.


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