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Candidate calls for Southern Assembly

24 July 07
Richard Prosser

Candidate calls for Southern Assembly

Independent Otago / Waitaki parliamentary contender Richard Prosser says the time has come for the South Island to consider establishing a separate Parliament.

From his home near Alexandra in Central Otago, Mr Prosser said that the New Zealand Government had become too large, too bureaucratic, too unaccountable, and too focussed on the demands of Auckland, to be able to deliver genuine represention to either the South Island, or to the northern Provincial regions.

"From the High Country Tenure Review process and the ever-increasing size of the DOC estate, to power generation, transmission lines, nationwide fuel levies to fund Auckland's roads, clean air standards which don't recognise the realities of Southern winters, and the whole issue of Kyoto and carbon, it is apparent that the current system of Government is no longer capable of providing us with adequate recognition of our values or priorities," Mr Prosser said.

"Perhaps it is time for us to limit the functions of central Government in Wellington to external issues only, and for the South Island to have control of the things which affect us directly," he said. "Many people in the provincial North Island are in the same boat, and if the Auckland super-city idea goes ahead, it will only get worse."

Mr Prosser said that neither of the two major political parties were able to truly represent the wishes of people in the regions, because they were reliant on the large Auckland voting bloc, and this was of concern because the nation's largest city was developing markedly different demographics and values from what he called "the other two-thirds of the country who don't live there."

"Systems of Government have to reflect the realities of the people who live under them, and that means they must change from time to time," said Mr Prosser. "New Zealand had regional Governments once, and perhaps it is time to look at that again," he said.


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