Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Consultation on Super City bill should be 12 weeks

Human Rights Commission
Media release

15 July, 2009

Public consultation on Super City bill should be 12 weeks

The Human Rights Commission has called for a doubling to 12 weeks of the public submission period on further elements of the Super City legislation.

Commissioner Judy McGregor told the Auckland Governance Committee hearing submissions on the Local Government (Auckland Council) Bill today, “We feel this would allow Auckland citizens to have the opportunity to have their say in a measured and purposeful manner.”

The Commission’s submission said the 12-week period from the first reading for submissions should apply to the third bill due to be introduced in October.

The bill before the public this week differs markedly from the recommendations of the Royal Commission. There was barely six weeks to meet the deadline for submissions, which Chief Commissioner Rosslyn Noonan said limited the chance for consultation with those most affected. “The bill raises complex issues that take time to be assessed.”

The Commission told the select committee that in addition to more time to enhance the democratic process, it should be made explicit in the legislation that the new Auckland Council has responsibilities for human rights in the region in accord with the principles already found in the Local Government Act 2002.

At a more immediate level, Commissioner Judy McGregor said whatever shape the new Auckland Council took, it was imperative that the new organisation exercised its responsibilities as a good employer to the many thousands of local government staff who will be affected by the transition and reorganisation to come.

The Human Rights Commission’s recommendations on the Super City Bill are:
• An amendment to Part 1 Clause 3 Purpose of the Act to include a statement that Council decision-making and the provision of services will be consistent with, and have respect for, human rights. This would be a new clause 3(d).
• A minimum period of 12 weeks should be allowed to make submissions of matters of national importance, such as the Local Government (Auckland Reorganisation) Bill. Early advice of this minimum should be advertised in relation to the third bill to be introduced in October 2009.
• To increase civic participation in the Auckland region and to address the potential for disenfranchisement of specific community groups because of the proposed large Auckland Council structure, an active voter education campaign must accompany the reorganisation of governance in Auckland.
• To ensure the new structure, as proposed in Part 2 of the bill, adequately reflects all sectors of the Auckland’s population, there must be effective participation in the electoral process.
• Part 2 Clause 8 of the bill needs to be amended to provide for specific Māori seats as a Treaty of Waitangi obligation and to reflect mana whenua representation.
• The restructure of local governance in New Zealand’s largest region must include measures to ensure women are adequately represented on Auckland’s council and community boards, given their representation in the region’s population.
• Part 2 Clause 10 of the bill must be amended to strengthen by statute the powers and responsibilities of local boards. In particular, amendments are needed for clauses 10, 13 and 15.
• Part 2 Clause 13 of the bill should be amended to require local boards to prepare a community plan in consultation with the local community.
• The “good employer” principles that bind chief executives in local government under the Local Government Act must be adhered to in the reassignment and recruitment of staff in the reorganised structures for the Auckland region.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>


Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>


Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>


Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>


Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>


Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>


School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>


IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>


Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>




InfoPages News Channels