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

 


Auckland Council’s proposed bylaw on burials and cremation

Statement from Multicultural New Zealand on the Auckland Council’s proposed bylaw on burials and cremation

Multicultural New Zealand has written to the Mayor of Auckland expressing our extreme concern about aspects of the proposed Auckland Council Cemeteries and Crematoria By-Law.

We are aware that submissions have now closed, but the proposal was not brought to our intention until now and one of our key concerns is that the Committee did not actively seek the views of diverse religious and cultural groups before publishing its proposals.

In fact, the discussion document barely makes mention of the religious and cultural issues that are of concern to the groups that we represent. It simply asserts that the Bill of Rights provisions in relation to religious and cultural rights are not breached by the proposal, without any discussion. We would have expected that at the very least, Council officers would have consulted with the Council’s own Pacific and Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panels in addition to the Maori Statutory Board, and also with key external stakeholders such as the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, the Office of Ethnic Affairs, the Auckland Interfaith Council, the Hindu Council of New Zealand, the Federation of Islamic Associations and the New Zealand Jewish Council to name only some key representative bodies.

The absence of such prior consultation is evident in the almost total lack of reference to the impact of the proposals on religious and cultural minorities. We would have expected more from the Auckland Council, which represents by far the most diverse population in New Zealand.

We are supportive of the attempts to achieve consistency across the Auckland region in relation to cemeteries and crematoria, but this should not be at the expense of basic freedoms of religion and culture and nor impose unnecessary restrictions on their practice.

The Law Commission recently published a discussion document on the legal framework for burials and cremation, and Multicultural New Zealand made a submission to the Commission on that review. Among the key points we made were that:

1. The law governing burials and cremations should contain a requirement for local authorities to consult with ethnic communities and make reasonable provision for their needs in terms of setting aside special areas if desired and providing for cultural practices, including more flexible opening hours.

2. In relation to the dispersal of ashes following cremation, there should be a requirement on local authorities to provide in their plans and operations for the cultural practices and requirements of diverse communities as well as the concerns of tangata whenua in relation to particular places including waterways.

We also provided more detailed information about Hindu practices in relation to burials, cremation and the scattering of ashes, which the proposed Auckland by-law clearly impedes.

Given that the Law Commission report was widely distributed to councils and communities, we are surprised that the Council’s discussion document does not even make reference to the religious and cultural issues raised in it.

We respectfully request that the Council takes further active steps to consult religious and cultural communities before coming to a decision on the proposed by-law. We look to the Council to lead New Zealand with best practice with regard to cultural diversity.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Cunliffe’s Last Stand

Right now, embattled Labour leader David Cunliffe has three options. None of them are particularly attractive for him personally, or for the Labour Party.

In scenario one, Cunliffe could resign immediately and trigger a leadership vote among the caucus, the party membership and unions affiliates. This would be a high risk gambit in that it would pre-empt any review of the Labour election campaign and would be likely to open up new divisions.

While one can safely predict the caucus would vote against Cunliffe, the wider party and union response would be unpredictable, given that Cunliffe (ineptly) ran a centrist neo-Goff/Shearer campaign this year and not the left wing campaign that those who voted him into the leadership were expecting him to pursue. More>>

 

Key Seeking 'New Ideas': Look To Children’s Commissioner On Poverty - Greens

John Key should not reinvent the wheel when it comes to ideas for tackling child poverty, and instead look to the recommendations of the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Group on Child Poverty, Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says. More>>

ALSO:

'Safe To Re-Enter' - OIA Docs: Safety Is Absolute Priority At Pike River Mine

“We understand that the time it is taking to complete our evaluation of the risks is frustrating for the family members and we are trying to complete this work as quickly as we can,” Ms Dunphy says. “It is Solid Energy’s responsibility to make this decision and we will do so, once we have all the information required to make a fully-informed decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Images & Report: Mihi To Welcome Newly-Elected MPs To Parliament

The 29 newly elected MPs were welcomed into Parliament with a Mihi. Parliament’s current Speaker David Carter offered advice from his experience working in Parliament advising the MPs to work collaboratively. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Very Bad Year

While Labour leader David Cunliffe still appears to be in denial about the extent of Saturday night’s debacle, there was hardly a single redeeming feature about the election results for the centre-left... More>>

ALSO:

General Election NZ: National Win

Election Night: With almost all votes counted National and John Key have won a third term and are close to being able to govern alone if they so choose. Key has indicated he will still reach out to form a Government with ACT, United Future and Maori Party. More>>

ALSO:

Perfectly-Timed Anniversaries: Suffrage Day Is Last Chance To Enrol

“The last chance to enrol is Friday 19 September. You can’t enrol on election day.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On First Time Voting (Greens)

For the last two days, I’ve turned my column over to a couple of guest columnists who are first time voters… Today’s guest columnist is Ana Avia-O’Connor, who will be casting her first time vote on Saturday for the Greens. More>>

ALSO:

Meddling: Aussie Liberals Embroiled In Key Campaign

John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says. More>>

ALSO:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Big March: Call For An End To Domestic Violence

Hundreds of protesters marched down Lambton Quay to Parliament Monday calling for an end to domestic violence. Wearing white facemasks, waving banners and calling for “safety” for the women and children of New Zealand.. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news