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


Forcing Mike Lee to go to shows flaws in Gov structure

“How can Councillors do their jobs if they can’t access basic information?” asks the Taxpayers’ Union, commenting on the extraordinary situation of Auckland Councillor Mike Lee being forced to go to the Ombudsman to get information from Auckland Transport relating to the CCO’s justification for proposed reductions to Auckland speed limits.

“While Councillors are elected to have governance oversight of Councils, including Council-controlled organisations, they cannot effectively do so while officials are able to stonewall,” says Union spokesman Jordan Williams.

“Unlike company directors, elected councillors do not have statutory rights to information over and above members of the public. There’s not even a duty on local officials to be politically neutral – which is an expectation currently only applicable to central government officials.”

“All this adds up to a recipe for poor governance and the sort of arrogant behaviour being exhibited by Auckland Transport in not providing Cr Lee with what is basic information.”

“A good first step to improve the performance of the local government sector would be to give Councillors greater rights to access information. That would increase their ability to do their job as overseers on behalf of ratepayers.”

Currently in the Parliamentary Members Ballot there is a Bill in the name of former Auckland Councillor, Denise Lee, the Local Government Official Information and Meetings (Rights of Members) Amendment Bill. The Bill removes many of the barriers faced by members of a local authority when requesting information. It reduces bot the time limits on providing information and the reasons officials can decline to provide it.

“Denise Lee’s Bill is common sense and has attracted support from elected members across the political spectrum. It should be picked up by the Government as a first move to improve the oversight of town halls across New Zealand,” says Mr Williams.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Mishandling Of The Alleged Sexual Assault

The focus of Labour’s alleged sexual assault scandal has now shifted from the party organisation to the Beehive... This is now a crisis of Beehive management and response, not something occurring at a distance within the party organisation.

Presumably, the QC appointed to clarify what happened will eventually shed light on key issues. Such as: on what date prior to the publication of the original Spinoff article did the party hierarchy/PM’s office/PM’s press secretary realise they were dealing with a sexual assault allegation, and what did they do about it at that point? More>>


'History Rectified': Rua Kēnana To Be Pardoned

An official pardon for Tūhoe prophet and leader Rua Kēnana is one step closer after the Te Pire kia Unuhia te Hara kai Runga i a Rua Kēnana: Rua Kēnana Pardon Bill was read in Parliament for the first time today. More>>


Mental Health: Initial Mental Health And Wellbeing Commission Appointed

The Government has announced details of the initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission which will play a key role in driving better mental health in New Zealand. More>>


people outside the meeting house at WaitangiEducation: NZ History To Be Taught In All Schools

“We have listened carefully to the growing calls from New Zealanders to know more about our own history and identity. With this in mind it makes sense for the National Curriculum to make clear the expectation that our history is part of the local curriculum and marau ā kura in every school and kura,” Jacinda Ardern said. More>>


Sexual Assault Claims Mishandled: Labour Party President Resigns

Jacinda Ardern: “This morning I was provided some of the correspondence from complainants written to the party several months ago. It confirms that the allegations made were extremely serious, that the process caused complainants additional distress, and that ultimately, in my view, the party was never equipped to appropriately deal with the issue…" More>>


Budget Process: Wellbeing To Be Enshrined In Law

Legislation has been introduced in Parliament to ensure every Government considers the wellbeing of New Zealanders when creating future budgets. More>>

National In China: Bridges Praises CCP, Meets Law Enforcement Head

A recent trip to China has raised questions over who the Opposition leader Simon Bridges met with and why... Anne-Marie Brady, a Canterbury University professor and expert on Chinese politics, has described Guo Shengkun as the leader of the Chinese secret police. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The SIS/GCSB’s Compliance With Torture

Torture is a crime under international law. New Zealand has signed (a) the UN convention against torture and (b) formal agreements about how armed conflict should be conducted. That’s the legal backdrop to the fascinating report released this week by the SIS Inspector-General.


New Strategy: Suicide Prevention Office To Drive Prevention Action

The Government has announced a Suicide Prevention Office will be established to coordinate action already underway to reduce New Zealand’s historically high rate of suicide. More>>





InfoPages News Channels