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

 

Regional Council Vote Leaves Northlanders Feeling Betrayed

16/07/2019


The Northland Regional Council (NRC) has voted to exclude all GM/GE precautionary provisions in its regional plan, despite years of community engagement showing support for such protection. There is a sense of betrayal following the way the NRC Chairman prevented debate or consideration of the staff recommendations regarding the GE/GMO options as set out in agenda item 5.1 Appendix 1 & 2 [1], swiftly passing a motion to exclude GMO's from the plan.

In a serious departure from governance procedures, the Council chair, Bill Shepherd, chose not to place the two options up for initial debate and instead went straight to voting where he cast his vote twice, once as a member and the casting vote as chair, voting to exclude all of the GE/GMO precautionary provisions. This vote was out of order, but the chair ignored all opposition to the questionable process that went against the wishes of local District Councils, mana whenua and submitters who wanted the NRC to exercise precaution in keeping with the GE/GMO policy in the Northland "Regional Policy Statement". (The vote was drawn, 4 votes each against and for)*.

The process has been highly contentious with behind-closed-door meetings, concerns have been expressed about political interference and delays that limited the discussion to the Coastal Marine Area (CMA) rather than addressing the risks to soils and waterways in the whole region.

The NRC received 83 submissions, of which 82 asked that precautionary GE provisions be placed in the plan. Only Federated Farmers submitted in opposition.

After two years of deliberation and delays, the council sought the advice of expert planners and lawyers. All of these advisors found that council was able to place GE precautionary rules in the plan without any cost to the community, in accord with other district and regional authorities.

"Mr. Shepherd has betrayed his community and ignored the experts making a mockery of the consultation process,” said Claire Bleakley, president of GE Free NZ.

“This overt manipulation of process due to Mr. Shepherd’s personal heavy involvement with Federated Farmers constitutes a serious breach in his duty of care as a democratically elected representative of his community. His actions go against his statement “I stand for governance with integrity — council shouldn’t be about ethical compromise”” said Bleakley [2]

GE Free NZ will be seriously considering challenging this undemocratic decision and flawed process that has seen the community betrayed by some of its leading elected officials.

*For: Shepherd, Stolwerk, Bain, Sinclair, Shepherd used his casting vote as Cr Smart was excluded
Against: Finlayson, Yoeman, Blake, Dimery

References:

[1] Northland Regional council Agenda 16 July 2019 http://northland.infocouncil.biz/Open/2019/07/CO_20190716_AGN_2417_AT_WEB.htm

[2] Bill Shepherd http://www.billshepherd.co.nz/political/

[3] https://www.gefree.org.nz

ENDS:

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Global Factors Facing TV3

Oaktree Capital gave MediaWorks a gallows reprieve in 2013 by pushing out its former Australian owner Ironbridge and facilitating a receivership-driven restructure that enabled MediaWorks to shed a burden of tax liabilities and international programme purchasing contracts. Oaktree eventually assumed 100% ownership of Mediaworks in 2015.

But here’s the rub. In May of this year, Oaktree itself was bought into by the giant Canadian firm Brookfields Asset Management... In the light of the Brookfields stake and the uncertain state of the global economy, Oaktree has come under pressure to shed and/or streamline the underperforming assets in its portfolio. More>>

 

'Armed Response Teams': Armed Police "Will Cause American-Style Shootings"

The Police Commissioner's announcement that squadcars of officers with automatic rifles will patrol New Zealand's streets is dangerous and unnecessary, according to the criminal justice community organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa. The ... More>>

ALSO:

Control Orders: Amnesty Says Don't Rush Terrorism Bill

"The problem is, we often see the word “terrorism” being applied broadly by oppressive regimes to detain innocent people who're simply rallying for a better life." More>>

ALSO:

Expert Reaction: $17 million To Fight Online Extremist Content

The Department of Internal Affairs will double its work investigating and preventing violent extremism online. Funding will also help bolster the Chief Censor's work to make fast decisions about harmful content. More>>

ALSO:

Could Do Better: Post-Sroubek Review Of Deportation Info

Ms Tremain acknowledges that the review highlighted some aspects of the process that can be improved and makes five main recommendations to strengthen the existing processes for preparing files for decision-makers. Those recommendations are: More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A New Book On The Leaky Homes Scandal

We all know that journalism is short of cash and under pressure from the speed, brevity and clickbait pressures of the 24/7 news cycle… but hey, given the right subject and a sufficiently stubborn journalist, it can still surpass most of the works of the academic historians... More>>

Regulation: Review Finds NZTA Road Safety Failings

The independent review, carried out by consultant agency MartinJenkins, lists at least 10 reasons for the failures including the agency being focused on customer service at the expense of its policing functions. More>>

ALSO:

Rod Carr: Climate Change Commission Chair-Designate Announced

Climate Change Minister James Shaw has today announced the appointment of Dr Rod Carr as Chair-designate for the Climate Change Commission. More>>

ALSO:

Compliance Complaints: 'Putting Right' Holidays Act Underpayment In Health

The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels