Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Goff pledges to return ECan to democratic control

Phil Goff
Leader of the Labour Party
27 May 2010 Media Statement

Goff pledges to return ECan to democratic control
Labour will introduce a Member’s Bill to return Environment Canterbury to democratic control, says Labour Leader Phil Goff.

Mr Goff is visiting Christchurch today and pledged to overturn “draconian” legislation which he says takes away from Cantabrians the right to determine who makes ECan decisions and how their rates are spent.

Christchurch Central MP Brendon Burns will take a draft bill to Labour’s caucus next week to reinstate a democratically-elected ECan council, Phil Goff said. “It will require commissioners to call elections within three months of it becoming law.

“Canterbury University law professor Philip Joseph is absolutely right in declaring the National Government’s moves to sack ECan councillors ‘constitutionally repugnant’. Their legislation, rammed through Parliament under urgency, with no chance for the people of Canterbury to have their say, was a disgrace.

“This legislation took away any democratic accountability over how the balance is found between competing interests for how water is used, and the extent to which irrigation prevails over recreational users,” Phil Goff said.

“Decisions will be made by unelected commissioners and local people will be denied any ability to seek reconsideration of their decisions in the Environment Court. The new law undermines protection provided by Water Conservation Orders for waters of ‘outstanding amenity or intrinsic values’.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“Rodney Hide, as Local Government Minister, supported this legislation. Yet, with breathtaking hypocrisy, he argued shortly afterwards that: ‘We believe that when you are essentially regulating and controlling natural resources such as water and land, the people responsible should be subject to democratic control. That means if the community does not like it, the community can sack them’.

“To argue this in relation to Waikato and do the opposite in relation to Canterbury is double standards at its worst.

“The ECan legislation compounds the Government’s bad record in originally proposing to mine nearly half a million hectares of national park land and protected areas, and of withholding protection of sensitive coastal land,” Phil Goff said.

“It has the worst record of any government in a generation of ignoring environmental concerns. Brendon Burns’ bill is an important step toward restoring people’s democratic rights to participate in decisions about sustaining their environment.”


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Newshub/Smokefree Twin Fiascos

Here’s a tale of two sunset industries. One has a track record of quality investigative reporting, and sound reportage of the 24/7 news cycle. The other sunset industry peddles a deadly substance that kills and injures tens of thousands of New Zealanders every year, while imposing significant annual costs on the public health system.

Which industry is this government rushing to assist..?


ACT: New Zealand Dodges Dopey Experiment In Prohibition

“Labour’s attempted crackdown on smokers would have delivered criminal groups a near-monopoly over the cigarette trade,” says ACT Health spokesman Todd Stephenson... More

Government: Backs Police To Crackdown On Gangs
The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell. “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More

Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.