Parliament

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

 

Westland District Council making progress

Hon Nanaia Mahuta

Minister of Local Government


26 November 2019

PĀNUI PĀPĀHO

MEDIA STATEMENT

The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta, has cautiously acknowledged the steps the Westland District Council is taking in response to her signalling her intention to install a Crown Observer.

The Minister wrote to the Council in July and September this year, expressing concern about poor processes, dysfunctional governance and management, non-compliance with policies, and natural hazard management.

“The Council has heard the extent of the concerns raised and has taken steps to respond. Westland have demonstrated they are establishing governance committees to provide transparency of decision making, putting in systems and frameworks for policies and processes, and learning from past experience”.

Recognizing the scale and nature of the issues, the Minister however has noted there is benefit from a level of oversight and has tasked an existing group to provide support to the Council to support necessary changes. This oversight group will provide assurance to her that the Council is operating transparently to achieve their responsibilities.

The Department of Internal Affairs will chair the oversight group and work with other agencies to confirm a Terms of Reference.

“They will provide valuable guidance to the Council and they can escalate significant problems to me if necessary. Given the steps taken by the Council, I am reassured they are on the right path to being a well performing Council,” says Nanaia Mahuta.

Frequently asked questions

Why did the Minister consider appointing a Crown Observer in the first instance?

· Due to a number of issues being raised and the frequency at which they were occurring, the Minister was not confident in the effectiveness of the Council’s governance and management of local government business.

· Under the Local Government Act 2002, intervention may be considered if there is a problem or potential for a problem of significance, as defined by section 256 of the Act.

Will the Minister intervene in the Council in the future?

· If a ‘significant problem’ occurs then the Minister will consider intervention. In the meantime, the Council will be closely monitored.

What if problems continue to arise?

· The Council must be responsible for resolving its own problems, as is the expectation of all councils in New Zealand. Should the Council be unable to resolve any issue, officials in the Department of Internal Affairs will work with the Council to find a resolution. However if a ‘significant problem’ should occur, then intervention will be considered.

If you are continuing to monitor the Council, then why not use intervention powers?

· The threshold to use intervention powers is necessarily high. Although problems still exist on the Council, they do not amount to a ‘significant problem,’ as defined by section 256 of the Act. Many Council’s around New Zealand suffer from similar issues.

· Continued oversight of the Council does not have the same effect as the legislative powers that a Crown Observer has, but will help me monitor and support the Council.

Are you going to proactively release the briefings?

· The Department of Internal Affairs is working to publish the briefings on its website.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Todd Muller Needs To Own The Privacy Leak Scandal


Whenever a political scandal breaks, party leaders have two basic options. They can confess to being in boots and all, and try to brazen it out : nothing to see here, move on. This tended to be the John Key approach. Very hard to pull that off in this case, given that it involved violating the privacy of sick New Zealanders for party political gain.
The other option is to claim innocence of this terrible, no good, highly regrettable “error of judgement” and apologise profusely for the sins of others, while absolving your own good self of any responsibility. This has been Todd Muller’s chosen path.... More>>
 

National Departures: Press Statement From Michelle Boag

Today I am announcing that I have resigned my membership of the NZ National Party. The last few days have underscored for me the unhealthy relationship I have developed with politics. For 47 years, I have devoted much of my professional and personal ... More>>

ALSO:

Govt: Statement From Rt Hon Winston Peters

Deputy Prime Minister and New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters has announced he is taking a short stint of medical leave this week. More>>


Isolation: Government And Air NZ Agree To Manage Incoming Bookings

Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: New Investment Creates Over 2000 Jobs To Clean Up Waterways

A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: David Clark Resigns As Health Minister

The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has accepted David Clark’s resignation as Health Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Election 2020: Green Party Unveils Income Policy

The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity. The scheme resets income support payments to ensure everyone not in full-time paid work gets at least ... More>>

ALSO:


Conservation: New Protection For Dolphins

Extensive new protections are being put in place as part of an updated plan to look after New Zealand’s native Hector’s and Māui dolphins, announced Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash and Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: Water Consent Referred To Board Of Inquiry

Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses... More>>

ALSO:


Foreign Affairs: New Zealand To Review Relationship Settings With Hong Kong

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that the New Zealand Government is reviewing the settings of its relationship with Hong Kong. “China’s decision to pass a new national security law for Hong Kong has fundamentally changed the environment ... More>>

ALSO:


Covid-19 Patient Info Leak: Hamish Walker - A Personal Statement And An Apology

I have spoken to National Party Leader Todd Muller and informed him that I passed to members of the media, by email, information containing Covid-19 patient details that was given to me by a source. I did this to expose the Government’s shortcomings ... More>>

ALSO:

PM: Labour Will Extend Loan Scheme 'lifeline' For Small Business

Labour has announced its plans to extend the Small Business Loan Cashflow Scheme and spend $162 million on a waterway clean-up package. More>>

ALSO:

Economy: Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-Start COVID Rebuild

A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister ... More>>

ALSO:

Covid-19: Isolation System To Be Beefed Up After Stress

A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify ... More>>

ALSO:

Election 2020: Parties Get Into Gear

ACT has today announced its list for the 2020 General Election. “The calibre and experience of our candidates will impress voters of every persuasion. We have candidates from all walks of life. People who have built their homes, families and businesses ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels