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

 

David Thornton - Fears For Democracy In NZ

DAVID THORNTON
Writer and commentator on Local Government

david@kandu.co.nz
[David Thornton is a former –Greater London councillor, North Shore City Councillor, Glenfield Community Board Member, member of Auckland Regional Land Transport Committee – currently founder/organiser NoMoreRates.com]

23 November 2006

Stadium High Court Decision Correct But Hearing Reveals Extent Of Proposed Government ‘Empowering’ Legislation.

Having sat in the High Court today, to witness the injunction hearing to stop two councils from making decisions on the stadium, I fear for the future of democracy in New Zealand.

The Judge’s decision to decline an injunction was obviously correct because the ratepayers would not be irretrievably disadvantaged at this stage. – a necessary prerequisite for an interim injunction.

But as I listened to the legal argument it became abundantly clear that there was total disregard for any effective consultation with the people of Auckland on this hugely important decision.

To this observer it became clear that the government’s proposed ‘Empowering’ legislation will need to ‘suspend’ huge sections of the Local Government Act and the Resource Management Act if either of the options of Waterfront or Eden Park is chosen.

Ratepayers will lose all their rights of formal local consultation in relation to the regions biggest asset – the Port of Auckland.

Ultimately the Port belongs to the people of Auckland – and not central government.

But the government proposes to legislate those rights away.

The government will also need to overrule the current Long Term Council Community Plans [LTCCPS] for both Auckland City and Auckland Region.

This LTCCP process was introduced by this government less than four years ago as a means of giving certainty to both councils and ratepayers for several years ahead.

Its ‘Empowering’ legislation to fast track a Rugby World Cup stadium on the waterfront will in fact dis-empower ratepayers and residents in the Auckland region.

By overriding the usual Resource Consent process the government is taking away the right of Auckland citizens to have a full say in changes to their environment.

But when an individual contravenes the Resource Management Act he/she faces huge fines – even imprisonment.

But the government simply changes the rules when it wants to do something which would otherwise be against the law.

This stripping away of local decision-making powers by central government is a long step down the road to banana republicanism.

Ends.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Worksafe’s Whakaari/White Island Prosecutions Are Good News

Somewhere in Heaven, Helen Kelly must be smiling about Worksafe’s criminal prosecution of 10 firms and three individuals for their roles in the lead up to the Whakaari /White Island tragedy. In tandem with the subsequent coronial inquest, these court proceedings will hopefully culminate in the creation ( finally!) of a central agency to regulate the adventure tourism sector and improve public safety on matters like risk assessment, safety guidelines, inspection, enforcement and injury reporting... More>>

 

UN SDG: A Greener, Cleaner, Brighter Future

'The world has a high fever and is burning up. Climate disruption is daily news – from devastating wildfires to record floods. The damage to people and the environment is immense and growing.' - UN Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

ALSO:

Carbon Neutral Policy: Gov Declares Climate Emergency

The Government has launched a major new initiative to combat climate change that will require the public sector to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. More>>

ALSO:

Pill Testing: Govt Moves On Drug Checking To Keep Young New Zealanders Safer This Summer

The Government will pass time limited legislation to give legal certainty to drug checking services, so they can carry out their work to keep New Zealanders safer this summer at festivals without fear of prosecution, Health Minister Andrew Little ... More>>

ALSO:

Tax: Government Fulfils Election Undertaking On New Top Tax Rate

The Government will today keep its election promise to put in place a new top tax rate of 39 per cent on income earned over $180,000. More>>

ALSO:

Media: Stuff Holds Itself Accountable For Wrongs To Māori

Stuff has today published the results of an investigation into itself, and issued a public apology, for the way the media organisation has portrayed Māori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, from its first editions to now. Tā Mātou Pono | More>>

ALSO:

Economy: Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management

The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance ... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels