Rates Betrayal Shows Need For Recall Elections
The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance is calling on MPs to introduce a bill to allow recall elections at the local level.
Ratepayers' Alliance spokesperson Jo Holmes says, “According to the Council’s own consultation process, 72 percent of Aucklanders opposed a 3.5% rate hike. But Phil Goff, aided by his Finance and Performance Chair Desley Simpson, chose to disregard public feedback and pushed through the 3.5% hike anyway.”
“A significant portion of Aucklanders will view this decision as a betrayal. Ratepayers are dealing with the economic fallout of a literal pandemic, but the Council has blinders on, proceeding with a business-as-usual approach to rates.”
“So what options do ratepayers have? An election is more than two years away, and the Mayor doesn’t have a boss to pull him into line.”
“Overseas, local voters can initiate a recall referendum by gathering a determined number of signatures. If the threshold was, say, five percent of the electoral roll, then a mayoral recall election in Auckland would be triggered by 50,000 signatures. A recall election for a Councillor could be triggered by around 3000 signatures from their ward."
“The Government should introduce a bill that would implement a recall election regime in New Zealand. Alternatively, a local MP could adopt the idea as a private members’ bill. This legislation would improve democratic accountability, it would have wide public support, and MPs could decide whether to extend it to Parliamentary seats too.”
The Ratepayers’ Alliance would be happy to assist in the drafting of the legislation.