Category: Local Government

Dr Muriel Newman

Tinkering with the RMA

The new Iwi Participation Agreements will require democratically elected councils to seek the approval of unelected tribal representatives in all major decision-making. Even though many councils have more than a dozen iwi claiming an interest in their areas – each will be entitled to set up their own Agreements and be individually consulted.


Sir Bob Jones

Bureaucrats wallowing in cultural correctness*

We were told that we needed RMA approval (for a new shop window, for God’s sake), this instantly forthcoming at a cost of $4500 plus the approval of 13 iwi. The council refused to advise the addresses of these iwi outfits, yet added that without their consent, we can’t put back the window.


Dr Muriel Newman

A Spotlight on Democracy

The votes are in and up and down the country local body candidates will be celebrating or commiserating. All should be proud of putting themselves forward for office – for believing they could represent their communities well and make a difference – because standing for election is not an easy thing to do.


Dr Muriel Newman

Electoral Apartheid by Decree

The Government is using the Treaty Bill to undermine the democratic rights of the people of the Taranaki Region. They are riding roughshod over local democracy by forcing the Regional Council to appoint six iwi representatives onto two of their key planning committees.


Mike Butler

Race appointees ammo for Winston

The Taranaki Iwi Claims Settlement Bill, that legislates for six race-based appointees on the Taranaki Regional Council, provided new ammunition for New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters this week.


Dr Muriel Newman

Jobs for All

There has been a heated debate over recent months about whether New Zealand needs so many migrant workers, and indeed whether they prevent unemployed New Zealanders from securing jobs.


Bryan Cadogan

Eliminating Youth Unemployment

From the Far North to Southland areas are awash with jobs with employers struggling to find people with even the basic skills to fill them. This sits hand in hand with the perpetual scourge on our society, unemployment, especially youth unemployment.


Dr Muriel Newman

New Developments in Housing

Last Wednesday the Green Party’s co-leader Metiria Turei made a shock announcement - the Green's want to reduce house prices to half their present value, to create more affordable homes. Their radical ideological agenda is why no ruling party should have anything to do with them - and certainly not as partners in Government.


Dr Phil McDermott

Will the Reviewed Auckland Unitary Plan Save Auckland from Itself?

The Independent Hearings Panel has presented its recommendations for the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan to Auckland Council. The Panel loosened the strait jacket, but the patient remains tethered. Indeed, we may come to regret the additional credibility that the Panel has given the plan.


Dr Muriel Newman

Housing Affordability – the underlying problem

The recent political debate over the shortage of housing has been more heat than light. The real issue that needs addressing is the policy framework that’s preventing the housing market from operating properly and meeting the growing demand for houses - especially those in the lower and medium price brackets.