Category: Local Government
This question of charging for the use of fresh water has recently appeared in the news media and on the political radar apparently generated by opposition to proposals to export fresh water so before turning to the question of the charging for fresh water it is convenient to dispose of the controversy surrounding the export of water. It is a red herring.
The freedom of expression is crucial to the healthy functioning of a democracy. The media, as the ‘fourth estate’ - the fourth pillar of a free democracy alongside the Executive, Parliament, and the Judiciary - plays a central role in defending free speech and holding the government to account. The Human Rights Commission has undermined media freedom...
I have sent a letter to the Prime Minister appealing to him to stop the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill. We feel so strongly about this, that we are publishing the letter in the Sunday Newspapers - so the public can better understand what’s going on and add their voice to our appeal to the PM to stop the Bill.
The new Mana Whakahono a Rohe provisions in the 2nd reading version of the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill could result in iwi decision-making and enforcement powers on resource consent applications.
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.
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.
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.
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.