Category: Local Government
There is growing concern that local government is becoming more ‘activist’. Unfortunately ratepayers are not at the heart of their motivations. Before looking at examples, let’s examine how the new Labour-led Government is dealing with some of the constraints being faced by local authorities.
LGNZ have embarked on a “Climate Change Project" focused on adapting and mitigating "climate change" – properly described as man-made global warming. When faced with a potential risk, the rational approach is to make sure the risk is real, assess its magnitude, decide if anything needs to be done, and if so, what is the cheapest and most effective solution.
Last week the final referendum results for the five councils that had decided to introduce Maori wards against the wishes of their local electors were released. In each case, the public voted against their decision. The message from the results is that most New Zealanders do not want local government defined by race.
Over recent years the people of New Zealand have repeatedly spoken through binding polls held under the auspices of the Local Electoral Act concerning establishment of separate Maori representation in their local governments. As of May 19, five binding polls decisively vetoed Maori wards that elected representatives on their local councils tried to foist upon them.
The Craggy Range walking track debacle is an excellent example of why iwi tribal groups should have no more power than the rest of society. They are bullies, and the best way to deal with a bully is to stand your ground.
Let me see if I’ve got this straight. The Hawke’s Bay winery Craggy Range spent $300,000 creating a walking track up the eastern side of Te Mata Peak. It owned the land and did everything by the book. It was only after the track had been built that people started objecting.
People need to take action to defend a community’s democratic right to call a referendum if their local council decides to establish a Maori ward, since Local Government New Zealand is attempting to have this important public power abolished.
LGNZ is engaged in a power grab. It wants to ensure its members are not subject to public polls concerning Maori wards/constituencies. The reason for this is that LGNZ supports race-based Maori wards/constituencies and wants its members to be able to impose them unchecked
Last month Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull, the President of Local Government New Zealand wrote to the coalition Government calling for the removal of the petition rights that allow local residents and ratepayers to demand a poll if their Council unilaterally decides to establish Maori wards.
The Western Bay of Plenty District Council is divided into three wards for electoral purposes. However, in November 2017, Councillors voted - with nine votes in favour and three opposed - to establish additional race-based wards, which would guarantee seats for Maori.