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Nats ramp up attacks on local government

Written By: - Date published: 12:19 pm, June 8th, 2012 - 21 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, local government - Tags:

The neoliberals hate democracy. It tends to get in the way. Especially local government. It’s easier to control a single unicameral Parliament than it is to control 70-odd territorial authorities. National has attacked local government, particularly in Auckland and Canterbury but now they’re going all out with more dictatorships and forced mergers.

I/S at No Right Turn explains two nasty elements of National’s new local government bill.

A recipe for local body dictatorship

Two years ago, the Government imposed a dictatorship in Canterbury, suspending elections to Environment Canterbury, removing the elected councillors, and replacing them with a pack of unelected cronies with a mandate to run Canterbury in the interests of Wellington, not local residents. The move went far beyond what was permitted under the Local Government Act, and required special enabling legislation (which was of course rammed through under all-stages urgency). Now the government wants the power to do this to any council, whenever they want.

The new Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill introduced to the House yesterday contains exactly that power. Here’s how it works: first, the Minister of Local Government declares that there is a “problem” in a local authority. What’s a “problem”? Pretty much anything they want:

a matter or circumstance relating to the management or governance of the local authority that detracts from, or is likely to detract from, its ability to give effect to the purpose of local government within its district or region

Note that such a “problem” doesn’t actually have to be occurring; a potential problem – something the Minister thinks might happen – is enough.

The next step is to appoint a Crown Review Team. Currently, this requires that there be outright refusal by local government to comply with the law, which is impairing good governance or endangering public health. Now it merely requires the Minister to believe on reasonable grounds that there is a “significant” (meaning: likely to have adverse consequences – note the lack of scale in there) problem that the local authority can’t or won’t solve. Finally, if the Crown Review Team recommends it – and of course if the Minister picks the right crony, they will recommend whatever is desired – the Minister can roll the elected members, suspend elections, and impose a dictatorship (complete with terms of reference requiring them to act against the will of local voters). And this isn’t a short-term, limited power – such a dictatorship can last indefinitely.

Want a concrete example? Consider this: Christchurch has had an earthquake. This is a “problem” in terms of the new amendment. It is struggling to pay to rebuild its infrastructure after said earthquake, and raising rates and borrowing money in the process. This too is a “problem”.

The government thinks Christchurch should pay for that rebuild by selling its local body assets to their cronies, so they can extort monopoly rents from earthquake victims while paying lower rates on their expensive houses in Fendalton and Merivale and Cashmere. The council, responsive to its people, disagrees. At this stage, the government can either appoint a crony to “review” the council and recommend that it be rolled, or it can just declare that the earthquake rebuild is a “significant” problem, that failing to deal with it (e.g. by quickly rebuilding sewers and water infrastructure) endangers public health, that the Christchurch City Council isn’t willing to deal with it properly (because they’re not willing to pillage their city against the will of its people “take the financial steps necessary to ensure a faster rebuild”), et voila! Jenny Shipley gets another crony job, as unelected Mayor of Christchurch.

Don’t think it will happen? Wait and see.

(Interestingly, under the new rules, it will be easier for the government to suspend elections than call new ones. Which is a little odd, when you think about it)

Ministerial intervention powers are necessary when local government fails. But these go well beyond what is necessary, and allow the democratic decisions of local communities to be overturned by a central government which thinks it knows better. That is undemocratic, and it is wrong. These powers should not be enacted.

Another nasty surprise

While we’re on the topic of the government’s new Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill, it has another nasty surprise: mergers. Currently, local bodies can only be reorganised (have their boundaries or responsibilities changed, or be merged or split) on application from the local authority, the Minister, or a petition signed by 10% of the electors of that authority. The new rules would abolish the petition requirement and instead allow “any body or group with an interest in the governance of the area or areas that the reorganisation application relates to” to make an application. So your unelected local Chamber of Commerce can force a reorganisation proposal, without any democratic mandate to do so.

It gets worse. Currently if a reorganisation involves a local authority being abolished, merged, or split, it must be put to the voters. In order to pass, it must gain a majority in each district affected. Under the new rules, there’s no requirement to have a vote. If local residents want one, they have to get 10% of eligible voters (which means about 20% of actual local body voters) to sign a petition demanding one. Otherwise, it just happens. How much time do they have to gather those signatures? 40 working days. That’s not a “democratic check”; it’s a bad joke. And even if they gather those signatures to force a poll, it passes or fails on a simple majority. So people elsewhere can vote to abolish your local government, take over your community, and sideline you from control of it.

…which is precisely the point: to let big communities take over and rule smaller ones against their will. Whatever you want to call this, it isn’t democracy.

21 comments on “Nats ramp up attacks on local government”

  1. Carol 1

    Following the experiences of the shift to Auckland supercity, it seems to me that the current shifts are towards a top-down form of organisation of local authorities. NAct seem to organise such things so as to stifle any grassroots input or consultation. They are inherently anti-democratic.

    I also have some concerns about the way that the Whau Board was set up with the supercity, which amounts to gerrymandering. And there was no consultation with people in the area before this was done. This seems to have split off New Lynn from the west – the west was pretty crucial in not supporting a vote for Banks as Mayor.

    New Lynn has continued to be the centre of re-development (begun under the Labour government and Waitakere Council).

    But now the revitalisation is serving to shift the centre of the West from Henderson, to New Lynn, which is now amalgamated with Auckland central city.

    http://www.localcouncils.govt.nz/lgip.nsf/wpg_URL/Profiles-Auckland-Council-Local-Boards-Auckland-Council-Local-Board-Whau?OpenDocument

    http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/SiteCollectionDocuments/ward_whau.pdf

    • ad 1.1

      Surely it can’t be that hard to find a hard-wrking and recognisable candidate to have a proper crack at Noelene Raffils? The MP has been Labour in New Lynn since it was invented. Surely the left can get their act together in the next local elections?

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        Ross Clow almost did it last time standing as an independent.  He is in the Labour Party.  He was previously a Waitakere City Councillor and is the chair of the Portage Licensing Trust.  I understand he is keen to stand again.  He would be a great improvement.

        • Carol 1.1.1.1

          Ah, I hope so, Micky.

          I recently had to move, and am in another part of the west, so won’t get to vote in Whau next time. But I still have significant links in the area, and have been watching what’s happening in New Lynn. Also, what happens there will clearly have an impact on the whole of west Auckland.

  2. ianmac 2

    Wonder how that Northern district where they have an $80million sewerage scheme debt, would fare? Perhaps the Government would declare it in need and sack the Council and clear the debt.
    The big question of preserving Democracy as I/S writes, does need eternal vigilance.

    • Dr Terry 2.1

      Too late to “preserve democracy, because there aint none anymore, since the day this country found their new Nero in Key. A case can be made that the country actually opted out of democracy in 2008.
      “Oh, what a fall there was . . . “

  3. True Freedom is Self-Governance 3

    So, they’re up for some good old-fashioned boundary moving, George Double-yah style? If we make sure all the poorest (probably darkest, too) people are within a limited number of electorates then they cant get too many seats. What an underhanded way to make sure that certain people’s votes dont count.

  4. ad 4

    It would be great if this was able to be read generously – as if central government wanted to integrate central and local government together into common accountability platforms that could make the most of every kind of public agency.

    But that hasn’t been the experience. The experience is to completely reverse the grassroots democratisation intent of the 2002 Act, and just corporatise everything into specialist disciplines with very little interaction other than in very formal conduits such as LTP and RLTP.

    Local Government has gone – particularly in the Auckland case – from a participatory to a representative model of democracy, almost overnight.

    Listening recently to really cold people in massively damaged houses in Christchurch shivering after a snowstorm when the whole public sector has left them to the mercy of market forces was pretty stark. It’s the job of the public sector to intervene in a case like that, with all the housing and Public Works powers and facilities it has at its disposal.

    But not according to this merciles Government.

    A Micahel Joseph Savage approach to both the reform (ECAN) and rebuild of Christchurch would look quite different, one suspects.

  5. Horus 5

    It’s not a surprise but it is nasty! In Hawke’s Bay, the Hastings District Council has for years been trying to ‘absorb’ Napier to create a Hawke’s Bay District Council. However, the people of Napier have repeatedly opposed these overtures. Hastings being the larger of the two is highly indebted and has not come up with a prudent way to resolve their debt other than by taking over Napier, who has lucrative assets such as the Napier port and shared airport.

    With the Local Government Act Amendment, the mayor of Hastings can’t wait until he can make his land grab.

  6. Jimmie 6

    There are two things that should require central government approval.

    1 Debt taken on by local councils for capital projects.

    2 General rates increases over/above the rate of inflation

    If each council was forced to justify either of the above to a government minister or board it would help avoid fiscal nightmares (which future rate payers have to deal with) such as happened in Dunedin with their stadium.

    Also why councils think that increasing rates year after year is their God given right is beyond me – often I think councillors simply don’t have the financial acumen to run their councils – and don’t get me started on senior council staff pay rates…..

    • Murray Olsen 6.1

      I can’t see a NAct government thinking that the building of a rugby stadium is ever a bad idea. I can’t see them thinking that the building of safe public housing is ever a good idea. Whatever the problem is with local government, running it from Wellington is not the solution.

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      Also why councils think that increasing rates year after year is their God given right is beyond me – often I think councillors simply don’t have the financial acumen to run their councils – and don’t get me started on senior council staff pay rates…..

      They’re stuck in a model of unsustainable economic growth.

      And you can solve the problem of excessive pay rates by introducing 49% and 59% income tax brackets.

  7. rosy 7

    The biggest problem with local government is that so many people simply don’t care about the entity that has the single biggest impact on their everyday lives – from whether the rubbish is collected to whether a factory is built next door – and that is allowing the government to simply remove people’s democratic rights with little opposition, it’s despicable that the government is using this to set up mini dictatorships.

    In terms of local government my view is that NZ is too small, population-wise for the number of local councils and elected representatives that we have. I’m all for direct democracy – a council CEO, and an army of technocrats who put together a 5-year plan and signal future concerns; and bureaucrats who deal with the day to day running of a city. Town hall meetings are run to gain approval of council plans.

    Instead of a mayor there is a liaison person to deal with central government and government advocates for the local body areas.

    Planning legislation and environmental legislation to be paid out of central government funds. There is no way that some small councils can adequately fund the planning process or provide the technical expertise for some major developments.

    • Roger 7.1

      Rosy, I disagree with your comment: “I’m all for direct democracy – a council CEO, and an army of technocrats who put together a 5-year plan and signal future concerns; and bureaucrats who deal with the day to day running of a city. Town hall meetings are run to gain approval of council plans.”

      Your “direct democracy” sounds like something modelled on fascism. A better model would be a decentralised community-based participatory model where residents decide on the priorities and elect representatives to ensure they are delivered. Council CEOs already have considerable power we dont’ need to give them more. In fact if you don’t value local democratic input and your goal is efficient delivery of services then you end up abolishing local government all together and handing it all over to central government. Local decisions are best made locally – by those most impacted by them.

      • rosy 7.1.1

        hehe – fair enough it does read a bit like that – unintentional… I truly believe communities should decide how their city should be. Of course community meetings and community decision-making should come first, definitely, then the technocrats make their 5-year plans based on submissions from the community. Conflicting interests are sorted at town hall meetings when the council are in a position to provide information about how the submissions would work in practice – cost, environment, safety – alls those things that the general community should not be expected to have expertise in (although they may).

        The most important thing to me is that people are involved in approving decisions – not some councillors that around 30 percent of people have voted for, because others don’t understand, and are alienated from the process of how their city runs – and they are unaware of the implications.

  8. tsmithfield 8

    If anyone saw Campbell on TV3 tonight, they would realise that the elected numpties who ran the ECANT for 10 years stonewalled the introduction of a super-efficient wood burner that produced virtually no smoke or particulates.

    At least now the commissioners in charge have recognised its value and are pushing to allow suitably efficient wood burners in Christchurch, which at least allow people to stay warm if there is an earthquake or snowstorm that cuts power.

    • Te Reo Putake 8.1

      Yeah, because earthquakes and once in a hundred year snowstorms were so commonplace back when they were making the decision? The numpty is you, TS. Ending the reliance on woodburners was a commonsense response to a significant problem that made the city a smog bound hole every winter. I can’t wait for this dismally average government to be gone from our lives. You’ve just added another reason to wish for an early election.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      What would actually be better would be retrofitting the houses up to reasonable standards and putting some solar panels on the roofs to run the heat pump. Unfortunately, the government (both local and central) are too stuck in their old, cheap and nasty, ways to do that.

      • tsmithfield 8.2.1

        “Ending the reliance on woodburners was a commonsense response to a significant problem that made the city a smog bound hole every winter”

        One point is that the woodburner that was the subject of the Campbell show produces particulates of 0.5 grams for every kilo of wood burnt. That is, virtually nothing. So, if all the inefficient burners were replaced with this one, the smog problem would be solved.

        Another point is that the elected numpties have allowed pellet fires over this period, which, while highly efficient, are not as efficient as the wood burner on TV3 last night. So, the resistance to the burner has been ideological and stupid.

        Finally, moving the city to electricity over wood burners is putting considerable extra load on our power system, pushing up prices. The demand for extra power is not without environmental costs in terms of C02 when coal generators are fired up, or environmental damage when new dams are built.

  9. Max Moss 9

    New Zealand is NOT a democracy. It is a parliamentary dictatorship.

    The next great battle will be for democracy: for the voters to be able to stop actions of parliament (via binding citizen initiated referendums) and for voters to have decision making power over local matters without interference from parliament.

    I predict there will be no support from our Labour MP’s for democratic reforms. I strongly support my local Labour MP, but only because I think he will be a better dictator than a Tory dictator. But what I really want is democracy, not another left wing dictatorship.

  10. captain hook 10

    they about to railroad the Wairarapa shortly and fold it into the wellington patronage machine with no representation.
    democracy it aint.

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    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    14 hours ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    14 hours ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    17 hours ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    17 hours ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    19 hours ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    2 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    3 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    4 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago

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