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No credible argument against referendum

Written By: - Date published: 11:15 am, May 18th, 2009 - 32 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, democracy under attack - Tags: , , ,

democracy-under-attack1
This morning Radio NZ ran a report on the increasing

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to the Government’s supercity plans. In the interview that followed it Rodney Hide was asked why the Government won’t let Aucklanders have the final say on the proposal through a referendum.

His answer? The tired, discredited old line that it’s “

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” question and the whole issue is too complicated to put to a referendum.

That’s pretty weak. No one’s saying the consultation process Labour, the Greens and the Maori Party are asking for should be done by referendum. The proposal is that the final outcome of the consultation should be put to a democratic vote.

That is a single yes or no question – “Do you support the super-city that the Government proposes?” – and it would provide some basic accountability on the Government to come up with a proposal that Aucklanders can support.

There is no credible democratic argument against holding a referendum on the supercity. The only reason Rodney Hide and John Key don’t want one is because they know the way they’re currently behaving the result will be a resounding “No”.

32 comments on “No credible argument against referendum”

  1. wtl 1

    Indeed, I was disappointed the interviewer didn’t press the question when Hide gave that answer. I think our best chance now is to demand a referendum in our submissions on the Local Government (Auckland Council) Bill, making it clear that there is no valid reason for denying this. I know the “Tamaki Makaurau Reorganisation Bill” has been passed, but surely a clause could be added to the second bill to repeal the first depending on the results of a referendum. Not that I think they will listen, but at least they will have to deliberately ignore these submissions.

  2. My own issue isn’t with a amalgamation per se. I’m in favour of that. What i reject is the gutting of democracy in the revised Auckland. That is the real issue here IMHO. Hide and National very clearly see democrqacy as the enemy – from the Auckland dictatorship law, to the RMA gutting to the intended referendum to get rid of MMP. Every measure is intended to allow people to be dictated to.

    This makes an absolute hollow farce of their defence of democracy and freedom against the Nanny State before the election…..though anyone who really knows National knows that was crap then just as it has been proven to be crap now. National are usually the ultimate “we know best” party. Their handling of Auckland is classic in that regard.

    labour wanted kids to eat healthy lunches. National wants to gut your democracy.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Capitalism requires dictatorship as it’s designed to have a few rich people and everyone else living at subsistence level or less. If everyone had a say then the laws that maintain that imbalance would be done away with and capitalism would fail.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    haha
    Lockwood is guaranteeing that the SuperCity will have lower rates. Wonder if that’s a personal guarantee and if he will cough up with the extra when it ends up costing more to run.

    • Ianmac 3.1

      It could be that Lockwood is right. The Rates may not rise. They may even fall. Why? Because instead of paying rates why not privatise waste, water, sewerage, so that they become user-pays. Simple. I can see it so clearly says Lockwodd.

  4. Pascal's bookie 4

    He may have to stop going to public meetings shortly then, he’s getting too old to be climbing out of toilet windows.

  5. Pat 5

    Labour are hoping the Supercity and the Waterview connection are the “big” issues that will turn the tide against National.

    Yet it’s funny that out of the blue come two issues that are going to gain big popular traction, as they affect everyone in NZ. Save Our Bread, and Save Our Pigs. Labour are going to have problems working out which side they take on these issues, and they can’t exactly ignore them and bang on about Supercity and Waterview instead.

    Easy points for the Nats here. Is Annette King going to defend folic acid additives in the face of National scrapping the legislation (which they will surely do). Is Goff going to defend the status quo on pig farms if the Nats advocate chnages?

    • Pascal's bookie 5.1

      Pat, if you think ‘folic acid in/not in bread’ is a story with more legs than the supercity, then I’m not sure what to say.

      Other than “got a plan B?”.

      • Pat 5.1.1

        PB – have you forgotten “shower heads” already? Watch and learn, my friend. Most people don’t share a love affair with their local council as you would have us believe. But f*cK with their bread and all hell will break loose.

        • Pascal's bookie 5.1.1.1

          The dynamics of the story are different though Pat. It’ll be more like the reversal of the school lunch thing, a two day wonder.

          King might put out one press release, but it’s hardly something Labour will be dying in a ditch over. Where do the legs come from? It might make the bottom half of the front page if it’s a slow news day.

          Supercity will be in the news untill at least the next local body elections, and will have all sorts of personal hooks. water supply, libraries, roading, rubbish, parks, rates, urban/rural divide, museums etc, and so on. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

        • gobsmacked 5.1.1.2

          OK, let’s define “hell”, Pat.

          Predict a number, for a protest or public meeting on folic acid.

          • Pat 5.1.1.2.1

            I have never, ever, been to a protest or public meeting (and I live in Hobsonville!) I suggest I might be in the majority.

            Bread and Pigs are emotional, touchy feely topics. You might bore your mates senseless at BBQ’s with discussions on rates and rubbish collections, but with Bread and Pigs almost everyone will have an opinion. Because when it comes to bacon & eggs on toast, it affects them personally.

          • Anita 5.1.1.2.2

            Pat,

            Having an opinion is not enough to bring about change.

            How do you think the BBQ talk from “almost everyone” is going to translate into action?

            BTW I’ve talked to a wide variety of “ordinary” people today and a number mentioned the pigs, none had any plan to do anything about it (except one who said he was going to read the label on bacon in future (?!)), not a single one mentioned bread or folic acid.

    • Anita 5.2

      I think we can be pretty sure that National won’t make adequate changes to the Animal Welfare Code. Some window dressing, sure, but nothing that will make out pig or poultry farming practices humane.

      • Pat 5.2.1

        They will make changes if it gets legs. And having such a popular “kiwi bloke” like Mike King as a front man gives it an instant mainstream endorsement, and makes it hard for the Nats to brush it under the carpet.

    • Jasper 5.3

      Waterview and Supershitty will give Labour traction in Mt Albert that’s for certain. Melissa Lee was the gift that kept on giving till she got the STFU order from on high.

      What’s concerning is that Hide has already started making moves towards amalgamation in Wellington with discussions and proposals to combine Upper and Lower Hutt districts to coincide with the police doing same.

      Again this will be without reference on consultation with the good denizens of the Hutt Valley.

      So “Yes” I say Pat, Labour will definitely be able to get a lot of mileage out of this SS Bolshevik Nact are going to be rolling out nationwide before their time is up in 2011.

      Do it hard, do it fast.

  6. Pat 6

    Plus pig farmers aren’t a big lobby group like dairy, sheep or beef farmers (in terms of numbers of farmers affected). So politcially they are safe for the Nats to force changes upon.

    • Anita 6.1

      If pig farmers are not an effective lobby group how has this practice been explicitly permitted for so long? There have been plenty of people in government for a long time who have known about these practices.

      • Pat 6.1.1

        Because protestors (generally) are seen as fringe nutters, which in the past are difficult for the general public to identify with, so the message often gets lost in translation. Mike King now gives the protest a popular figure head and a mainstream legitamacy. And he has ready access to the media.

        • Anita 6.1.1.1

          That protestors are seen as fringe nutters isn’t a reasonable explanation for why the governments (of the last many decades) haven’t addressed this issue even tho they have known about it.

          • Pat 6.1.1.1.1

            A simple case of Out of sight, Out of mind. The only opposition has been the likes of SAFE who have broken into pig farms covertly. Once the general public is forced to confront reality by someone they relate to, then it is more likely to gain traction and become a political issue. Especially if one or more political parties keep pushing it along. Hence my original post as to what Labour and National will do with this.

  7. gobsmacked 7

    Pat (2.13):

    Your basic point is valid – that non-political matters engage people. But I think you’ve picked the wrong ones. We’ll see.

    As for the council issue, local government is tedious in the abstract, and absolutely relevant in practice. Nobody cares about Committee X, Sub-Section 13, Clause 4 (b) …

    But everyone cares about their rubbish and rates. Especially if the latter goes up.

    • Kevin Welsh 7.1

      To be fair to Pat

      “Around the BBQ” discussions worked for ‘time for a change’.

      Captcha: militiamen organise :-)

  8. Maynard J 8

    Labour did sweet F.A. about it too, didn’t they? So I don’t think it will be a big issue, or one that can damage labour/help national. National opposes any changes and they’re doing what Labour did. National makes changes and Labour will not oppose them: hardly a story there.

    Pat, it’s an interesting story (or two), but it won’t have much impact on anything political unless national get Lee, Worth or Bennett to take the issue up.

    • Anita 8.1

      Indeed, Labour has been just as appallingly submissive to the farming lobbies when it comes to animal welfare as National.

  9. Hoolian 9

    The answer to this is the same as to why Labour didn’t go to a referendum on the Electoral Finance Act.

    • gobsmacked 9.1

      Because they want to lose the next election?

    • r0b 9.2

      I wasn’t aware that the local government act requirement for a referendum when messing with local councils applied to electoral law Hoolian.

      And even if Labour had done wrong in the past, do two wrongs make a right? Would that be your argument? Good luck trying it on with 1.4 Million pissed off Aucklanders…

      • bilbo 9.2.1

        r0b I may be reading things wrong but I don’t think most Aucklanders give a flying one about a referendum…… most want one simple question answered.

        Will the move to a combined regional council lead to lower rates … if not why on earth do we need it ?

        It beggars belief that the tosspots in Wellington have been unable to put some reliable figures around this proposal for Aucklanders,North Shoreians, Westies, Manukauites to consider.

        • Maynard J 9.2.1.1

          Sorry bilbo but the ‘tosspot from Wellington’ you need to talk to is actally a Little Dictator from Epsom. Labour was nice and costed it at $750 each (akl ratepayers) to pay for the transition. There are strong doubts as to whether it will save anything though.

          • bilbo 9.2.1.1.1

            I think you misunderstand – the cost of rates going forward .. i.e. our rates cost let’s say 3k per annum now what will they cost in two years time under the combined council in tens years time etc.

  10. r0b 10

    It beggars belief that the tosspots in Wellington have been unable to put some reliable figures around this proposal for Aucklanders

    Well there for once we are in agreement.

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    1 day ago
  • Awaroa Beach: Little Restraint From Labour
    The Taxpayers’ Union is telling politicians to butt out of the tremendous community effort to purchase a beach next to the Awaroa inlet in the Abel Tasman National Park after Labour Leader Andrew Little called upon the Government to stump… ...
    1 day ago
  • McCully’s Condemnation of Satellite Launch Sadly Predictable
    Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s condemnation of North Korea’s launch of an earth observation satellite was predictable - he never strays far from American guidance. It was also sadly short-sighted. As a small country it is in our long-term interest ...
    2 days ago
  • Draft Chapter on Proposed Reform of Te Ture Whenua Māori Act
    WAITANGI TRIBUNAL RELEASES DRAFT CHAPTER ON CLAIMS CONCERNING THE PROPOSED REFORM OF TE TURE WHENUA MĀORI ACT 1993 ...
    2 days ago
  • Treaty of Waitangi – Found in Translation
    Wellington, New Zealand - Today, the New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters (NZSTI) announces the launch of the Treaty Times Thirty project. ...
    2 days ago
  • Governor-General’s Waitangi Day Address
    Kia ora huihui tātou katoa. To the many, many people who have come at our invitation to celebrate this sacred day for the Treaty of Waitangi, I welcome you to Government House Auckland. I extend my greetings to all who… ...
    2 days ago
  • Are You Ready to Vote in the Final Flag Referendum?
    Are You Ready to Vote in the Final Flag Referendum? The second referendum on the New Zealand flag is just a few weeks away, and the Electoral Commission wants to ensure all eligible New Zealanders are enrolled and ready to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Bledisloe Garden Reception cancelled at Government House
    Rain has forced Government House Auckland to cancel the Bledisloe Garden Reception, which was due to start at 4pm this afternoon. The Governor-General, Sir Jerry Mateparae, will still be marking Waitangi Day with a special citizenship ceremony for 25 people… ...
    4 days ago
  • Call for Child Sex Abuse Inquiry
    6th February 2016 “We just haven’t had a Rolf Harris or Jimmy Savile to bring our own dirty laundry out into the open but the time bomb is ticking and powder-keg will ignite.” McVicar ...
    4 days ago
  • Maori are amongst the biggest beneficiaries of TPP
    In the lead up to Waitangi celebrations and the signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership in New Zealand this week, much is being made of Maori opposition to the TPP due to a lack of consultation and a perceived loss… ...
    5 days ago
  • Maori are amongst the biggest beneficiaries of TPP
    In the lead up to Waitangi celebrations and the signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership in New Zealand this week, much is being made of Maori opposition to the TPP due to a lack of consultation and a perceived loss… ...
    5 days ago
  • More than 27,000 new Kiwis in 2015
    This Waitangi Day, New Zealand will roll out the welcome mat to 24 new citizens at Government House, and acknowledge over 27,000 people who were granted citizenship last year. ...
    5 days ago
  • Demolition of 32 & 36 Glendevere Terrace
    Demolition of 32 & 36 Glendevere Terrace Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and Southern Response today announced that the demolitions of 32 and 36 Glendevere Terrace, Redcliffs, Christchurch will begin next week. ...
    5 days ago
  • Next step in 2GP process
    Dunedin (Friday, 5 February 2016) – The next step in the process of establishing a new Dunedin City District Plan will be underway when further submissions are called for from 10 February. ...
    5 days ago
  • Next step in 2GP process
    Dunedin (Friday, 5 February 2016) – The next step in the process of establishing a new Dunedin City District Plan will be underway when further submissions are called for from 10 February. ...
    5 days ago
  • Report into diplomat debacle shows Ministers’ failures
    The report into the treatment of a diplomat found guilty of indecent assault highlights a failure of Government Ministers to show political leadership over sexual violence, the Green Party said today. ...
    5 days ago
  • Report into diplomat debacle shows Ministers’ failures
    The report into the treatment of a diplomat found guilty of indecent assault highlights a failure of Government Ministers to show political leadership over sexual violence, the Green Party said today. ...
    5 days ago
  • TPP Good News for New Zealand
    TPP Good News for New Zealand by Dr Llew Richards, chief executive of IANZ We all like to travel. We all buy stuff from overseas. But sometimes we pay up to twice the price for something in New Zealand that… ...
    5 days ago
  • TPP Good News for New Zealand
    TPP Good News for New Zealand by Dr Llew Richards, chief executive of IANZ We all like to travel. We all buy stuff from overseas. But sometimes we pay up to twice the price for something in New Zealand that… ...
    5 days ago
  • Council seeks submissions on bylaw amendment
    Palmerston North City Council is calling for submissions on a proposed amendment to the Signs and Use of Public Places Bylaw for Election Signs. ...
    5 days ago
  • Credit Ratings Agency Blackmails Christchurch City Council
    Credit Ratings Agency Blackmails Christchurch City Council on Asset Sales This story slipped by without comment from anyone in the Christmas rush. Better late than never. On December 8th the Press reported that: “Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s ...
    5 days ago
  • Ministry welcomes release of Whitehead Report
    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has welcomed the public release of the Whitehead report. ...
    5 days ago
  • TPP Agreement bad for democracy
    International Trade Union Confederation TPP Agreement bad for democracy, rights, public services and health Brussels, 4 February 2016 (ITUC OnLine): The ITUC has called the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) a major setback for employment ...
    6 days ago
  • TPP Agreement bad for democracy
    International Trade Union Confederation TPP Agreement bad for democracy, rights, public services and health Brussels, 4 February 2016 (ITUC OnLine): The ITUC has called the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) a major setback for employment ...
    6 days ago
  • Peru signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership in NZ
    Thursday 4 February 2016 Press Release Peru's Foreign Trade and Tourism Minister Magali Silva has signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in New Zealand's city of Auckland today along with her counterparts from 11 Pacific countries. The ...
    6 days ago
  • Peru signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership in NZ
    Thursday 4 February 2016 Press Release Peru's Foreign Trade and Tourism Minister Magali Silva has signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in New Zealand's city of Auckland today along with her counterparts from 11 Pacific countries. The ...
    6 days ago
  • Protesters project giant message onto SkyCity
    Community organisations representing more than five and a half million people around the world have united to take joint action and express global opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as Trade Ministers sign the deal at SkyCity in Auckland. ...
    6 days ago
  • Protesters project giant message onto SkyCity
    Community organisations representing more than five and a half million people around the world have united to take joint action and express global opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as Trade Ministers sign the deal at SkyCity in Auckland. ...
    6 days ago
  • Reserve Bank highlights importance of market discipline
    Reserve Bank highlights importance of market discipline The Reserve Bank today highlighted the importance of market discipline as one of three pillars that help maintain the stability of financial institutions. In a speech this evening hosted by the NZ Bankers… ...
    6 days ago
  • Infrastructure to underpin development of the Northland regi
    “The release today of the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan is strongly endorsed by the New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development (NZCID) and will drive much needed employment, investment and growth in the region,” says NZCID ...
    6 days ago
  • Infrastructure to underpin development of the Northland regi
    “The release today of the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan is strongly endorsed by the New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development (NZCID) and will drive much needed employment, investment and growth in the region,” says NZCID ...
    6 days ago
  • Kiwis reject the TPPA
    Around 15,000 Kiwis marched down Queen Street today to protest against the signing of the TPPA. The march was loud, diverse, family-friendly, peaceful and passionate in its opposition to the TPPA. ...
    6 days ago
  • Kiwis reject the TPPA
    Around 15,000 Kiwis marched down Queen Street today to protest against the signing of the TPPA. The march was loud, diverse, family-friendly, peaceful and passionate in its opposition to the TPPA. ...
    6 days ago

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