web analytics

Yet more abuse of Urgency

Written By: - Date published: 8:17 am, June 26th, 2010 - 20 comments
Categories: accountability, democracy under attack, democratic participation, local body elections, Parliament, police - Tags:

This week, the Government slammed through the Policing (Involvement in Local Authority Elections) Amendment Bill. It lets Police stand for local elections under the same rules as other public servants.

Is it a good idea? On the one hand, people should be allowed to stand in elections as a basic tenant of our democracy. On the other, the Police are the sharp end of executive government and the concept of separation of powers says we should keep the executive divided from the legislative – otherwise you have the same people making the rules as enforcing them.

It’s an issue that deserves to be debated. Instead, it was rushed through by this government in yet another shameful act of disregard for transparent government and active democracy. Hell, why don’t we just make John Key king for three years if they’re going to treat the process and public input into legislation with such disdain?

Even David Farrar, who is smelling the sweet air of freedom in Labor-ruled Australia, agrees:

“urgency sometimes is used to avoid a bill going to a select committee, and to pass it into law within a day or two. This is a necessary power for bills that are genuinely urgent. Common use is excise tax changes and sometimes in the early days of a new Government it is justified so some policies can be implemented immediately.

I do not believe there was a good justification for the bill to bypass the select committee stage. It doesn’t matter that it was inevitable it would be passed anyway as both National and Labour supported it. We, the public, were robbed of the chance to submit on it. The select committees are our voice.

Without an upper or second house, they are even more important. Bypassing them should happen as rarely as possible.

Some may argue it had to be passed in time for the local body elections. I agree, but it could have been introduced to Parliament earlier, or the Select Committee could have been given a shorter than normal (six months normally) period to report back.”

Yup. But, David, you know why they didn’t give the public our chance to have a say – they don’t give a damn.

20 comments on “Yet more abuse of Urgency”

  1. Bored 1

    Police standing for local authorities has not been an issue as long as I can remember, Whats so bloody urgent now. Who, where ,why?

    • Tigger 1.1

      Yes, and look at the outcry from the MSM…they’ve been covering this story day and night with all the passion they showed when chasing Chris Carter down the halls of Parliament. They won’t rest until this attack on democracy is crushed!!!!

  2. Dave 2

    Perhaps Clint Rickards is to be the supermayor? actually wait, thats not even funny 🙂

  3. RedLogix 3

    Separation of powers is a vital bedrock principle that should in this instance have taken precedence of Police personel’s right to stand for election.

    Police, especially senior officers, are individuals with entrusted with considerable powers of discretion around what investigations to prioritise, what evidence they uncover…and most potently…what charges to lay.

    In a relatively small provincial communities it’s not too hard at all to dream up quite plausible scenarios where a senior police officer serving on a local body leverages this power, or even the threat of this power, to his or her own advantage.

  4. randal 4

    the fundamental characteristic of this government is the desire to bully others.

  5. Benjamin B. 5

    Labour supports this? Are there any sources for that?

  6. BLiP 6

    democracy noun (pl. -ies) [mass noun]

    thing, or circumstance causing inconvenience or annoyance: an unreasonable requirement following election victory

    (BLiP Shorter, Revised Edition, November 2008)

  7. Jenny 7

    Should we be surprised when the present Commissioner of Police, Howard Broad is arguably the most political policeman to have ever held this post.

    From the very start he has been lobbying for numerous extraordinary powers for police, and has mostly got what he asked for from compliant politicians.

    The list of his achievements in office reads like a horror list of right wing repressive measures, from the illegal detention of anti-racist protesters, protesting the inclusion of an Israeli tennis player in opposition to an international sporting and cultural boycott against this apartheid state.

    To the paranoid anti-terror raids launched against Tuhoe and various leftists.

    To the recent scandal over the profiling of Maori youth with the illegal taking of DNA samples, which Broad has refused to deny or admit.

    Howard Broad spends a good part of his time in Washinton D.C. (at the taxpayers expense), and is a committed War On Terror hawk.

    His extreme right wing political views were first on show during the 1981 springbok tour, when he got an early reputation as being heavy with the baton with anti-racist protesters and when during the height of the protests Broad going against the official police line of impartiality, hosted a party for supporters of racist rugby.

    Recently this extremist, has announced his intention to seek a further term in his role at the top of the police force. A move that all democrats should oppose.

    • Rex Widerstrom 7.1

      Is Police Commissioner one of the roles on which the Opposition are customarily consulted? Should we be giving them a prod? And if they are, and if we did, and if they demurred, would that effectively veto it?

  8. Santi 8

    Both parties are to blame for abusing urgency. Wasn’t Labour which used urgency, including Duynhoven’s “misstake” and the despised Electoral Reform Act?

    Sad to see you complaining when the shoe is in the other foot.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      Urgency is there for a reason and Labour did use it but they never, IIRC, abused it. NACT have abused it since they got into office. They haven’t once had a valid reason to go into urgency.

    • Ari 8.2

      “They did it too” is not exactly relevant here, especially given the incredibly disproportionate use of urgency by the current government- they set the record for the use of urgency in their first full year of governing. The current National Government has also used urgency to skip past the select committee process for more bills than ever before.

  9. prism 9

    Not a good look. Police involved in politics local or otherwise is not something I approve of. Getting too close to USA with political winners choosing their own service people. Police are hard enough to keep on the straight and narrow now.

  10. prism 10

    It looks like the policies allowing for urgency need to be discussed by the electorate with the Law Commission or someone. We need to get better rules for our parliament.
    captcha – engineers – the pollies certainly know how to engineer their agendas.

  11. WOOF 11

    They are cocking their legs all over democracy in this country!

  12. equality watcher 12

    Has everyone been asleep?

    On the 9th November 2008 New Zealand became a fascist authoritarian state, complete with removing a lovely man (who was gay) from the Good Morning show and replacing him with mr macho, flooding television with macho war films all geared to get the male blood up ready for the next manipulated war and all the police powers being beefed up by Volkner to keep the citizenry rabble under control. Of course you’d want a police party if you were a NAct government.

  13. I laugh at this use of ‘urgency’. Before National came to power Paula Bennett went on and on and on in her video diary about Labour’s use of ‘urgency’ just before the election and how wrong it was and an abuse of power. Now the Nat government is using ‘urgency’ as an almost weekly tool to get questionable laws through Parliament.

  14. Rob 14

    It is somewhat laughable to me to say we have separation of powers when our executive heads are entirely members of parliament. Separation of powers is an ineffective way to govern. What we really want is for any person in an important decision to refrain from making decisions due to bias. This does not mean excluding people who happen to fall into two positions. It means having adequate systems to declare conflicts of interest.

    Police officers have a unique view of how society works which is under represented by not allowing them to stand. The enactment of bi-laws relating to policing are not going to come up that often and the likelihood is there will be a max of 3-4 police staff on any local council so they are hardly going to be pushing changes through merely giving an additional view. I see no reason why they should not be allowed to stand.

    On the other hand this use of urgency was completely unacceptable. This bill should have gone to select committee for people views on it to be aired and to make sure there were no issues that had not been though of with passing this law. Urgency should only be used in this way to pass technical amendments which don’t need a select committee or that require secrecy to have the desired effect e.g. tax changes. Or finally it is not possible to wait.

    This bill was none of these. yes police staff would miss the next election if this went to select committee but we have done without for the last few decade there is no reason we cannot wait 3 more years when there were no clear candidates in advance of the bill passing who wished to run. It sucks but you do have to wait for the procedures of parliament every time if you want a corruption free government.

  15. The reason this bill as others were pushed through under urgency was because they don’t want the people having a choice.

    This is the National Government here, they want to set up a system where they get the benefits and they can’t do that if they give the people a choice.

    If you are a worker you are there to keep the country working and to give shareholders their divedends other than that these guys are not even interested in the worker.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Labour and Greens sign historic agreement to change the Government
    The Labour Party and the Green Party have announced today they have signed an historic agreement to work cooperatively to change the Government. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the parties commits them to working cooperatively to change the Government… ...
    52 mins ago
  • Budget ignores vital role of quality ECE
    Last night I watched a fascinating programme about the Otago University 45 year study of 1000 New Zealanders. It concluded that there are ways to intervene and support people who are at risk of becoming violent. One of the key… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    22 hours ago
  • More ice for Radio NZ in Budget
    Budget 2016 once again left our only public broadcaster, Radio NZ (RNZ), worse off. After eight years of funding freezes, you have to wonder if RNZ is being iced-out for ideological reasons. I believe public broadcasting is an important cornerstone… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 day ago
  • Fisheries inquiry must be widened to include Trident
    The Government must widen its inquiry into the Ministry for Primary Industries to include its awarding of a company owned by Sanford and Moana Pacific Fisheries to monitor commercial fishing vessels, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Rino Tirikatene says. The Ministry for… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government spend up on state house sell off
    The Government has spent $28.9 million and has 129 officials working on its misguided state house sell-off, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “This is a scandalous waste of taxpayers’ money on a policy that won’t deliver a single extra… ...
    2 days ago
  • Housing crisis has huge impact on education
    The National Government’s failure to get on top of the housing crisis is having a major impact on the quality of education a lot of school kids are getting, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There are thousands of kids… ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister celebrates while arts organisations face cuts
    Maggie Barry was full of self-congratulations for her small arts announcement in the budget, ignoring the pain that a large number of organisations are facing due to her inaction, says Arts, Culture, Heritage spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.  “The Budget delivered a… ...
    2 days ago
  • Regions miss out again in Joyce’s Koru Lounge Fund
      The regions have missed out yet again with Steven Joyce offering just $10m a year for key regional development projects while trumpeting a bunch of re-heated announcements, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The dairy downturn has put… ...
    3 days ago
  • Children’s Commissioner misses out in Budget
      The Office of the Children’s Commissioner has missed out on a much needed boost in this year’s Budget, meaning they will be forced to continue their reduced monitoring role of CYFs residences, says Labour’s spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern. … ...
    3 days ago
  • Communities miss out in Budget
    Budget 2017 has left community and NGO providers feeling exposed about the services they provide to vulnerable families especially in smaller towns and communities, says Labour’s Whānau Ora Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Approximately $40m will go into Whānau Ora to work… ...
    4 days ago
  • Budget2016: Two Worlds
    Sometimes I feel as if I live in two worlds. The world created by the National Government where everything is great and they’re doing a great job and the world as seen through the eyes of child advocates, community workers,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Parekura would be proud – MTS gets boost
    The Labour Party is ecstatic that the Māori Party have shown support for one of Labour’s proudest policies, says Labour’s Māori Broadcasting Spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “The Māori Television Service was launched in 2004 by the late Hon Parekura Horomia. ...
    4 days ago
  • Māori housing in state of emergency
    The Government needs to declare a state of emergency for Māori Housing, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson and Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis. “The extra $3 million a year Māori Housing Network fund will not scratch the surface in… ...
    4 days ago
  • State house sell off in disarray after provider pulls out
     The Government should cancel its planned sell-off of state houses after the second big community housing provider pulled out leaving the process in disarray, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “It is time for the Government to back away from… ...
    4 days ago
  • Nothing in Budget to help police to solve crime
    The Police Minister has failed to make communities safer with virtually no new money in yesterday’s Budget for police to address the appalling burglary resolution rates, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It’s a disgrace there’s no money or aspiration… ...
    4 days ago
  • Blog – Budget 2016: What about ordinary working people?
    Ordinary working New Zealanders don’t fare very well from this Budget. Setting aside the spin from the Government, it contains a lot to be concerned about and a fudging of the numbers. Green Party workplace relations spokesperson Denise Roche For… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Real wages go backwards for next two years
    New Zealanders’ real wages will fall for the next two years as the cost of living outpaces forecast pay rises, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “New Zealanders have been doing it tough for far too long. They expect… ...
    4 days ago
  • The Attack on Public Education – by a thousand cuts
    Budget 2016 is another step towards the free public education system being a memory from the past. The Budget freezes the operations grant for schools and does not sufficiently cover the real increase in numbers of students entering the education system.… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    4 days ago
  • The Attack on Public Education – by a thousand cuts
    Budget 2016 is another step towards the free public education system being a memory from the past. The Budget freezes the operations grant for schools and does not sufficiently cover the real increase in numbers of students entering the education system.… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    4 days ago
  • The give with one hand – take with the other Budget
    The Minister of Health has pumped out media releases to 20 District Health Boards heralding increases in funding for their regions, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “But when you add population growth and inflation into the figures you get… ...
    4 days ago
  • Budget offers no hope of fixing housing crisis
    The Budget’s underwhelming housing measures will give New Zealanders no hope that National is capable of fixing the housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “There isn’t a scrap of an idea to help desperate young Kiwi families into… ...
    4 days ago
  • How the budget fails new New Zealanders
    Greens co-leader James Shaw was absolutely correct to say the 2016 budget is just papering over the cracks. There’s nothing in this budget to increase wages, address inequal pay for carers or deal with the shocking pay rates and employment… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Parents will pay more as school budgets frozen
    Parents will pay more for their kids’ education as a result of this year’s Budget after the Government froze operational funding for schools, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This means schools are effectively going backwards. They will need to… ...
    5 days ago
  • Sticking Plaster Budget fails the test
    Bill English’s penultimate Budget fails to tackle the structural challenges facing the economy – a housing crisis, rising unemployment, underfunded health and creaking infrastructure, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This Budget applies a sticking plaster to a compound fracture.… ...
    5 days ago
  • John Key fails middle New Zealand with no fix for housing crisis, more underfunding of health
    Middle New Zealand has again missed out in this year’s Budget with not a single fix for the housing crisis, and health and education woefully underfunded again, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This Budget is just a patchwork… ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour Bill would back Kiwi jobs
    The Government’s $40 billion of buying power would go towards backing Kiwi businesses and jobs under a Labour Member’s Bill which will be debated by Parliament, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “My Bill – which was pulled from… ...
    5 days ago
  • Julie Anne Genter: My Budget 2016 wish is fairness
    When my parents first visited me in Auckland ten years ago, they remarked on how there were no homeless people on the streets. Coming from Los Angeles, they were used to seeing the impacts of horrendous inequality and a lack… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    5 days ago
  • Steffan Browning: Pesticide reduction and Organic Growth Strategy in Budget 2016
    Pesticide reduction The Budget is an opportunity for the Government to launch a pesticide reduction strategy that multiplies the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ capacity to reassess pesticides and other toxins.  The Agricultural Compounds and… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    5 days ago
  • Steffan Browning: Pesticide reduction and Organic Growth Strategy in Budget 2016
    Pesticide reduction The Budget is an opportunity for the Government to launch a pesticide reduction strategy that multiplies the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ capacity to reassess pesticides and other toxins.  The Agricultural Compounds and… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    5 days ago
  • Minister won’t fess up on wrong figures
    The Minister of Health was caught out telling porkies in Parliament today when he was asked about the number of people getting access to mental health and addiction services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. ...
    6 days ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Scrambled announcement policy on the hoof
    Paula Bennett’s scrambled desperate announcement that she will pay homeless people to move to the regions is just the latest evidence of the disarray this Government’s housing policy is in, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This is policy… ...
    6 days ago
  • Police Minister admits resolution rates fall short of expectation
    Police Minister Judith Collins has admitted in Parliament current burglary resolution rates are not meeting the expectations of our communities, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash “Out of 284 police stations in New Zealand in 2015, 24 stations recorded zero… ...
    6 days ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    6 days ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    6 days ago
  • Dairy exports fall of 11%: Budget action on diversification needed
    Dairy exports have fallen 11 per cent compared to this time last year, a fall of almost $1.5b, showing the Government must take clear action on diversifying the economy in tomorrow’s Budget, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David… ...
    6 days ago
  • Investors driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland
    Investors cashing in on skyrocketing Auckland house prices are driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland and causing homeownership rates in some of our poorest suburbs to plummet, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New analysis shows… ...
    6 days ago
  • Budget must deliver on paid parental leave
    Budget 2016 must deliver 26 weeks paid parental leave by April 2018 – anything less will be short-changing families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “My Bill which is before Parliament this afternoon has majority support and does just that. I… ...
    6 days ago
  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    1 week ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    1 week ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    1 week ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere