Written By: - Date published: 8:21 am, April 28th, 2010 - 78 comments
Categories: accountability, assets, Conservation, democracy under attack, democratic participation, labour, local body elections, national, science - Tags: brendon burns, water
Last month, the Government rushed through legislation in a single day to abolish the democratically-elected Canterbury Regional Council known as Environment Canterbury. This was the first time in history a regional council had been involuntarily abolished and not only were the current elected officials booted out, Cantabarians were denied their right to elect the next council in the upcoming local body elections.
The Key Government’s actions went against the advice of its own officials in the Minister of Justice (the same ministry whose advice that the 3 strikes law may increased murders was also ignored), which said “parties with a stake in Canterbury’s natural resources have significantly less ability to protect their rights and interests than elsewhere in the country.” In effect, National has made Cantabarians into second-class citizens.
This is all about getting responsible checks and balances out of the way so that National’s farming mates can extract and pollute more of Canterbury’s water. It is a farmers’ coup.
Now, Labour has pledged to restore democracy to Canterbury.
According to a press release from Brendon Burns, Labour’s caucus agreed yesterday that when it returns to power it will rescind the powers of the government’s handpicked commissioners and hold elections as soon as possible.
Well done Labour and well done to the Greens who have also been working hard on this issue.