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No votes for appointed advisers

Written By: - Date published: 1:17 pm, January 22nd, 2011 - 23 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, democracy under attack - Tags:

It’s been revealed that the Government, having decided against dedicated Maori seats on the supercity council, gave appointed Maori advisers votes on council committees under its supercity legislation. That’s just unacceptable, we can’t have appointees voting equally to democratically-elected council members.

Rodbey Hide is expressing surprise that the Maori Statutory Board he created, which his laws states “must appoint a maximum of two persons to sit as members on each of the Auckland Council’s committees that deal with the management and stewardship of natural and physical resources” ,has appointed voting members to all council committees.

But it’s his own fault. He is the one who drafted the law in that way. He should have realised that a member has a vote by definition and that any council committee could be interpreted as “deal[ing] with the management and stewardship of natural and physical resources”.

It’s your mess, Rodney. You were warned that your vague legislation and lack of consultation would lead to unforeseen outcomes. Now, we’ve got people appointed by a third party exercising the same power as elected officials.

Sort it out. Pronto. As you’ve been told for two years, two elected Maori-seat councillors is the best solution.

23 comments on “No votes for appointed advisers ”

  1. George D 1

    What a mess.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    As you’ve been told for two years, two elected Maori-seat councillors is the best solution.

    No it’s not. Giving a few voters more rights than every other voter because of race is just as unacceptable as having unelected people having a say in how our resources are used.

    • Teenaa koe, Draco 2.1

      Teenaa koe, Draco

      I fail to see how Maaori, the indigenous peoples of this country, are privileged under a system, that relegates a large part of its populace to the ranks of the unemployed, the uneducated, the imprisoned, and the broke. Whether you like it or not Maaori are entitled by an agreement (a Treaty) that allowed you lot to florish on the expectation that Maaori would florish too. As it stands the system imposed upon Maaori is only benefiting one aspect of this so called partnership.

    • Daveosaurus 2.2

      Having two Councillors elected by and representing Auckland citizens of Māori ancestry is no less democratic than having two Councillors elected by and representing Auckland citizens resident in Howick.

      Anti-spam word: “ordered”. As ordered by the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance, perhaps?

    • QoT 2.3

      “more rights” how? Unless the specific proposal is to allow Maori voters in Auckland votes on both Maori councillors and general-roll councillors, “more rights” is just a dogwhistle to the kind of talkback crowd who don’t like the fact that white people have shat all over brown people since forever.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Another step towards becoming a banana republic. We’re on the way to the income and wealth inequality to qualify, also unfunded Government deficits due to Bill and John’s missed opportunities, now this.

    • Salsy 3.1

      not to forget leaving nz citizens buried in workplace accident, and schools introducing non nationally recognised qualifications… Banana republic alright.

  4. The trouble is when you ram legislation through and do not allow proper time for drafting, consideration, submission time for the public or debating in parliament then mistakes are made. Nothing is more certain. The select committee process did pick up a number of problems but others will continue to appear.

    Serves Hide right. This particular problem must be particularly embarassing for him. Fancy ACT giving Maori special treatment! Oh the irony!

    • Deadly_NZ 4.1

      Maybe he had something on his mind at the time??/ maybe the meltdown in his own Party HAHAHA. teach him a lesson.

  5. Irascible 5

    Another example of NACT selling out of the NZ legislature. Don’t forget Key’s firesale of Government to Warner Bros.

  6. I think I have located the source of the problem. Section 85 of the Local Government Auckland Council Amendment Act 2010 which sets up the mana whenua board states:

    85 Board’s specific functions
    (1) The board must appoint a maximum of 2 persons to sit as members on each of the Auckland Council’s committees that deal with the management and stewardship of natural and physical resources.

    Section 8 of the Local Government Auckland Council Act 2009 states:

    8 Governing body of Auckland Council
    (1) The governing body of the Auckland Council must comprise a mayor and 20 members elected in accordance with the Local Electoral Act 2001.

    The result seems clear. Someone should be sacked!

  7. Nick K 7

    If you read Standing Orders of the Auckland Council you will find the right to vote is contained in those. The Mayor (and Councillors) could have adopted Standing Orders that did not entitle a vote, but they decided that co-opted members of committees, whether Maori or not, get a vote. That’s wrong, but it’s the same for Maori, or Pakeha. And it’s something Mayor Brown could have stopped. But he didn’t. It’s the council’s fault they get a vote, not parliament’s.

    • I doubt they could Nick. Could they adopt standing orders that said that any member from out west does not have a vote? To adopt standing orders saying that the maori members do not have a vote is, there is no other word for it, rascist.

      Besides these members are not co-opted. They have a statutory right to be there.

      This is a central government ministerial stuff up. Good attempted diversion onto Len though.

      • Nick 7.1.1

        Micky, the legislation appoints them only. They are not elected. It’s a silly analogy to argue a councillor from out west could similarly be prevented from voting through Standing Orders, because they have been elected.

        The Council can, via Standing Orders, decide whether the appointed members get a vote, as co-opted appointed members, or appointed via legislation. It makes no difference. And the council has decided they can. It’s the Council’s fault, not parliament’s.

        There are co-opted members of many council committees and most do not get votes, because either the committee decides at the outset they don’t get one, or Standing Orders doesn’t allow it. Youth representatives on council committees or Community Boards is one example. They are appointed, and sit on full meetings, but don’t get a vote. This is no difference. Mayor Brown can fix this on Monday if he likes by proposing an amendment to Standing Order 2.9.6. But I bet you he doesn’t.

        2.9.6 Appointment of committee members by board promoting issues of significance for mana whenua groups and mataawaka of Tamaki Makaurau.

        (1) The board established by Part 7 of the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009 must appoint a maximum of 2 persons to sit as members on each of the Auckland Council’s
        committees that deal with the management and stewardship of natural and physical
        resources.

        (2) If the Auckland Council asks the board to appoint a person or persons to sit as members on any other of the Council’s committees, the board may do so.

        (3) The board must –

        (a) before making the appointments, seek the views of the Auckland Council as to the
        skills and experience that the Council would like the appointees to have; and

        (b) when making the appointments, take the views of the Auckland Council into account.”

        It’s quite clear, the Council wrote these; it decided board members could sit on other committees, not parliament. This can be amended by Council in one minute.

        • mickysavage 7.1.1.1

          Nick

          Micky, the legislation appoints them only. They are not elected. It’s a silly analogy to argue a councillor from out west could similarly be prevented from voting through Standing Orders, because they have been elected.

          Parliament is the supreme law making body for the country. Parliament has decreed that these appointees are members, not non voting members, not turn up to meetings and have a say power members but members.

          Who are the Auckland Council to go behind the very clear intent of Parliament and say that these people are non voting members. If they did this they would be before the Human Rights Commission before you could say “mana enhancing”. And the HRC would have to say that in the absence of a Parliamentary direction that the members were to be treated differently then any change to the Standing Orders was illegal.

          Good attempt to blame Len though. He does not decide on the form of the Standing Orders. Last time I checked he had only one vote.

          • Nick K 7.1.1.1.1

            The legislation does not have “very clear intent”, because it is silent on whether these members get a vote. It could be implied that they do, as members of committees usually do. But you simply cannot blame parliament, because the council is now functional and, intra vires, can do what it wants. Hence, it can decree, via Standing Orders, that no appointed member of any council committee, statutorily appointed, or co-opted, gets a vote. That is very simple. It is not discriminatory if applied to all appointed/co-opted members. The council can do this in a heartbeat if it wanted to. And it should.

  8. Jum 8

    ‘That’s just unacceptable, we can’t have appointees voting equally to democratically-elected council members.’

    Unless of course they vote the way JKeyll’s Hide wants his cuckoos in the nest to vote… and he will definitely have appointed them for that reason.

  9. BLiP 9

    I think this is great news. The intention of Hide was to lock Maori out of the democratic process but, in his haste to do so, has achieved the exact opposite. Excellent.

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