web analytics

NRT: No democracy for Canterbury

Written By: - Date published: 9:14 am, July 9th, 2015 - 8 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, local government, national - Tags: , ,

I/S at No Right Turn writes

No democracy for Canterbury

Back in March, National announced a public consultation on whether democracy would be restored to Canterbury. Today, they released their foregone conclusion: nope:

Environment Canterbury (ECan) will move to a mixed governance council of seven elected councillors and up to six appointed in 2016 as a transition to a fully elected council in 2019, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith and Associate Local Government Minister Louise Upston announced today.
The mixed governance plan means a majority of ECan councillors would be elected at the local body elections in October 2016, with four elected at large in Christchurch, one elected from North Canterbury for the districts of Kaikōura, Hurunui and Waimakariri, one elected from mid-Canterbury for the Selwyn and Ashburton districts, and one from South Canterbury representing the Timaru, Mackenzie, Waimate districts and the parts of Waikati north of the Waitaki River.

National are so proud of this decision that they released it under cover of a sportsball game in an effort to bury it. And no wonder: it continues the unjustified removal of Cantabrians’ democratic rights to ensure that farmers can continue to steal their water and destroy their rivers.

As for the consultation, National has this to say:

534 submissions were received, of which 475 were form submissions generated through an online tool organised by the Labour Party and opposed to the model.

The implication: the views of these people who had taken the time to submit were ignored because of the method they had chosen. Its typical National party arrogance, and it makes it clear that the consultation exercise was simply a sham. National doesn’t want Cantabrians (and specifically Christchurch residents) to vote, and they don’t give a shit what people have to say about it.

But the question is whether it will pass. National no longer has an easy Parliamentary majority, and are dependent on the votes of either Peter Dunne or the Maori Party to pass this. If neither votes for it, Canterbury’s democracy is restored by default. So I think we need to start piling the pressure on those MPs to ensure that this bill doesn’t pass.

8 comments on “NRT: No democracy for Canterbury ”

  1. hoom 1

    Doubtless there will be countless ‘Democracy Under Attack’ banner headlines.

    Oh wait, this is National so the Dirty Columnists will just praise this instead.

  2. Brendon Harre 2

    If Dunne or the Maori party vote show no solidarity for defending democracy when will the knives come out for them?

    Or are they already rotten boroughs of non-democracy?

    Really it is all a sham and reflects badly on us all when we turn a blind eye to this nonsense. Well done The Standard for raising the issue.

    Note it is not just about the negative politics i.e to irrigate or not. But a denial of democracy in Canterbury is preventing Christchurch/Canterbury in finding a new vision for the future. Something we desperately need as renaming a rebuilt as regeneration makes very little difference to the fact that NZ’s second biggest city is languishing.

    • Chooky 2.1

      +100…”a denial of democracy in Canterbury is preventing Christchurch/Canterbury in finding a new vision for the future.”

  3. Having a 1 vote majority of elected members makes a mockery of democracy – only takes 1 to give central government a majority as the commissioners will continue to do its bidding. Unless Canterbury elects 7 independent and progressive councillors who will work together and stand up to government and corporate/agribusiness interests, it’s going to be business as usual. The only way that will happen is for a group of people to stand – as a collective – on a common programme of rebuilding Canterbury in the interests of the people. If that doesn’t happen then people should register protest votes – to show the process up for the hollow sham it is.

  4. Brendon Harre 4

    Read Transportblog for how Canterbury is bucking the national trend of stabilising vehicle transport movements, with a big increase in car use.


    Canterbury is a massive National party experiment. This is their vision for the country. This is what National want to do to the rest of NZ.

    Wake up NZ!

  5. Penny Bright 5

    Apparently, the ‘dysfunctional ism’ of ECAN is popular myth and legend, but not supported by the Creech report – which actually says the opposite?

    The Creech report can be found at –

    The relevant section is 4.2.1

    “There is a widely held view that councillors are so polarised at times that they are dysfunctional as a group. There is insufficient leadership, and the council is too busy protecting individual / Party perspectives and fails to pay sufficient attention to leading the Region.

    Our investigation did not bear this out.

    ECan is meeting its legal obligations under the LGA but has been unable to establish a firm planning environment which flows through to poor relationships and decisions under the RMA.

    The Review found that while the process for debating strongly opposing views has been marred by poor behaviour and reflects past grievances in some cases, the governance of ECan is functional and enables it to meet its statutory obligations.

    Mostly, the tensions that exist arise from differing political perspectives and not from any fundamental dysfunction.”

    Who still believe in the oldie but goodie – that ‘THERE SHOULD BE NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION’?

    Perhaps Cantabrians should withhold ECAN rates until they get their ‘democracy’ back?

    That’s what I would do.

    Penny Bright


    • Chooky 5.1

      +100 Penny…the annexing of a democratically elected ECAN by jonkey nactional was an absolute disgrace!…shame on his greedy gravy train jumpers…the unelected usurpers of ECAN !

      This is what he intends to do with the NZ flag also with his scurrilous band of wannabe, greedy paid helpers…when all the surveys show NZers want to keep their flag

  6. venezia 6

    So 475 online submissions were opposed to the Governments anti democratic model, but the 59 who were in favour swung the decision their way. I am so angry I am speechless!

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tokelau Language Week reminds us to stay united and strong
    Staying strong in the face of challenges and being true to our heritage and languages are key to preserving our cultural identity and wellbeing, is the focus of the 2020 Tokelau Language Week. Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says this year’s theme, ‘Apoapo tau foe, i nā tāfea ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Schools back donations scheme for the second year
    More schools have opted in to the donations scheme for 2021, compared to 2020 when the scheme was introduced. “The families of more than 447,000 students will be better off next year, with 94% of eligible schools and kura opting into the scheme,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Ruapehu cycle trails gets PGF boost
    The spectacular Mountains to Sea cycle trail in Ruapehu District will receive $4.6 million in funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for two additional trails, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is an exciting development for the local community, and one that will provide significant economic opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago