web analytics

When is the required referendum?

Written By: - Date published: 3:21 pm, April 20th, 2009 - 18 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, democracy under attack, uncategorized - Tags: , ,

democracy-under-attack1
I agree with the title of the Herald’s editoral today: “Let citizens have say on Super City“. Unfortunately, the editoral itself is wishy-washy.
Aucklanders do deserve to have a say on the super city proposal. They should get to vote yes or no on the supercity in referenda before anything is set in stone. In fact the government is required to do so.
I’ve just discovered that referenda are in fact required when there is a proposal to merge councils. Clause 49 of Schedule 3 of the Local Government Act states:
If a draft reorganisation scheme has been approved… a poll of electors on the proposal that the reorganisation scheme proceed must be held in each district or region that is directly affected by the scheme.
Strange, then, that we haven’t heard anything about referenda on the supercity. In fact as this enhanced* screenshot of the official site on the super city proposal shows, there isn’t a mention of having a referendum on the site.
lessdemocracy500Could it be that the Government intends to include in its legislation provisions to take away Aucklanders’ right to have their say in how their local government is organised? Rodney Hide earlier this month had this to say:
We need to act decisively if we are to achieve the timetable that will allow the new structure to be established before October next year. This will allow Aucklanders to have their say on whom they want to run their region and represent their communities.
To achieve that timetable it appears that Rodney wants to ignore the requirement to hold a referendum. That really would be an attack on democracy. To get the venal city structure that he wants and National is agreeing to, they will have to remove a protection on our democracy first.

*I’d suggest that they enhance the logo on the site as I did, to avoid also violating “truth in advertising” legislation.

[updated – put the correct clause in, clause 46 is who can authorise and clause 49 is the requirement for the poll]

18 comments on “When is the required referendum?”

  1. Rex Widerstrom 1

    Better to delay elections, if necessary, than deny voters a referendum. Hopefully a Question to the Minister as soon as Parliament resumes will clear this up.

  2. randal 2

    hey lp
    wodney always wants to ignore democratic process
    that would require listening to people and being civil
    the very thing he says he wants but the very thing he will not deal with
    Auckland deserves more than being railroaded by a gang of retailers and realtors
    the same sharks that held up reform when they could get more out of it but now it suits them to bulldoze the entire structure to achiever their venal ends

  3. the sprout 3

    Arrogant and out of touch already.

    What will they be like in a year’s time?

  4. Tigger 4

    Word is that Key has allowed Hide to run free on this issue – he’s said he just wants a result and doesn’t care how its done. So effectively this whole thing is one big ACT project. Not only does Rodney want to ignore due process, he’s throwing tantrums to push things through even faster.

    Hide doesn’t care about ‘Maori’ stuff either – he’s already been talking about any wards with Maori names in disparaging terms (literally ‘We don’t need that Maori sh*t’).

    Further word is that Rodney is already talking about selling council properties (the new Waitakere building was mentioned by name) and prepping council assets for sale post the next election.

  5. Jasper 5

    Ah, but if you read further, no poll is required if the matters pertain to one or more of Subclause 40.

    40 (2) b.,

    “whether or not good local government would be promoted by the inclusion of any part of the district or region in the district or region of another local authority (whether by the constitution of a new district or region or by the alteration of boundaries)”

    40 (2) c –
    whether or not the system of representation in the district or region best meets the “criteria in clause”

    and 40 (2) d-
    “Whether or not good local government of the district or region would be best promoted by
    (i) the system of communities (if any) and the responsibilities, duties, and powers of the community boards in the district or region; or
    (ii) an alternative system of communities; or
    (iii) a change in the responsibilities, duties, and powers of the community boards in the district or region”

    It looks like to me that there is no requirement for a poll.

    • lprent 5.1

      Wrong, they cannot approve under that clause. That simply gives criteria that they have to consider for simple reorganization related to shifts in the electorate – ie for demographic change. The key word is ‘solely’ in clause 49.

      They will have to approve under clause 46(1).

      49 Polls must be held
      (1) If a draft reorganisation scheme has been approved under clause 46, a poll of electors on the proposal that the reorganisation scheme proceed must be held in each district or region that is directly affected by the scheme.
      (2) Despite subclause (1), no poll of electors must be held on a reorganisation scheme that deals solely with 1 or more of the matters listed in clause 40(2)(b), (c), or (d).

      Damn just noticed that I’d accidentally put clause 46 in the post when I meant clause 49… Fixed.

  6. sean 6

    and which of those sub-clauses is relevant to the supercity? None of them.

    When Banks Peninsula merged with Christchurch City we had a referendum first.

  7. Rich 7

    I thought that, but was assuming they simply plan to pass legislation that removes the need for a referendum.

    • Ari 7.1

      In which case they’re leaving themselves wide-open for all sorts of attacks on how they’re repealing our democracy.

      • Rex Widerstrom 7.1.1

        And in which case I would hope to see a revival of the Free Speech Coalition. Looks like it was mothballed a little too quickly…

  8. Graeme 8

    While the point about needing democratic buy-in is well-made, the obvious and simple response to the idea that this is legally required is that:

    1. Schedule 3 applies to re-organisation proposals proposed under section 24 of the Local Government Act 2002.

    2. This is not a re-organisation proposal under section 24 of the Local Government Act 2002.

    3. Therefore schedule 3 does not apply.

    • lprent 8.1

      If this isn’t a re-organisation of the governing structure of Auckland – then what is it? In particular what act(s) are they going to hook this auckland legislation to?

      Or is this going to be a seperate act that obviates the Local Government Act? I think that we should raise a petition under the Local Government Act to change whatever Rodney brings in (assuming it as stupid as what he is currently proposing).

      I’m pretty sure that we can get a lot of support and easily 10% to get a reorganisation proposal under the Local Government Act.

      • Graeme 8.1.1

        This is going to be a separate law. It has to be.

        We’re to create an semi-executive Mayor, allow the mayor the appoint the deputy mayor and council chairs and propose the budget; create never-before seen local boards, etc. etc.

        It needs a new law if they’re going to do it.

  9. Jasper 9

    I stand corrected.

  10. jarbury 10

    This is an interesting issue that you’ve raised lprent. I have heard that the government wants to introduce an “Auckland Bill” – which I guess will try to bypass all these referendum issues. Perhaps the government is trying to push a dodgy “this is not amalgamation, but rather dis-establishment of all existing councils and re-establishment of one new council”.

    It is pretty dodgy though.

  11. wren 11

    Graeme, that’s only because the government is going to extraordinary steps to bypass the normal reorganisation process by putting up this Auckland Bill. Why can’t the Auckland Bill include a referendum like the normal process?

  12. Macro 12

    Dodgy it is! and that’s is just another example of the way this crowd work! Not one of them you could trust as far as you could throw them. The electors were warned before the election that it was a choice about who one could trust – many chose to ignore that warning and now the majority are paying for it. The people of Epsom have a lot to answer for!
    Despite Graeme’s legal exposition – it would still be worth a shot to challenge the proposed amalgamation in the Courts – and would HIGHLIGHT to the people of NZ just how dodgy and undemocratic this whole shoddy mess is.

  13. Adrian 13

    There is no democracy at the local level. When only about 30% of people vote how can one even talk about democracy?

    Maybe with a single council there will be more voter turn out. That can only be a good thing for the left. Usually the higher the voter turn out the better the left does. I live on the North Shore and with a very low turnout we got stuck with Williams or whatever his name is. How many of us can name any councillors let alone our community board members, or health board, or the many other boards and councils that we vote for every 3 years – usually based on a paragraph of information in the booklet that comes with the ballot.

    As soon as the sick council is put to sleep the better.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New Zealanders’ human rights better protected in new Bill
    The law setting out New Zealanders’ basic civil and human rights is today one step towards being strengthened following the first reading of a Bill that requires Parliament to take action if a court says a statute undermines those rights. At present, a senior court can issue a ‘declaration of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Deep concern at Hong Kong national security legislation
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong. “New Zealand shares the international community’s significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Government invests in New Zealand’s cultural recovery
    Thousands of artists and creatives at hundreds of cultural and heritage organisations have been given much-needed support to recover from the impact of COVID-19, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern announced today. “The cultural sector was amongst the worst hit by the global pandemic,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Better protection for New Zealand assets during COVID-19 crisis
    Key New Zealand assets will be better protected from being sold to overseas owners in a way contrary to the national interest, with the passage of the Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Bill. The Bill, which passed its third reading in Parliament today, also cuts unnecessary red tape to help attract ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
    Setting higher health standards at swimming spots Requiring urban waterways to be cleaned up and new protections for urban streams Putting controls on higher-risk farm practices such as winter grazing and feed lots Setting stricter controls on nitrogen pollution and new bottom lines on other measures of waterway health Ensuring ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
    The Government is on the verge of reaching its target of state sector boards and committees made up of at least 50 percent women, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter and Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa. For the first time, the Government stocktake measures the number of Māori, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • New appointments to the Commerce Commission
    The Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister and Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, has today announced the appointment of Tristan Gilbertson as the new Telecommunications Commissioner and member of the Commerce Commission. “Mr Gilbertson has considerable experience in the telecommunications industry and a strong reputation amongst his peers,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Historic pay equity settlement imminent for teacher aides
    The Ministry of Education and NZEI Te Riu Roa have agreed to settle the pay equity claim for teacher aides, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This will see more than 22,000 teacher aides, mostly women, being valued and paid fairly for the work they do. “Teacher aides are frontline ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt delivers security for construction subcontractors
    Subcontractors will have greater certainty, more cashflow support and job security with new changes to retention payments under the Construction Contracts Act says Minister for Building and Construction, Jenny Salesa. A recent review of the retentions money regime showed that most of the building and construction sector is complying with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand and Singapore reaffirm ties
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have marked the first anniversary of the New Zealand-Singapore Enhanced Partnership with a virtual Leaders’ Meeting today. The Enhanced Partnership, signed on 17 May 2019, provides the framework for cooperation across the four main areas of trade, defence and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • JOINT STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTERS OF NEW ZEALAND AND THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE ON THE FIRST AN...
    On 17 May 2019, New Zealand and Singapore established an Enhanced Partnership to elevate our relations. The Enhanced Partnership – based on the four pillars of trade and economics, security and defence, science, technology and innovation, and people-to-people links – has seen the long-standing relationship between our countries strengthen over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government investment supports the acquisition of new Interislander ferries
    State-Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters has welcomed KiwiRail’s announcement that it is seeking a preferred shipyard to build two new rail-enabled ferries for the Cook Strait crossing. “This Government is committed to restoring rail to its rightful place in New Zealand. Bigger, better ships, with new technology are yet another ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Better protection for seabirds
    Better protection for seabirds is being put in place with a new National Plan of Action to reduce fishing-related captures, Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today.   The National Plan of Action for Seabirds 2020 outlines our commitment to reduce fishing-related captures and associated seabird ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Milestone in cash flow support to SMEs
    Almost $1 billion in interest-free loans for small businesses More than 55,000 businesses have applied; 95% approved Average loan approx. $17,300 90% of applications from firms with ten or fewer staff A wide cross-section of businesses have applied, the most common are the construction industry, accommodation providers, professional firms, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government protects kids as smoking in cars ban becomes law
    Thousands of children will have healthier lungs after the Government’s ban on smoking in cars with kids becomes law, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. This comes after the third reading of Smoke-free Environments (Prohibiting Smoking in Motor Vehicles Carrying Children) Amendment Bill earlier today. “This law makes it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Parliament returns to a safe normal
    The special Epidemic Response Committee (ERC) has successfully concluded its role, Leader of the House Chris Hipkins said today. The committee was set up on 25 March by the agreement of Parliament to scrutinise the Government and its actions while keeping people safe during levels 4 and 3 of lockdown. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Foreign Minister makes four diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced four diplomatic appointments: New Zealand’s Ambassador to Belgium, High Commissioners to Nauru and Niue, and Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism. “As the world seeks to manage and then recover from COVID-19, our diplomatic and trade networks are more important than ever,” Mr Peters said. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Bill to counter violent extremism online
    New Zealanders will be better protected from online harm through a Bill introduced to Parliament today, says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin. “The internet brings many benefits to society but can also be used as a weapon to spread harmful and illegal content and that is what this legislation targets,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Mycoplasma bovis eradication reaches two year milestone in good shape
    New Zealand’s world-first plan to eradicate the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis is on track the latest technical data shows, says Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two years ago the Government, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand and industry partners made a bold decision to go hard and commit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New payment to support Kiwis through COVID
    Further support for New Zealanders affected by 1-in-100 year global economic shock 12-week payment will support people searching for new work or retraining Work programme on employment insurance to support workers and businesses The Government today announced a new temporary payment to support New Zealanders who lose their jobs due ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PGF reset helps regional economies
    The Provincial Growth Fund will play a vital role in New Zealand’s post-COVID-19 recovery by creating jobs in shorter timeframes through at least $600 million being refocused on projects with more immediate economic benefits, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The funding is comprised of repurposed Provincial Growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents
    Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector to fire back up quicker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Concern at introduction of national security legislation for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has reacted with concern at the introduction of legislation in China’s National People’s Congress relating to national security in Hong Kong.  “We have a strong interest in seeing confidence maintained in the ‘one country, two systems’ principle under which Hong ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Samoa Language Week theme is perfect for the post-COVID-19 journey
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, says the theme for the 2020 Samoa Language Week is a perfect fit for helping our Pacific communities cope with the unfolding COVID-19 crisis, and to prepare now for the journey ahead as New Zealand focuses on recovery plans and rebuilding New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Adult kakī/black stilt numbers soar
    A nearly 40-year programme to protect one of New Zealand’s most critically endangered birds is paying off, with a record number of adult kakī/black stilt recently recorded living in the wild, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. “Thanks to the team effort involved in the Department of Conservation’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Waikato-Tainui settlement story launched on 25th anniversary of Treaty signing
    The story of the Waikato-Tainui Treaty process and its enduring impact on the community is being told with a five-part web story launched today on the 25th anniversary of settlement, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “I am grateful to Waikato-Tainui for allowing us to help capture ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Taita College to benefit from $32 million school redevelopment
    Taita College in the Hutt Valley will be redeveloped to upgrade its ageing classrooms and leaky roofs, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “The work is long overdue and will make a lasting difference to the school for generations to come,” Chris Hipkins said. “Too many of our schools are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Redeployment for workers in hard-hit regions
    The Government is allocating $36.72 million to projects in regions hard hit economically by COVID-19 to keep people working, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Projects in Hawke’s Bay, Northland, Rotorua and Queenstown will be funded from the Government’s $100 million worker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • $35m to build financial resilience for New Zealanders
    A $35m boost to financial capability service providers funded by MSD will help New Zealanders manage their money better both day to day and through periods of financial difficulty, announced Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “It’s always been our position to increase support to key groups experiencing or at risk ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Dunedin barrister Melinda Broek has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Rotorua, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Broek has iwi affiliations to Ngai Tai. She commenced her employment in 1996 with Scholefield Cockroft Lloyd in Invercargill specialising in family and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $206 million investment in upgrades at Ohakea Air Force Base
    The Coalition Government has approved a business case for $206 million in upgrades to critical infrastructure at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea, with the first phase starting later this year, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The investment will be made in three phases over five years, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Review of CAA organisational culture released
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today released the Ministry of Transport’s review of the organisational culture at the Civil Aviation Authority. Phil Twyford says all employees are entitled to a safe work environment. “I commissioned this independent review due to the concerns I had about the culture within the CAA, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Board appointed at Stats NZ
    Ensuring that Stats NZ’s direction and strategy best supports government policy decisions will be a key focus for a new Governance Advisory Board announced today by the Minister for Statistics, James Shaw. The new Governance Advisory Board will provide strategic advice to Stats NZ to ensure it is meeting New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Principal Environment Judge
    Environment Judge David Kirkpatrick of Auckland has been appointed as the Principal Environment Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  Judge Kirkpatrick was appointed an Environment Judge in February 2014. From December 2013 to July 2016 he was Chair of the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel. Prior to appointment he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Digital connectivity boost for urban marae
    A programme to connect marae around the country to the internet has received $1.4 million to expand to include urban marae in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The funding for the Marae Connectivity Programme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt increases assistance to drought-stricken Hawke’s Bay farmers
    The Government will provide $500,000 to the Hawke’s Bay Mayoral Drought Relief Fund to help farmers facing one of the worst droughts in living memory, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Yesterday afternoon I received a letter from Hawke's Bay's five local Government leaders asking me to contribute to the Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Investment in New Zealand’s history
    Budget 2020 provides a major investment in New Zealand’s documentary heritage sector, with a commitment to leasing a new Archives Wellington facility and an increase in funding for Archives and National Library work. “Last year I released plans for a new Archives Wellington building – a purpose-built facility physically connected ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Driving prompt payments to small businesses
    Government Ministers are asking significant private enterprises to adopt prompt payment practices in line with the state sector, as a way to improve cashflow for small businesses. The Ministers of Finance, Small Business, Commerce and Consumer Affairs have written to more than 40 significant enterprises and banking industry representatives to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Rotorua tourist icon to be safeguarded
    Maori Arts and Crafts will continue to underpin the heart of the tourism sector says Minister for Maori Development Nanaia Mahuta.  “That’s why we are making a core investment of $7.6 million to Te Puia New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, over two years, as part of the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $14.7m for jobs training and education
    The Government is funding more pathways to jobs through training and education programmes in regional New Zealand to support the provinces’ recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson have announced. “New Zealand’s economic recovery will be largely driven by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago