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Twyford: Will Bill Remove Aucklanders Right To Decide?

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Phil Twyford
Phil Twyford

4 May 2009 - The Government must confirm whether the legislation it plans to ram through under urgency will deny Aucklanders the right to vote on the proposed Super City, says Labour's Auckland issues spokesperson Phil Twyford.

Local Government Minister Rodney Hide today confirmed the Government has immediate plans to introduce several Bills into Parliament. The first Bill will establish the Auckland Council as a legal entity and will move to constrain the decision-making powers of the existing councils.

"What also appears likely is that the urgency legislation will be used to prevent Aucklanders from exercising their rights to a referendum on the plans. The Local Government Act provides for a poll of electors to be held before reorganisation of local government occurs," says Phil Twyford.

"The Government must confirm immediately whether it will use urgency to remove this right, which would give Aucklanders the chance to decide on the final shape of the Super City.

"National made fundamental changes to the recommendations made by the Royal Commission on this issue, and there are no guarantees whatsoever the select committee process will result in the Government listening to Aucklanders' views.

"If the select committee hearings held on the proposed Resource Management Act changes in Auckland last week are anything to go by, the consultation process would be nothing but a sham exercise," says Phil Twyford.

"Prime Minister John Key and several of his ministers have spent the last few weeks pretending to play good cop to Mr Hide's bad cop, suggesting that none of the Auckland governance proposals are set in stone.

"But today's announcements, including the details of the major Bill setting out the new structure of Auckland's local governance, make it clear that none of their plans have changed at all.

"National promised in its election manifesto that it would consult Aucklanders once the Royal Commissions recommendations were known. It hasn't done this, and in the wake of the doublespeak over the past few weeks, it is even more imperative that it seeks a proper mandate," says Phil Twford.

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