Should coun­cil be in­volved?

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

The changes to the Lo­cal Govern­ment Act that al­lowed our city coun­cil to take it upon it­self to pro­mote the de­struc­tion of Porirua as an in­de­pen­dent city state very clearly that (only) af­fected elec­tors may de­mand a poll to de­ter­mine whether a fi­nal pro­posal (from the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion) will be put into place.

The leg­is­la­tion does not al­low a lo­cal au­thor­ity to con­strain the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion by way of re­quir­ing it to put the pro­posal to a com­mu­nity in a bind­ing referendum.

Not only that, but the act pro­hibits a lo­cal au­thor­ity from us­ing any of its money or re­sources to ei­ther pro­mote or op­pose the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the fi­nal pro­posal.

It is clear that the coun­cil can­not call for a poll on a fi­nal pro­posal and that if elec­tors suc­cess­fully pe­ti­tion for a poll, then the coun­cil can­not spend money or re­sources ei­ther sup­port­ing or op­pos­ing the poll it­self (as that would be op­pos­ing or pro­mot­ing the fi­nal pro­posal).

How then is it that our mayor and coun­cil­lors have been telling our com­mu­nity that they have put for­ward an amal­ga­ma­tion pro­posal on the ba­sis that it will be adopted only if a bind­ing referendum sup­ports it?

Once the coun­cil sub­mit­ted its pro­posal, it lost all con­trol of the process. Which of th­ese rep­re­sen­ta­tives of our com­mu­nity is go­ing to ini­ti­ate the re­quired pe­ti­tion and en­sure that at least 10 per cent of elec­tors sign it?

Is this re­ally the skill level we de­serve from our elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives? Or is it a mat­ter of in­tegrity in­stead?

Ei­ther way, per­haps this year the un­heard 60 per cent will ac­tu­ally make a choice for more com­pe­tent gov­er­nance around the coun­cil ta­ble.

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