Tag Archives: Legislation

Asbestos contamination at Dunedin Railway Station

[womentravelnz.com]

There’s a new tenancy at the Dunedin Railway Station.

People working on the project had been told the whole underfloor area was safe to enter; that there was plastic down.

Turns out the plastic cover ran short, and a number of site workers had crawled across bare dirt, kicking up a lot of dust as they went – it was found the area had been contaminated with asbestos.

We understand workmen from several companies have been affected.

The Dunedin Railway Station is a council owned property. Affected sitemen have since had their names added to the WorkSafe Asbestos Exposure Database; and Health and Safety meetings have been called to review safety drills and gear provision.

It appears a few people have slipped up along the ‘food chain’ of managerial responsibility for the workers, starting with DCC management (the building owner).

We hear DCC is now paying for workers to be educated on what protection gear they must wear on exposed asbestos worksites.

Related Post and Comments:
19.6.16 Thoughts on ODT Insight : Chris Morris investigates Asbestos plague

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Pike River realities surface . . .

At Twitter:

****

Video at ODT Online:

The father of one of the men killed in the Pike River mining disaster says the families have always believed the Government wasn’t telling the truth about mine safety.

Mon, 1 May 2017
ODT: Pike video shows men in mine after blast
The Government has long said high concentrations of methane inside the mine make it too risky to re-enter to retrieve the bodies of the 29 men killed in the November 2010 blast, because the gas could explode. But footage leaked to Newshub yesterday showed two Mines Rescue workers inside the mine three months after the explosion, with no gloves, apparently relaxed as they fashioned a makeshift cover for a robot out of cardboard and tape. The robot is seen to be steaming or smoking well inside the mine, but the workers do not panic – and nothing explodes. Bernie Monk, whose son Michael was killed in the November 2010 explosion in the West Coast coal mine, said the newly leaked footage did not come as a surprise. Cont/

****

At Twitter:

****

nzherald.co.nz Uploaded on Nov 23, 2010
Raw video: Robot camera inside Pike River mine
First pictures from inside the Pike River mine which show the miner’s helmet and mine damage.

Business Leaders’ Health & Safety Forum Published on Oct 21, 2013
Case Study: Pike River
View the full case study here:
http://www.zeroharm.org.nz/leadership/case-studies/pike-river/

Graeme Axford Published on Oct 31, 2014
Pike River families believe photos show bodies
Friday 31 Oct 2014 8:06 p.m.
It is understood that a decision from Solid Energy on whether it will allow recovery teams to re-enter the drift of the Pike River mine is imminent. The drift is not the mine itself, but the two-kilometre tunnel that leads to the mine.
Families of the victims are desperate for a mission to collect evidence and to see if there are any bodies in the drift.
They say if Solid Energy won’t do it, they will. They say they know there are bodies in the mine, and tonight, with their blessing and for the first time, we can show you their evidence. Dean Dunbar, the father of lost miner Joseph Dunbar, spoke with Campbell Live producer Kate McCallum. Watch the full interview with Dean Dunbar.

Division of Humanities, University of Otago Published on Jul 4, 2016
███ Pike River – How could this happen in this day and age?
Colin Smith, Chairman on the Pike River Families Group Committee and the Pike River 29 Legacy Trust, talks about the Pike River disaster and asks ‘how could this happen in this day and age’? Find out why the Pike River Families have fought so hard and for so long. Colin Smith is a law graduate from the University of Otago and is a partner with the Greymouth Law Firm Hannan & Seddon.

RNZ Published on Jan 23, 2017
Pike River survivor Daniel Rockhouse believes it’s safe to enter: RNZ Checkpoint
Pike River mine survivor Daniel Rockhouse believes the mine’s drift is safe to enter, and is willing to be among the first party that goes in.

****

davedobbynmusic Published on Dec 15, 2014
Dave Dobbyn – This Love (Live Perfomance)
‘This Love’ by Dave Dobbyn with the Orpheus Choir of Wellington is a moving tribute to the 29 men who died in the Pike River Mine explosion.
The piece was first performed at a concert attended by members of the miners’ bereaved families and was recorded by Radio NZ Concert. The choral arrangement is by Mark Dorrell. Also performing are Wellington Young Voices, Mark Vanilau (piano), Jo Barus (bass), Ross Burge (drums) and Chris Clark (cornet). With special thanks to TVNZ and Satellite Media – taken from the TVNZ documentary ‘Dreams Lie Deeper’.

Related Post and Comments:
24.1.13 Pike River, Department of Internal Affairs #skippingthebusiness

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Thoughts on ODT Insight : Chris Morris investigates Asbestos plague

 

asbestos - dob in a dumper [illawarramercury.com.au]Dob in an asbestos dumper [illawarramercury.com.au]

B E L A T E D L Y
Cowboy New Zealand Governments wake up after YEARS of Devastating Sleep.

New Zealand’s asbestos death toll will climb to about 5100, excluding deaths from asbestosis, which were difficult to determine, a WorkSafe spokesman said. It was expected the peak of asbestos-related disease would not be reached until sometime between 2030 and 2040, the spokesman said. (ODT)

Is the Dunedin City Council opening its eyes quickly enough even with the Amalgamated Workers’ Union (AWUNZ) on its tail ? Good council workmen dead and memorialised in photographs, frightening….

“They worked regularly with the city’s asbestos water pipes – cutting and grinding, kicking up asbestos dust and sweeping up the mess later.” (ODT)

Asbestos cement pipe [cep.bessens.free.fr]Asbestos Magnesia Pipe Insulation [Asbestorama via Flickr.com]Weathered asbestos cement pipe [cep.bessens.free.fr] and asbestos insulation wrap [Asbestorama via flickr.com]

HOW MANY Dunedin City Council (DCC) staff, work crews, contractors and subcontractors have been required to work with asbestos product and exposure to fibres over the years —without comprehensive safety training and correctly specified respirators and safety clothing for individual protection ?
The answer is likely to be unlimited numbers.
Has anything changed at DCC ?
Have all asbestos contaminated DCC-owned sites and work areas been identified to date ?
Are formal protocols and a register in place for personnel who believe they may have been exposed to asbestos and require admittance to a testing regime ?

Asbestos WarningProper warning [shutterstock.com]

ODT Insight: Asbestos: The Silent Killer

### ODT Online Sat, 18 Jun 2016
Asbestos toll will grow
By Chris Morris
The death toll from asbestos-related disease in New Zealand will continue to climb for decades to come, despite a ban on imports of building materials containing the toxic mineral. Environment Minister Nick Smith on Wednesday announced New Zealand would join more than 50 other countries in banning the importation of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs), beginning on October 1, unless exemptions were granted. The move was designed to further reduce the “appalling” death toll caused by asbestos, used in building products for more half a century. It now claimed an estimated 170 lives a year, he said.
Read more

[DCC tragedy] ODT: Suspicions of cancer cluster
Former Dunedin City Council water maintenance staff based at the Midlands St yard say the risks of asbestos were not understood and early precautions inadequate […] a solemn memorial to 14 men taken too soon – photographs of the dead, showing men lost to lung, bowel or prostate cancer, pinned to a noticeboard in the Dunedin City Council’s former Midland St workers’ yard.

ODT: Asbestos: ‘We were totally ignorant’ of risk’ (+ video)
ODT: Asbestos claimed him (+ video)

Other stories:

11.5.16 ODT: Asbestos likely to be cost in future
Asbestos may impact the financial health of the Dunedin City Council’s coffers in years to come but the extent of the cost remains unknown, councillors heard at yesterday’s annual plan deliberations. Group chief financial officer Grant McKenzie told councillors work was under way at present to establish the extent of asbestos use and issues in council-owned assets, but the cost to rectify it would not be known until the investigation was complete.

4.5.16 ODT: Removing asbestos pipes
The Dunedin City Council says it will remove decaying asbestos pipes from public land after their existence at Sullivans Dam was noted by the Amalgamated Workers Union. The pipes are beside sheds near the entrance to the popular fishing spot in Leith Valley Rd. The council yesterday said it had not known the pipes were there.

21.4.16 ODT: Asbestos at pool no threat to public
The Dunedin City Council says there is no immediate threat to the public following the discovery of asbestos at Moana Pool. During a maintenance check of the building early last week, asbestos was discovered in the pump storage area under the pool level of the building and in restricted storage areas away from the pool.

20.4.16 ODT: No ‘immediate health risk’ from Moana Pool asbestos
Group Manager Parks and Recreation Richard Saunders said the maintenance checks identified further inspection and testing for asbestos was needed at several sites, of which Moana Pool was one. […] Initial inspections have been carried out at two other buildings – the Sims building in Port Chalmers, which is leased to a club, and a storage shed located next to Tahuna Park used by Parks and Recreation staff and contractors.

16.4.16 ODT: Council denies asbestos danger
A union says the public could easily have been exposed to cut and broken asbestos pipes left unsecured in a sometimes unattended Mosgiel yard. The Amalgamated Workers Union (AWU) said the pipes at the Dunedin City Council’s Mosgiel wastewater treatment plant were not in a safe state and could have been accessed by children in the residential street.

Asbestos Cement Pipe - close-up of Crocidolite & Chrysotile [Asbestorama via Flickr.com]Asbestos cement pipe, close-up of Crocidolite and Chrysotile
[Asbestorama via flickr.com]

ASBESTOS (pronounced /æsˈbɛstəs/, /æzˈbɛstəs/ or /æzˈbɛstɒs/) is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals, which all have in common their eponymous asbestiform habit: long (roughly 1:20 aspect ratio), thin fibrous crystals, with each visible fiber composed of millions of microscopic “fibrils” that can be released by abrasion and other processes. They are commonly known by their colors, as blue asbestos, brown asbestos, white asbestos, and green asbestos.

Asbestos mining existed more than 4,000 years ago, but large-scale mining began at the end of the 19th century, when manufacturers and builders began using asbestos for its desirable physical properties: sound absorption, average tensile strength, resistance to fire, heat, electricity, and affordability. It was used in such applications as electrical insulation for hotplate wiring and in building insulation. When asbestos is used for its resistance to fire or heat, the fibres are often mixed with cement or woven into fabric or mats. These desirable properties made asbestos very widely used. Asbestos use continued to grow through most of the 20th century until public knowledge (acting through courts and legislatures) of the health hazards of asbestos dust outlawed asbestos in mainstream construction and fireproofing in most countries.

Prolonged inhalation of asbestos fibres can cause serious and fatal illnesses including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis (a type of pneumoconiosis). Illness from asbestos exposure can be found in records dating back to Roman times. Concern in modern times began in the 20th century and escalated during the 1920s and 1930s. By the 1980s and 1990s asbestos trade and use was heavily restricted, phased out, or banned outright in an increasing number of countries.

The severity of asbestos-related diseases, the material’s extremely widespread use in many areas of life, its continuing long-term use after harmful health effects were known or suspected, and the slow emergence of symptoms decades after exposure ceased made asbestos litigation the longest, most expensive mass tort in U.S. history and a much lesser legal issue in most other countries involved. Asbestos-related liability also remains an ongoing concern for many manufacturers, insurers and reinsurers.
Read more at Wikipedia: Asbestos

Myth: Asbestos Fibres are firmly locked in a cement matrix.
Fact: Asbestos Fibres are readily released from deteriorated or weathered surfaces.

Myth: Asbestos-cement cannot be crumbled to powder by hand pressure.
Fact: Products such as asbestos-cement corrugated siding become friable from damage.

Myth: Asbestos-cement products present no exposure hazard to building occupants.
Fact: Asbestos roofing and siding can release fibres inside as well as outside the building. Not all asbestos-cement roofing and siding remain in as good condition. In many countries, the inside of asbestos-cement roofing and siding is subject to the normal activities of the occupants that can release fibres from the surfaces. An asbestos-cement panel can be vibrated by wind, causing some abrasion of the edges.

Myth: Asbestos-cement pipes present no health or environmental hazard.
Fact: Health and environmental hazards start during the manufacturing process when the ends of the pipes are ground and the waste is disposed of carelessly. Fine dust produced during installation of the pipes is a hazard to the workers and community. When the pipes are dug up and removed, fibres are released as they are broken and crushed. Pressure pipe for water distribution was made with crocidolite and amosite as well as chrysotile.

Myth: Paint and encapsulants offer permanent protection against asbestos fibre release.
Fact: Paint and encapsulants deteriorate and take asbestos fibres with them when they peel off. Why is it necessary to protect a material that is touted for its weather-resistance and durability, yet encapsulants for asbestos-cement roofing and siding are widely marketed. Encapsulants are a form of paint, and a good paint job begins with surface preparation. The hope is that no one sands asbestos-cement roofing and siding before they paint or encapsulate it, because of the obvious dust and health hazard created.

█ NEW ZEALAND LEGISLATION

The Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016 came into force on 4 April 2016. They set out the new rules around the removal of asbestos, and the circumstances where WorkSafe must be notified.

New licensing system for asbestos removal
A national licensing system for asbestos removal was introduced on 4 April 2016. The licences available under the new asbestos regulations are:

Type of licence : What asbestos can be removed?

Class A
Any type or quantity of asbestos or asbestos containing material, including:
• any amount of friable asbestos or asbestos containing material (ACM)
• any amount of asbestos contaminated dust or debris (ACD)
• any amount of non-friable asbestos or ACM.

Class B
Any amount of non-friable asbestos or ACM
ACD associated with removing any amount of non-friable asbestos or ACM.

No licence is required for removing:
• up to 10 m2 of non-friable asbestos or asbestos-containing material over the whole course of the removal project for the site
• asbestos-contaminated dust that is associated with this volume of asbestos or asbestos-containing material, and/or any associated minor volume of asbestos-contaminated dust or debris.

A new role of asbestos assessor has been developed. A licensed asbestos assessor will provide air quality monitoring during removal work, inspect the finished job and provide a clearance certificate. A licensed asbestos assessor will be required to assess Class A asbestos removal work from 2018 onwards.

Current Certificate of Competence holders will be able to continue removing asbestos (in the categories specified on their certificate), and supervise asbestos removal, until their certificate expires.

Related Posts and Comments:
11.5.16 DCC DRAFT Annual Plan 2016/17 —Harden up, Council [survey budget]
10.4.16 DCC: Council meeting Mon 11 April at 1pm [DCC sites – see Comments]
25.11.15 Mayor Cull and the GREAT Asbestos Defeat ….trucks in toxic waste
27.1.10 Stadium: CST to clean up contaminated land
14.10.09 Questions about landfill charges + DCC reveals contaminated sites

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAAsbestos-cement roofing before and after cleaning [specialistroofcleaning.com]

Asbestos-cement roof shingles [Asbestorama at flickr.com]Asbestorama: Asbestos-cement roof shingles [flickr.com]

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‘I Find That Offensive!’ – recommended by Patrik Schumacher · Mar 25

Book by Claire Fox - 'I Find That Offensive!' - front cover [bitebackpublishing.com]BOOK PROMO [by tweet]

‘I Find That Offensive!’ (Provocations Series)
By Claire Fox

When you hear that now ubiquitous phrase ‘I find that offensive’, you know you’re being told to shut up. While the terrible murder of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists demonstrated that those who offend can face the most brutal form of censorship, it also served only to intensify the pre-existing climate that dictates we all have to walk on eggshells to avoid saying anything offensive – or else.

Indeed, competitive offence-claiming is ratcheting up well beyond religious sensibilities. So, while Islamists and feminists may seem to have little in common, they are both united in demanding retribution in the form of bans, penalties and censorship of those who hurt their feelings.

But how did we become so thin-skinned? In ‘I Find That Offensive!’ Claire Fox addresses the possible causes of what is fast becoming known as ‘Generation Snowflake’ head-on (no ‘safe spaces’ here) in a call to toughen up, become more robust and make a virtue of the right to be offensive.

PROVOCATIONS is a groundbreaking new series of short polemics composed by some of the most intriguing voices in contemporary culture and edited by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. Sharp, intelligent and controversial, Provocations provides insightful contributions to the most vital discussions in society today.

“An ambitious new series that tackles the controversy of the topics explored with a mixture of intelligence and forthright argument from some excellent writers.” — The Observer

Bitebackpublishing.com

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26.3.16 New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 —Section 14

█ Enter the terms *post removed*, *removed*, *rephrased* or *video animation removed* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 —Section 14

█ The Act (government legislation): http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1990/0109/latest/DLM224792.html

MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
About the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (Guidelines) Link

The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 [NZBORA] was enacted to affirm, protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms in New Zealand. The Act also affirms New Zealand’s commitment to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) on which the rights and freedoms it contains are based.

When it was enacted, the Bill of Rights Act did not create any new rights but merely confirmed existing common law rights. The Act does not reflect all ICCPR rights; however, section 28 provides that, just because a right or freedom is not expressly provided for in the Act, that does not mean that the right or freedom does not exist or is otherwise restricted. The right or freedom is given effect by other legislation and by common law. For instance, while the ICCPR contains a right to privacy, the Bill of Rights does not. Nonetheless, the Privacy Act 1993, together with the common law tort of privacy, provides for rights of personal privacy.

The rights and freedoms
The Bill of Rights Act affirms the following rights and freedoms:
● the right not to be deprived of life (section 8)
● the right not to be subjected to torture or cruel treatment (section 9)
● the right not to be subjected to medical or scientific experimentation (section 10)
● the right to refuse to undergo medical treatment (section 11)
● electoral rights (section 12)
● the freedom of thought, conscience, and religion (section 13)
● the freedom of expression (section 14)
● the right to manifest religion and belief (section 15)
● the freedom of peaceful assembly (section 16)
● the freedom of association (section 17)
● the freedom of movement (section 18)
● the right to freedom from discrimination (section 19)
● rights of minorities (section 20)
● the right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure (section 21)
● the right not to be arbitrarily arrested or detained (section 22)
● rights of persons arrested or detained (section 23)
● rights of persons charged with an offence (section 24)
● rights to minimum standards of criminal procedure (section 25)
● the right not to be liable to retroactive penalties or double jeopardy (section 26), and
● the right to natural justice (section 27).

Application
The Bill of Rights Act is designed to protect individuals (natural persons) and legal persons (such as corporations) from the actions of the State (section 29). The Act applies to any acts done by the legislative, executive or judicial branches of the government, or by any person or body performing a public function, power or duty conferred or imposed by or pursuant to law (section 3).

Limitations
The rights and freedoms contained in the Bill of Rights Act are not absolute but may only be subject to reasonable limits that are prescribed by law and can be “demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society”. If a limitation does not satisfy this test then the legislative provision, policy or practice is inconsistent with the relevant section of the Bill of Rights Act.

The Bill of Rights Act does not have the status of supreme law. This means that the Courts cannot use the Act to repeal, revoke, or invalidate other legislation. In the event of an inconsistency between the Bill of Rights Act and another enactment, the other enactment must prevail (section 4). The Bill of Rights Act, however, includes two important safeguards to help protect human rights.
Cont/

Permission to speak [Douglas Field 25.3.16] 1Douglas Field 25.3.16

MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
The Guidelines on the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990: A Guide to the Rights and Freedoms in the Bill of Rights Act for the Public Sector

Introduction to sections 12 – 18: Democratic and Civil Rights Link
Sections 12 – 18 of the Bill of Rights Act concern the fundamental rights and freedoms that are essential to an individual’s effective representation and meaningful participation in the public life of a democratic society.

Section 12 Electoral Rights
Section 13 Freedom of Thought
Section 14 Freedom of expression*
Section 15 Manifestation of religion and belief
Section 16 Freedom of peaceful assembly
Section 17 Freedom of association
Section 18 Freedom of Movement

….

Section 14 – Freedom of expression Link
Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.

[excerpt]
What every policy analyst needs to know about section 14:

● There are very few activities that will not be protected by the freedom of expression because most human activity has an expressive element (including political, artistic and commercial expression).
● Speech or an expression that is considered important to the ability of individuals to participate in core democratic processes, for example in elections, and political and social speech, is likely to enjoy a very high degree of protection.
● A fundamental aspect of the right to freedom of expression is that it extends to protecting all information and opinion, however unpopular, offensive or distasteful.
● The right generally protects all expression that conveys or attempts to convey meaning except expressive activity that takes the form of violence.
● Even though the right extends to all types of opinions, certain categories of expression (e.g., advertising, pornography or speech that incites racial violence) are more likely to be subject to reasonable limitations than others (e.g., political and social speech).
● The scope of section 14 means that as all forms of expression except those that take the form of violence are protected by the right, any restriction on expressive activity will be considered in the context of section 5 of the Bill of Rights Act.
● Freedom of expression includes the right to say nothing or the right not to say certain things.
● The opinions or views do not have to be held by that individual – the protection broadens out to include anyone else who subsequently communicates or disseminates those ideas or opinions.
● The right to seek and receive information may involve consideration of other statutory frameworks such as the Official Information Act 1982 or the Privacy Act 1993.

█ In Brief: Your rights under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act (PDF)
[click to enlarge]

Ministry of Justice Your rights under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act

█ Enter the terms *removed*, *post removed* or *video animation removed* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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TV3 The Nation —Interview: Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier

TV3 The Nation. Interview Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier 19.3.16

Interview: Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier
Saturday 19 Mar 2016 10:56 a.m.
The new Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier speaks to Lisa Owen about his plans to overhaul the office and how he expects the Government to deal with public information.
View the TV3 Video (11:25)

Twitter: The Nation @TheNationTV3
Website: http://www.newshub.co.nz/TVShows/TheNation

Who is the Ombudsman?
There are currently two: Judge Peter Boshier and Professor Ron Paterson.
Judge Boshier began his term as Chief Ombudsman on 10 December 2015.
Ron Paterson was appointed an Ombudsman on 4 June 2013.
http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/about-us/who-is-the-ombudsman

Ombudsman —Fairness for all
http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/

Wikipedia: Office of the Ombudsman (New Zealand)

█ 22.1.16 Stuff: New chief ombudsman promises to be a fearless operator
New chief ombudsman Judge Peter Boshier plans to be a fearless operator, with every intention of using his title and its “spectre” to draw attention to unacceptable practices. “I’m not going to resile from saying things publicly in a considered, measured way when I think that’s justified. That’s what I did as the principal court judge and that’s what I’ll bring to this job,” he said.

█ 16.1.16 RNZ: New Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier (with Kathryn Ryan)
Former Principal Family Court Judge Peter Boshier was one of our highest profile judges during his eight years in that role, and intends to bring the same openness to his new role as Chief Ombudsman.
Audio | Downloads: Ogg MP3 (24’39”)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: TV3 The Nation – screenshot by whatifdunedin

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Screening tonight: Paradigm Episode 2! Local Government Corruption in NZ #Sky #YouTube

Updated post
Tue, 15 Sep 2015 at 1:25 a.m.

███ A “MUST” WATCH
Vincent Eastwood Published on Sep 14, 2015
Local Governance & Corruption, Paradigm Episode 2 Vinny Eastwood
Episode 2 of PARADIGM broadcasted on Face TV Sky Channel 083 on September 14th 2015 at 9pm NZT

TOPIC: Local Governance & Corruption
GUESTS: Bruce Rogan from the Mangawhai Residents and Ratepayers Association with activist and Mayoral candidate Penny Bright.
● How privatisation and secretive powerful roundtable groups (comprised mostly of large companies) have led to the rise of unelected, unaccountable officials.
● The utter refusal of EVERY SINGLE AUTHORITY in New Zealand to investigate corruption.
The police, the judiciary, the ombudsman, the minister for local government, the auditor general, political parties, the list goes on, every authority whose job is to investigate, prevent or punish corruption actually supports it!
● Why local citizens have no rights and why local government has no rules.

FACE FACT KIWIS
Believing NZ is corruption free was the very mechanism by which criminals took control of our country. The only reason NZ is #2 on Transparency International’s “perceived” least corrupt countries in the world list, is we’re the 2nd best in the world at concealing our corruption.

Vincent Eastwood Published on Sep 12, 2015
Paradigm Episode 2 coming soon! Local Government Corruption
PLEASE SHARE THIS!
Help me get as many people as possible to watch the show tomorrow night!
9pm NZT

Received. [names deleted]
Mon, 14 Sep 2015 at 4:00 p.m.

Re: DOCO ON CORRUPTION, AND MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL.

Tonight (14 September, 9:00pm) on Sky channel 83 there will be an episode of Paradigm which will feature the Kaipara Scam. Paradigm is a program that is the brainchild of a guy called Vinny Eastwood, and it is not an exaggeration to say that Vinny has picked up the ball that John Campbell (or rather Channel 3) dropped. Promo for the programme is at https://www.facebook.com/vincenteastwood/videos/10153220793607879/
Vinny has a deceptively casual and disarming manner that belies a very serious commitment to exposing corruption and fraud (he calls it scumbaggery).
As an MRRA member you will already be aware of the degree of scumbaggery besetting Kaipara, but it is highly unlikely that your friends and relations will grasp the scale of what is happening in New Zealand. Please do yourself a favour and send this email to everyone in your circle, especially your adult children, who are going to be wealth-stripped by the corporates that are taking over. Add your personal plea that they take a few minutes away from Coronation Street and watch something that might actually affect their lives.
Our financial year ends on 31 October. We want everyone to renew their membership please and we want new members from all over the country (world!) as we mount the final campaign to get justice for the country’s ratepayers. Please renew – don’t just leave it to the other guys to carry all the water. What other association can you think of that supplies over forty free informative newsletters per year?!, and has an executive team that is prepared to go to jail to defend your rights! (informative might be stretching it, but beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, going to jail is still a real possibility!).
The annual sub is still only $15.00 per family, or $10.00 single, and we have put no limit on donations, because we do not want to discourage that philanthropic person out there with $100,000 they have no further use for.
The account number is 38 9012 0318164 00 or cheques to MRRA at Box 225 Mangawhai 0540. Make sure please to include your membership number […], and if you are a new member please provide a name and phone number so we can call you and get all the details.

Kind regards,
MRRA Executive Committee.
[Mangawhai Residents and Ratepayers Association]

█ More at Kaipara Concerns (online news):

LOCAL GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION SCAM 14.09.2015
Tonight, Monday night (14 September 2015), 9pm on Face (access) TV. Sky network channel 83.

NZ’s MASSIVE Local Government Corruption Scam, Paradigm Episode 2

Bruce Rogan (Mangawhai Ratepayers) and Penny Bright interviewed by Vinny Eastwood on council corruption in New Zealand.

See the promo video here. #Facebook

See Bruce Rogan’s rates revolt speech here. #YouTube

Related Posts and Comments:
28.8.15 Joel Cayford: ‘Mangawhai Ratepayers at Court of Appeal’
2.2.15 LGNZ run by Mad Rooster Yule, end of story
27.11.14 Auditor-general Lyn Provost #Resign
31.10.14 Whaleoil on “dodgy ratbag local body politicians” —just like ours at DCC
9.9.14 Mangawhai, Kaipara: Latest news + Winston Peter’s speech
19.7.14 Whaleoil / Cameron Slater on ratepayers’ lament
12.6.14 Fairfax Media [not ODT] initiative on Local Bodies
29.5.14 Mangawhai Ratepayers and Residents Assn wins at High Court
11.4.14 Councils: Unaccountable, ready to tax? #DCC #ORC
31.3.14 Audit services to (paying) local bodies #FAIL ● AuditNZ ● OAG…
29.1.14 Mangawhai, Kaipara —we hear ya!
3.12.13 LGNZ: OAG report on Kaipara
12.11.13 Northland council amalgamation
29.6.13 Audit NZ and OAG clean bill of health —Suspicious!
21.4.13 Councils “in stchook” —finance & policy analyst Larry.N.Mitchell
19.3.12 Local government reform
21.2.12 Kaipara this time

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Joel Cayford: ‘Mangawhai Ratepayers at Court of Appeal’

Link received. [Hooray!]
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 at 10:50 a.m.

Joel Cayford (via Twitter)### joelcayford.blogspot.co.nz Thu, 27 August 2015
Mangawhai Ratepayers at Court of Appeal

Joel Cayford [‘Reflections on Auckland Planning’] updates the Court of Appeal hearing (25-26 August) – Mangawhai Ratepayers and Residents Association v Kaipara District Council – in front of Justice Rhys Harrison, Justice Mark Cooper, and Justice Forrest Miller.

Mangawhai Ratepayers and Residents Association (MRRA) is represented by Matthew Palmer QC and barrister Kitt Littlejohn. David Goddard QC represents the council.

Cayford summarises the “causes of action for this hearing – which followed the judicial review heard by Justice Heath (posts here and here)”:

“that the Kaipara District Council (KDC) does not have the power to rate for unlawful purposes. That KDC acted unlawfully in deciding to enter into and expand the Ecocare Wastewater Scheme, and that it could not then enforce rates on ratepayers.

“that the Validation Act did not retrospectively validate ALL matters stemming from those unlawful decisions. It only validated various historic rating defects. Significant matters – including the additional $30,000,000 loan were not dealt with or validated by the Validation Act.

“that the KDC acted inconsistently with the Bill of Rights Act by initiating Validation Legislation which had an effect of undermining MRRA judicial review proceedings – to which they had a right.”

Of critical interest, Cayford says Matthew Palmer, in his closing, “told the Justices, to the effect: “a consequence of adopting the arguments of my learned friend would mean that any Council in New Zealand can breech Local Government Act provisions with impunity, leave ratepayers with the bill, and mean that Long Term Plans all become window-dressing, ratepayer submissions become meaningless. That cannot have been what Parliament intended.””

█ Read Cayford’s excellent post and reader comments here.

LinkedIn: Joel Cayford

Although the Court of Appeal ruling is some way off, fallout might very well illuminate effects of the Dunedin stadium rort, council debt loading and issues of general competency.

Related Posts and Comments:
2.2.15 LGNZ run by Mad Rooster Yule, end of story
27.11.14 Auditor-general Lyn Provost #Resign
31.10.14 Whaleoil on “dodgy ratbag local body politicians” —just like ours at DCC
9.9.14 Mangawhai, Kaipara: Latest news + Winston Peter’s speech
19.7.14 Whaleoil / Cameron Slater on ratepayers’ lament
12.6.14 Fairfax Media [not ODT] initiative on Local Bodies
29.5.14 Mangawhai Ratepayers and Residents Assn wins at High Court
11.4.14 Councils: Unaccountable, ready to tax? #DCC #ORC
31.3.14 Audit services to (paying) local bodies #FAIL ● AuditNZ ● OAG…
29.1.14 Mangawhai, Kaipara —we hear ya!
3.12.13 LGNZ: OAG report on Kaipara
12.11.13 Northland council amalgamation
29.6.13 Audit NZ and OAG clean bill of health —Suspicious!
21.4.13 Councils “in stchook” —finance & policy analyst Larry.N.Mitchell
19.3.12 Local government reform
21.2.12 Kaipara this time

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Stadium: DCC proposes extra funds for stadium debt repayment

Comment received from Mike
Submitted on 2014/05/11 at 12:42 pm

Now is a great time to remind people of section 63 the Local Government Act which reads:

Restriction on lending to council-controlled trading organisation
A local authority must not lend money, or provide any other financial accommodation, to a council-controlled trading organisation on terms and conditions that are more favourable to the council-controlled trading organisation than those that would apply if the local authority were (without charging any rate or rate revenue as security) borrowing the money or obtaining the financial accommodation.

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2002/0084/latest/DLM171886.html

Which as I read it means that the council can’t fund DVML in a more advantageous way than it would receive itself from its own bankers – my reading of this is that just bailing DVML because it’s losing money would be illegal, they have to loan them money at a comparative rate to what they would get from the bank.

It’s an obvious target for a ratepayer’s injunction …..

The reason for this law is pretty obvious, the government wanted CCOs to compete with private enterprise on a level playing field – if DVML wants to rent out space it shouldn’t be able to undercut a competing landlord who can’t tap the ratepayers’ pockets to charge a rent below cost.

[ends]

****

Dunedin City Council – Media Release 9 May 2014
Extra Funds Proposed for Stadium Debt Repayment

The Dunedin City Council will consider using savings to repay more debt associated with the Forsyth Barr Stadium. The Council will next week consider approving a one-off payment of $2.271 million to help balance the Forsyth Barr Stadium accounts. Of that, $1.77 million would be used to repay DVML debt, with the balance to fund a cash shortfall. The payment would be funded from DCC savings made in the current financial year. DCC Group Chief Financial Officer Grant McKenzie says, “A one-off payment to reduce debt further would be good for all parties and would clearly respond to community demand for the DCC to reduce its overall debt level.” Read more

Download the Forsyth Barr Stadium 2014/15 Budget Report (PDF, 200KB)

Media Stories:
9.5.14 ODT Stadium debt reduction to be considered
9.5.14 Stuff (Fairfax News) Stadium could cost Dunedin ratepayers millions
10.5.14 ODT Stadium payment may rise

Related Post and Comments:
9.5.14 DCC Draft Annual Plan 2014/15 Submission by Bev Butler
10.5.15 (via comment) ODT In Brief: Stadium review sought

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Heritage New Zealand

The New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT) – and now trading as Heritage New Zealand – is New Zealand’s leading national historic heritage agency and guardian of Aotearoa New Zealand’s national heritage. The environment in which NZHPT operates continues to be characterised by a growing interest in heritage, recognition of its social, cultural, environmental and economic benefits, and awareness of its importance to national identity.

The NZHPT was established by an Act of Parliament in 1954. The NZHPT is established as an autonomous Crown Entity under the Crown Entities Act 2004, and is supported by the Government and funded via Vote Arts, Culture and Heritage through the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Its work, powers and functions are prescribed by the Historic Places Act 1993.

Heritage New Zealand – a change of name
In 2010, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage led a review of the Historic Places Act 1993 (HPA) and as a result of that work the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Bill was drafted and is currently before the House. It is currently awaiting the committee stage, and its third reading. The Bill includes provisions that will result in some changes to how the NZHPT operates, and to archaeological provisions of the HPA. It also proposes a change in name to Heritage New Zealand. The Bill will complete NZHPT’s transition from NGO to Crown Entity. To facilitate the transition, the decision was made to proceed with the name change ahead of the legislation. From 14 April 2014, the organisation has been known as Heritage New Zealand.

HeritageNewZealand 13 Apr 2014

Welcome to Heritage New Zealand
The New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT) has changed its name to Heritage New Zealand. Chief Executive Bruce Chapman explains the reasons behind the change.

Heritage New Zealand will continue to work in partnership with others, including iwi and hapū Māori, local and central government agencies, heritage NGOs, property owners, and volunteers. We will continue to provide advice to both central and local government, and property owners on the conservation of New Zealand’s most significant heritage sites. We will continue to maintain the national Register of historic places, manage 48 nationally significant heritage properties, regulate the modification of archaeological sites, and manage the national heritage preservation incentive fund.

While Heritage New Zealand receives 80% of its funding from the Crown, like many other Crown agencies it continues to be dependent for the remainder of funding from supporters, donations, grants, bequests, and through revenue generated at the heritage properties it cares for around the country.

Three key things remain the same under the new name:
● commitment to the long-term conservation of New Zealand’s most significant heritage places, including own role as custodian of 48 historic properties
● connection through members (membership benefits are unchanged) and supporters to the wider community
● continued status as a donee organisation, dependent on the goodwill and ongoing financial and volunteer support of the wider community for many of the outcomes the organisation achieves for heritage.

www.heritage.org.nz

Heritage New Zealand Logo

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Carisbrook Stadium Trust subject to LGOIMA

Received from Bev Butler
Thursday, 6 March 2014 5:27 p.m.

MESSAGE TO MEDIA WATCHING THIS BLOGSITE

Malcolm Farry has been misinforming media about the CST being subject to the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA).
Farry is incorrect when he states that the Carisbrook Stadium Charitable Trust (CST) is not subject to LGOIMA.
Attached are two legal opinions which both state that the CST is subject to the provisions of LGOIMA.
These were released to me by Paul Orders, former CEO of the Dunedin City Council (DCC), after I made a complaint to the Ombudsman.

In July 2008 I was making requests under LGOIMA about the stadium and was informed by the then CEO, Jim Harland, that the CST was not subject to LGOIMA. What Harland failed to tell me was that he had sought two legal opinions both of which state that the CST is subject to LGOIMA.

When I produced Harland’s email to the Ombudsman, the Ombudsman recommended that the Council release these opinions to me. Hence the attached legal opinions. It is not often that legal opinions are released because of legal priviledge but I guess in this case I had proved I was misled. It was part of the deceipt of withholding vital information from the public so that they could push the project through against the will of the community.

They lied from start to finish with this project and filled their pockets along the way –that’s why myself and others will continue to expose what happened. The whole process was so bloody cynical.

Returning to Farry, CST and LGOIMA, it is also clear under the Public Records Act 2005 that the Council is required to maintain full records etc as outlined below:

PUBLIC RECORDS ACT 2005
Requirement to create and maintain records

(1) Every public office and local authority must create and maintain full and accurate records of its affairs, in accordance with normal, prudent business practice, including the records of any matter that is contracted out to an independent contractor.

(2) Every public office must maintain in an accessible form, so as to be able to be used for subsequent reference, all public records that are in its control, until their disposal is authorised by or under this Act or required by or under another Act.

(3) Every local authority must maintain in an accessible form, so as to be able to be used for subsequent reference, all protected records that are in its control, until their disposal is authorised by or under this Act.

————————————————

From: Sandy Graham [DCC]
To: Bev Butler
CC: Letitia Parry @ombudsmen.parliament.nz
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2012 16:04:50 +1300
Subject: Bev Butler re legal opinions – 14 Feb 2012.pdf – Adobe Acrobat Professional

Dear Bev

Please find attached the information regarding the LGOIMA peer reviews.

Regards
Sandy

DCC Letter to BButler 14.2.12

Full download: Bev Butler re legal opinions – 14 Feb 2012 (PDF, 949 KB)
• Cover letter from Paul Orders 14.2.12 (1 page)
• Letter from Anderson Lloyd 18.9.08 (3 pages)
• Letter from Simpson Grierson 25.9.08 (5 pages)

[ends]

For more, enter the terms *cst*, *csct*, *carisbrook*, *stadium*, *farry*, or *harland* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Mangawhai, Kaipara —we hear ya!

Received from our northern friends (html email partially rebuilt here).
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 4:10 p.m.

MRRA 1aGetting the Validation Bill ready for Parliament

● The new Mangawhai Ratepayers and Residents Association (MRRA) website can be viewed here.
● “When Government Goes Bad” – see the MRRA video on YouTube.

The KAIPARA VALIDATION BILLMRRA 3

KAIPARA’S PROBLEMSMRRA 4Parliament “solves” the problems of Kaipara with the Validation Bill

LATEST NEWS
OAG report: Summary
OAG report: Full Report* (click the sections on the left)
*Link to download report (PDF, 2.6 MB; 423 pages) is broken at OAG website.

A MESSAGE FROM THE MRRA
3 February 2014
The day that JUSTICE finally comes to Kaipara

Come to the Court Case in Whangarei 3-7 February
The High Court is located at 105-109 Bank Street Whangarei
The hearing commences at 10 AM.
You have paid for this, so come and watch it play out. Those who came last time were glued to their seats for the whole day. Watching our justice system in action when the matter is one you are involved in is a riveting experience.
[Six days at court] might be needed but we won’t know until Feb 3rd. The hearing should play out as follows: Administrative stuff first, then MRRA puts its case (possibly all of Monday and some of Tuesday), then KDC puts its case Tuesday and all of Wednesday. Then MRRA replies, which will take part of Friday. The judge will then sum up and indicate what he is going to do, and perhaps reserve his decision which he would then hand down in writing some time later.
The Judge has instructed that a second courtroom be made available with closed-circuit TV to accommodate the large number expected to attend this hearing.
In an earlier decision the Judge said that this judicial review raises important legal questions of wide public interest.
It may be one of the most important cases in connection with Local Government that has ever gone to trial in New Zealand. The issues at stake are of fundamental significance to everyone who lives in this country. This is not a tiff over rates. This is a test of what power elected and appointed officials really have to take money from ratepayers and taxpayers and use it in any way they choose. The Government and the Kaipara District Council (KDC) both say that councils must have the power to take any amount of money they want, for any purpose whatsoever, and the ratepayer has no say at all in the process.
If you think that’s OK, then we have not reached you. If you think it is not OK but nothing can be done about it, please be assured that something can be done — and it is in the High Court where that will happen. Eventually, the people will call a halt to the madness.

COUNCIL INCOMPETENCE 29.01.14
Frank Newman comments here on the Dunedin City Council’s fancy $230 million covered stadium that “will forever be a black hole that eats ratepayer money”.
There will be no easy fix for Dunedin’s ratepayers. Their elected representatives of the day were reckless and ratepayers will be punished for a very long time because they (as a society) elected a reckless bunch of people to make decisions on their behalf.
I do not know of the Dunedin Councillors complied with the law and consulted with ratepayers but Kaipara ratepayers find themselves in a very similar situation.
The debt for EcoCare is completely unmanageable for a small council such as the KDC but the Commissioners and the Banks have so far delayed the inevitable day of judgement by mesmerising ratepayers with promises of only three percent rate increases over the next ten years.
How can that happen, you might ask, when there is such a massive debt to pay? The answer is that it can’t. But to levy high rates now and charge extra capital payments per household right across the district would result in a massive rate strike and civil disobedience and the collapse of the KDC.
To prevent that, the Commissioners and the Banks have made promises of minimal rate rises that cannot be substantiated and are so dishonest that they border on the criminal. They are nothing more than a confidence trick and the reality is that, sooner or later, ratepayers across the district will be billed for the principal of the debt. Generations of Kaipara ratepayers will pay for the EcoCare folly just as generations of Dunedin ratepayers will pay for their Stadium folly.
The only difference is that the MRRA has challenged the validity of the Kaipara debt in the High Court and is asking that Court for a ruling that ratepayers are not responsible for an illegal debt that was secretly entered into by the Councillors.
Never before have ratepayers made such a challenge and no doubt many ratepayers across the country will be awaiting the outcome.
If Councils can operate outside the law with utter impunity, with all the watchdogs sound asleep, and the ratepayers have to pay all the bills, then we have been conned into being the peasants at the bottom of a 21st Century feudal system.
That is not a good place to be but unless we get behind the MRRA and support its action, then that is where we will end up.

[ends]

****

LAST WORD from What if? Dunedin…
Will DCC’s stadium review be enough? Answer: NO
We’re staying busy —can’t blog it.

Related Posts and Comments:
3.12.13 LGNZ: OAG report on Kaipara
12.11.13 Northland council amalgamation
29.6.13 Audit NZ and OAG clean bill of health —Suspicious!
21.4.13 Councils “in stchook” —finance & policy analyst Larry.N.Mitchell
19.3.12 Local government reform
21.2.12 Kaipara this time

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Alert: Dunedin voters —Mayors gain more powers

Following the 2013 local body elections . . .
THERE IS A MASSIVE GAME CHANGE

Is this why Greater Debt Dunedin’s campaigning so hard, with help from ‘friends’? Read on.

Firstly, ‘overthinking’ an image, and an opinion piece from the Nelson Mail (June 2013). Followed by ‘Friday news’ from New Zealand Herald, reproduced in Saturday’s Otago Daily Times (page 3). Lastly, importantly, you’re urged to VOTE – a plea appearing in the ODT, indicating 9 October is the last date by which to safely post your completed voting papers.

Emperors new clothes [catherinewhite.files.wordpress.com] re-imaged 1VOTE carefully oh so carefully, please

****

### nelsonmail.co.nz Last updated 13:39 12/06/2013
New accountability for mayors
By Keith Marshall
OPINION New law changes passed at the end of last year created some major changes ahead for local government. One of the most important changes, in my view, arises from legally and politically empowering mayors to do the job we expect of them. And, along with that legal empowerment comes some genuine public accountability to perform.
After the coming election, mayors nationwide gain new powers. A mayor will be able to legally appoint their own deputy mayor, appoint all committee chairs and determine the structure of council committees, including which elected councillors are appointed on to those. The legal power to decide their own political teams, structures and processes means that mayors will gain a huge level of political control over councils that they currently do not legally have.
Adding to this direct political control, mayors from the next election onward will also legally be personally responsible for driving the setting of council plans and budgets. This, alone, is a huge change.

Indeed, it may be surprising to learn that currently mayors around the country have no real substantive legal powers – largely the current legal role is one of a “first citizen” and in chairing meetings of the elected council.
Mayors, currently, do not have the legal authority to choose their own political teams nor structures, they do not determine council agendas and nor do they drive council budgets or plans. Right now, those decisions are made by the whole of the elected council and in those decisions, as in all others, mayors have just one vote at the council table, the same as all councillors.
In some ways being a mayor under the current law is a potentially thankless task – one in which they are the public face of the council, and get to be “blamed” for any and all decisions made by the elected council whether or not they personally supported or voted against those decisions.
On the other hand, the current situation also makes it very difficult for us voters to hold our current mayors, and councillors, individually accountable for the decision-making of the whole of the elected council (and the subject of a future column).

In the future, just what and how issues are dealt with will be determined by the mayors themselves; maybe in conjunction with their councillor supporters, or perhaps sometimes even just off their own cognisance.

All decisions of the council will be directly influenced by the mayor through the exercise of their new powers. This is very real political power never before seen in local government in New Zealand – something much more akin to the “presidential” type of mayor as seen in the United States.
Accordingly, at the next council elections, whoever we elect as mayors of Tasman District Council and Nelson City Council will have the legal ability to carry out any election promises they may have made. Any mayoral candidate can set out a vision for us and, unlike at any other time in the past, be in a position to bring that vision into reality if they become mayor. This is a new legal environment for local government.

So what? Well, for one thing, the new law change means that mayors (and their councillor supporters who the mayor will appoint to key roles) will now be more obviously accountable for all decisions. Along with the ability/responsibility to make things happen (via legal powers) goes some true accountability.
Read more

● Keith Marshall is a company director and the former Nelson City Council chief executive. Previously, he has owned Thrifty Rental Cars NZ, managed the last nationwide health reforms and participated in the NZ-China FTA negotiations.

****

### nzherald.co.nz 1:35 PM Friday Sep 27, 2013
Mayors given extra powers
By Rebecca Quilliam
Mayors throughout the country will become more powerful under new law changes set to come into action after October’s local elections. The changes will allow mayors to appoint their own deputies, set the structure of committees and appoint committee chairpeople.
Local Government New Zealand president Lawrence Yule said the changes had the potential to bring real benefits. It enabled new councils to “hit the ground running” and for councillors to work more effectively together, Mr Yule said.

Mayors would become responsible for driving the set up of major plans and budgets, which included long-term and annual plans.

They would also be more accountable for their decisions, Mr Yule said.
The law changes bring all the country’s councils in line with the powers already granted to the Auckland Mayor under the Super City process. The new powers would encourage cross-council collaboration because, in order to use them, a mayor needed the majority support of councillors, he said.
Voting papers for city, district and regional councils have now been sent out. These must be returned posted or hand-delivered in time to reach the relevant electoral officer by noon on October 12. APNZ
NZH Link

****

DUNEDIN
Participation in electoral process urged (ODT 18.9.13)
http://www.odt.co.nz/elections-2013/dunedin/273671/participation-electoral-process-urged

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image via catherinewhite.files.wordpress.com – ‘Emperor’s new clothes’ re-spun by Whatifdunedin

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RMA and Key’s right-wing slashers

BACKWARD STEP: Our environment is at risk if the Resource Management act is watered down.Anton Oliver [stuff.co.nz]

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 21/07/2013
Gutting the RMA – it’s time to be concerned
By Anton Oliver
Source: Sunday Star-Times
OPINION | The Resource Management Act (RMA) has sadly become a much maligned and misunderstood piece of legislation: a kind of universal public punching bag – if mentioned in conversation, it is almost obligatory to put the slipper in. To most Kiwis it represents bureaucracy and inefficiency – pen-pushing do-gooders and paper shufflers who engage us in excessively long and costly processes that get in the way of us Kiwis doing stuff.
In fact the RMA – passed in 1991 – was a means of rectifying mistakes and providing at least some environmental and social integrity to development and planning process. It was recognised by legal minds to be a world-leading piece of legislation. It protected our environment and our economy based on the premise of sustainable resource management. What’s more, it was politically robust in that it received the blessing of both major parties.
It also gave New Zealanders a chance to be heard and it facilitated local decisions made by local people. While the country’s environmental indicators such as water quality and biodiversity loss have still gone backwards – the RMA has stemmed what would otherwise have been fatal haemorrhaging.
Similarly, the RMA has protected a set of fundamental Kiwi values: the notion of fairness and equity in regard to everyone having a right to their say; industry and other activities being required to take responsibility for avoiding, remedying or mitigating adverse environmental impacts; and developments being required to have regard to effects on such things as recreation, scenic values, private property rights, and the public’s access to rivers, lakes and beaches.
That’s all about to change.
The Government plans to alter the Act to give greater weight to economic development over environmental considerations, granting to itself the right to veto any issue. You don’t have to be legal-minded to see the impact of subtle word changes. While the consideration for the “benefits” of a project remains, gone are any references to the “costs”, making a cost-benefit analysis redundant because environmental “cost” is out of the equation.
Gone, too, are the words: “maintenance and enhancement of amenity values”. That’s basically any recreational activity – walking, running, swimming, fishing, kayaking. Who likes doing that stuff anyway? Thankfully the “importance and value of historic heritage” stays. But its cobber, “protection from inappropriate subdivision and development” gets the boot – making the first clause meaningless. And my personal favourite, “maintenance and enhancement of the quality of the environment” has been politely asked to leave. Clearly such an unruly clause has no place in a legal act that’s trying to protect the environment.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Jan Wright, has a different interpretation. She thinks the changes “muddy the overwhelming focus of the RMA, to protect the environment, and risk turning it into an Economic Development Act”. Similarly alarmed, the architect of the RMA, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, concludes: “The [proposed changes] will significantly and seriously weaken the ability of the RMA to protect the natural environment and its recreational enjoyment by all New Zealanders.”

The changes also grant considerable new powers to central government, giving it the ability to take individual consent decisions away from local councils and place them in a new national body. The changes go further still, by allowing government the right to insert provisions in local council plans without any consultation.
Read more

● Former All Black Anton Oliver is an ambassador for Water Conservation Order NZ.

Related Posts and Comments:
21.4.13 *fashionable* Heritage Dunedin and the RMA holocaust
17.3.13 RMA Bill: Public meeting 21 March
6.7.12 Recommended changes to RMA explode environmental protection

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: stuff.co.nz – Anton Oliver

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New Zealand: Salmond on democracy

Dame Anne Salmond [tepapa.govt.nz] 2

Dame Anne Salmond says it is imperative that New Zealanders stand up for democratic freedoms … A quiet, obedient, and docile population; a culture of passivity and apathy; a meek acceptance of what politicians say and do – these things are not consistent with democracy.

### NZ Herald Online 5:30 AM Sat, 13 Jul 2013
Dame Anne Salmond: A warning to New Zealanders keep hold of democracy
By Dame Anne Salmond
In 2007, John Key, then Leader of the Opposition, gave a powerful speech to the New Zealand Press Club against the Electoral Finance Bill. He declared: “Here in New Zealand we often take our democratic freedoms for granted. We think they will always be there. We have a Bill of Rights which is supposed to protect our right to freedom of expression. What on earth could go wrong?”
I have a different view. I believe what Thomas Jefferson said – that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. There are times when we have to stand up for our rights, and the rights of our neighbours and friends, and indeed the rights of people we totally disagree with, or else these rights will begin to erode away.
I agree with these sentiments, absolutely. New Zealanders must stand up for their democratic rights when they are threatened, or they’ll lose them.
Who could have imagined that in 2013, this same political leader would be presiding over an assault upon the democratic rights of New Zealanders? This is a matter of such gravity that last month, the Law Society felt impelled to report to the United Nations that in New Zealand “a number of recent legislative measures are fundamentally in conflict with the rule of law”.

When a body as authoritative and dispassionate as the Law Society feels forced to report to the United Nations that the Government in New Zealand is acting in conflict with the rule of law, all New Zealanders should be very worried.

Extraordinary though it may seem, this statement is no more than the truth. In its report to the United Nations, the Law Society lists a series of recent acts that have allowed the Executive to use regulation to override Parliament, that deny citizens the right to legal representation and cancel their right to appeal to the courts to uphold their rights under the law.
The Law Society also draws attention to the use of Supplementary Order Papers and urgency to avoid proper Parliamentary scrutiny of legislation. They express their concern that a number of bills formally declared by the Attorney-General to be in breach of the Bill of Rights have recently been enacted.
This report does not mention other key defects in the law-making process in New Zealand at present. These include the willingness of a minority government to pass laws that impinge on the rights and wellbeing of New Zealanders at the request of foreign corporations – Warner Brothers, for instance, or SkyCity and various oil companies. None of these deals, which amount to “legislation for sale”, can claim a democratic mandate.
Read more

● Anthropologist and author Dame Anne Salmond is the current New Zealander of the Year.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: tepapa.govt.nz – Dame Anne Salmond

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RMA Bill: Public meeting 21 March

INVITATION TO MEETING — ALL WELCOME

UPDATED POST 20.3.13 at 7:14pm

Received.

—– Original Message —–
From: Jocelyn Harris
To: Ann Barsby ; Elizabeth Kerr ; Judith Medlicott
Sent: Friday, March 15, 2013 9:56 AM
Subject: RMA Bill

Dear Ann, Elizabeth and Judith

The proposed revisions to the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) allow for the setting up of a central commission to over-ride environment court and local council decisions. That includes decisions about heritage.

On Thursday 21 March 2013 at 7pm in the Burns Hall, a quickly assembled group of people will hold a public meeting to discuss our concerns and encourage submissions on the revised RMA and reforms to water management.

As the submission date is 2 April that doesn’t give us much time.

I would be grateful if you could alert your networks to the provisions in the proposed Bill as they affect heritage.

Best wishes
Jocelyn

Professor emerita Jocelyn Harris
Co-chair, Sustainable Dunedin City Inc

[ends]

Resource Management — Reform Bill [2012]
Government Bill 93—1
http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2012/0093/latest/whole.html

Click on the link, type “heritage” in the Search box at the top of the webpage.

RMAFlyer_10Download: RMAFlyer_10 (PDF, 1.77 MB)

What ORC is thinking… (page 9)

ODT 16.3.13 (page 9)

ODT Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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