Better Democracy NZ is a non-partisan, non-profit organisation.

Our mission is to foster the improvement of New Zealand's democratic system and encourage the use of direct democracy through the

Veto, Citizens' Initiated and Recall referendum.


Friday, 6 February 2009

Does your City Council do this?!

30 January 2009 - Wanganui Mayor Michael Laws today said that the Wanganui district council was expected to finalise its draft Ten Year

Plan 2009-19 this coming Monday, "and that a vital part of the public consultation will be to give Wanganui residents the option of low, medium or higher rates rises. It is the first such choice to be presented to ratepayers in New Zealand, and it may well be an international first as well.""

The council has been holding a series of workshops to set the spending and financial priorities for the council and district over the next ten years. That process is expected to conclude this coming Monday, 2 February with the draft plan to be ratified at a subsequent Council meeting.

"The draft plan will present three different rating scenarios for 2009/10.

A low option of 2-3% rates increase - a medium option of a 4-5% rates increase - and a slightly higher option of 7-8%. In each option, we will make it clear what projects or council services are included, and which are excluded or council services reduced."


Anonymous said...

I've got to say I really don't think much of Mr Laws personally but even people in Wanganui who don't like him seem to think it's wonderful that they get so much of a say.

Roger Monckton said...

There has been a lot of interest regarding what Michael Laws has initiated down in Wanganui - that many people don't like him but appreciate using referendums says much for the process.
Unfortunately this wider interest in referenda has not, as yet led to other councils putting their "toes in the water" regarding referenda.
I know that Mayor Bob Harvey wrote a paper in favour of greater use of referenda as part of one of his quarterly reports and some of you may also be aware that Manukau Councillor Dick Quax stood as a mayoral candidate with referenda as a major policy.
What Michael Laws did was bring in a majority of councillors to form a completely new council - with referenda as one of their policies. This is probably the only way to get referenda implemented into local body politics at this stage.
- using the clean sweep approach.

Steve Baron said...

I still think that if we want Binding Referendums at local body level we have to start approaching more Councillors and Council candidates. I was quite amazed these last local body elections how many candidates knew about Binding Referendums and supported them. There is still a long way to go and a lot more effort on our behalf to make it happen.

Anonymous said...

In North Shore City we have done and are doing something similar. But of course, in tandam with this approach, needs to be information to the people of the consequences, other than rates saving consequences. For example, if you spend less on upgrades, then will things deteriorate and end up costing more to fix or renew. Auckland City ignored their leaking stormwater/sewrage for years. Now they want a supercity, to get the rest of the Auckland Region to pay for their lack of economic planning.