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.


Thursday, 5 February 2009

Michael Laws embarrasses other Councils with democracy

In May 2005 the Wanganui Council headed by Mayor Michael Laws initiated their first referendum. Each person listed on the Wanganui

electoral roll was given the opportunity to prioritise 3 projects out of 14 capital funding proposals, voting was done by post. A staggering 54% of voters returning forms. (click on above title for link)

The Wanganui Splash Centre extension came in first position followed by the Central City Waterfront Development and the Footpath upgrades. Although the referendums were non binding, Law's said that the council considered itself bound by the results and therefore changed it's capital project priorities and voted $2.5 Million to the Splash Centre extension, $600K to the riverfront development and an additional $120K (annually) to the footpaths.

Perhaps other Councils (especially the proposed Auckland supercity)might also adopt a bit of real democracy like Wanganui has done and let the people decide what is important to them? Their lack of democracy is an embarrasment to them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Now that is a true democracy and a politician with integrity! If only our local councils realised that they don’t always know what’s best and that they would gain more respect if they got of their high horses.