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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, 23 April 2009

MPs poll the people

Manukau Courier article on three Labour MPs. I will post a comment about this on the blog.

A one–minute referendum will give Manukau locals the chance to "break the silence" on plans for an Auckland supercity.

The five-question referendum is an initiative by Manukau’s Labour MPs George Hawkins, Ross Robertson and Su’a William Sio.

Locals are being asked for their views on the proposed supercity and Mr Sio is urging them to voice their opinions.

"We are holding this referendum to get a sense of what people are feeling about the supercity," he says.

"I don’t think that a lot of our people fully understand how it is going to have a direct impact on their lives.

"This is one decision where local representatives are really depending on the views of the residents."

The referendum will be delivered to letterboxes and churches and distributed in town centres and markets throughout the city.

Mr Sio says he’s already received feedback from some members of the community who hold grave concerns for the city’s future.

There are a lot of questions surrounding the supercity and many in the community need to break their silence and voice an opinion, he says.

"There are issues such as what rating system will be used.

"What will happen to iconic events like the Polyfest and what will happen to our water rates?

"I can’t speak for the others but I am extremely passionate about Manukau and its people. I know how important this city is to our community here."

The referendum is postage free so when locals are finished they can pop the form into the post office or any postbox.

Mr Sio says residents can also drop their completed referendums into any of the Labour MPs’ electorate

"It’s not a compulsory thing, but I am hoping that people will take one minute to answer five questions about the future of their city."

Supercity meeting

Manukau City Council is to hold another public meeting to inform and update people on developments around plans for an Auckland supercity. The meeting is at Manukau’s Pacific Events Centre tomorrow at 6pm.


Steve Baron said...

Ross, George & William

While I commend your efforts in seeking comment from the people of Manukau City I would ask that you please refrain from using the word "referendum" in your promotions. This is not a referendum, it is a survey, or at best a poll. Nothing more and nothing less. To call it a referendum can only harm the public perception.

I would also suggest that if you really want the people of Manukau City, and the future Auckland supercity, to have a real say, then you should be screaming from the roof tops to have binding referendums incorporated into any future proposals.

Anything less and democracy will not be served, however the hyenas rip the carcass of democracy apart.

However, I am probably spitting into the wind, your party, nor any of you, have ever shown a willingness to support binding referendums. Therefore I can only assume you don't believe in real democracy, are only paying lip serve and politicking on this matter.

The Doctor said...

This IS only a survey, not a referendum.

Who is going to be approving the questions being asked? Or are they going to be deliberately loaded against the idea of a supercity by the labour MPs.

This whole thing smacks of political patch protection.

Labour has never been interested in true, binding referendums. Remember the non-binding referendums where about 90% of the voters voted for the size of parliament to be dropped from 120 to 99 MP's, and for life to mean life with hard labor for criminals? The labour government totally ignored both of these. And by doing so, they have proved themselves beyond alll shadow of a doubt that they don't believe in democracy. We are just their servants, nothing more. We and what we want don't matter in the slightest if it goes against their wishes.

It is interesting to note that most politicians only want the people to truly have a say in something when they are sure that the voters will support them against the party in power.

They are hypocrites, through and through.

Steve Baron said...

This is why there must be a robust system that referendums operate under. The current non binding CIR Act would not be robust in it's present format. One only has to lok at the Withers referendum on crime to see this. Evidently the Clerk of the House simply gave up arguing in the end and allowed a very ambiguous referendum question to be used. I can only assume this was because he knew the result was non binding anyway.

Interesting that we have these Labour MPs calling for a referendum along with Labour Party leader Phill Goff. Yet none of them would use the word "referendum" in a sentence when they were in government.

To my way of thinking it just goes to show we need more checks and balances on parliament. We think of the President of the United States as being all powerful, but I would bet he would love to have the omnipotent power of a New Zealand Prime Minister.