Capital thinking on decolonisation – give voting rights to tribal appointees on council committees and mute the voice of non-Maori

Eight Wellington City Councillors – given the critical constitutional choice of Treaty partnership or democracy – yesterday voted in favour of further undermining the council’s democratic election and decision-making structures by granting voting rights to the representatives appointed by Maori tribes to sit on council committees.

Only six councillors voted against an arrangement to allow one representative from each of Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika and Ngāti Toa Rangatira to sit on most council committees and subcommittees with full voting rights from 1 July.

The council will reimburse each tribe by paying an annual fee, equivalent to the remuneration of a full time elected member, which is currently $111,225.

Some councillors egregiously magnified their anti-democratic instincts by rebuking the Mayor (as the Dominion-Post reports) for

“ … putting forward an amendment calling for the ‘significant’ change to be put out for public feedback before going to a council vote.”

Curiously, the words “significant” has been put in quotes.

Does the newspaper think otherwise?

Apparently yes, because its report of this governance vote (relegated to Page 4 this morning)  focused on Mayor Andy Foster being accused of “delay tactics” for suggesting the proposal be taken to the public for discussion.

One councillor, Jenny Condie, said the proposal did not require formal public feedback because it would be “rectifying an injustice”.

But shouldn’t the public be allowed to assess the nature of this injustice and influence the remedy? Continue reading “Capital thinking on decolonisation – give voting rights to tribal appointees on council committees and mute the voice of non-Maori”

Back from a $20,000 course, mayor displays his leadership skills in explaining plans for hefty rates rises

Wasn’t leadership among the attributes claimed by the Mayor of Wellington while campaigning for the job before the local body elections last year?

We thought so – until we heard he had been despatched (or despatched himself) to a leadership course near Queenstown.

The news was reported by Stuff:

Wellington ratepayers are forking out $20,000 for the mayor’s leadership programme at a luxury resort.

Multiple sources have confirmed to Stuff that Wellington Mayor Andy Foster was away on a six-day leadership retreat at Millbrook Resort in Arrowtown, north of Queenstown.

We can only wonder what they taught him, because the next thing we learn from the Wellington city council is that rates could be raised by 9.2%.

This is being contemplated at a time when coronavirus is taking a heavy toll on local households and businesses. Continue reading “Back from a $20,000 course, mayor displays his leadership skills in explaining plans for hefty rates rises”