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View Full Version : Emergency Legislation - Thoughts?



Erayd
15-09-2010, 04:00 PM
Hi all,

I'd be interested to know what you guys think about the new legislation (http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2010/0114/latest/whole.html) that has just been unanimously passed by parliament.
While a few concerns were raised, every single MP voted in favour of the new Act.

This Act passed through the entire parliamentary process, not under urgency, in a single day.

DeSade
15-09-2010, 04:12 PM
Christchurch needs it.

Strommer
15-09-2010, 04:18 PM
Clever politicians:

18 Exclusion of commissioners' liability

A commissioner is not liable for any act done or omitted to be done by him or her in good faith in the performance or intended performance of his or her functions, responsibilities, or duties as a commissioner, or in the exercise or intended exercise of his or her powers as a commissioner.

prefect
15-09-2010, 05:56 PM
Its all good
I f they had the dumb resource management act 100 years ago nothing would have got built here.

Erayd
15-09-2010, 07:10 PM
Wow... you guys are far more trusting than I'd guessed. Over three hours, and nobody's even mentioned section six!

Snorkbox
15-09-2010, 07:31 PM
I'm not so trusting. It looks like another poorly drafted Bill to me. Just one of many that has been passed by various Governments previously on poor advice from advisors that we can't vote out anyway. You would hope that the elected MPs would have enough nous to see though the advice and think through the consequences but not so apparently.

Many people on this Forum have gone on record to say they don't and won't vote in Elections both Central and Local but seem to more than willing to complain about what they finish up getting. Local Govt elections are coming up soon and in spite of publicity about same a straw poll indicated that most people did not know when this was being held.

nofam
15-09-2010, 08:30 PM
Wow... you guys are far more trusting than I'd guessed. Over three hours, and nobody's even mentioned section six!

Just read it now - so c'mon Erayd - stop teasing us with pointed posts. . . .what's your concern? :)

Is it the fact that the invocation of this act effectively trumps all other legislation in 6.4?

fred_fish
15-09-2010, 08:43 PM
6.3 The recommendation of the relevant Minister may not be challenged, reviewed, quashed, or called into question in any court.
That is a fairly well covered arse, and I'm not sure that is a good, or necessary, idea at all.

Erayd
15-09-2010, 08:44 PM
Just read it now - so c'mon Erayd - stop teasing us with pointed posts. . . .what's your concern? :)

Is it the fact that the invocation of this act effectively trumps all other legislation in 6.4?Nope - that's not what worries me.

The issue I have with it is the precedent it sets. It basically relies on the "politics of good faith" to work correctly, and places a huge amount of trust in the integrity of those to whom it grants power. There are politicians involved...

While I have no doubt that the current lot will largely respect the spirit with which this Act was passed (to do anything else is electoral suicide), granting such sweeping powers with very limited oversight & accountability is the start of a *very* slippery slope.

Sure, something like this is obviously needed to rebuild Christchurch - but I personally feel that this particular case goes several steps too far.

Interestingly, most people I've talked to don't share my view - so I figured I'd jump on the web and see what all the fine people here thought, and possibly get an interesting debate out of it too :D.

John H
15-09-2010, 08:54 PM
You may not have been following the sacking of the whole of the Environment Canterbury council Erayd, and the imposition of a government appointed cabal headed by Margaret Bazely.

Canterbury thus had its democratically elected environmental regulatory body overthrown on the shonkiest of grounds. We still have to pay rates to that body despite the fact that none of us have representation any more.

All done by courtesy of the right wing mayors down here, including Sideshow Bob; as well as MPs like Nick Smith, David Carter, Gerry Brownlee, and John Key. All in favour of farmers getting control of our water for irrigation.

So in Canterbury we have experienced this before, and we now have the right wing government foisting another undemocratic process on us. I will be surprised if there are any National MPs left down here after the next election, apart from those representing redneck farmers.

Snorkbox
15-09-2010, 08:55 PM
Interestingly, most people I've talked to don't share my view - so I figured I'd jump on the web and see what all the fine people here thought, and possibly get an interesting debate out of it too .
__________________

We did have interesting debates here once. :devil

nofam
15-09-2010, 08:59 PM
It basically relies on the "politics of good faith" to work correctly, and places a huge amount of trust in the integrity of those to whom it grants power. There are politicians involved...

If I read it correctly though, it's the Governor General who actually vests power in said ministers (based on their recommendations). . . . .And the GG is an apolitical appointment. . . :rolleyes:

And in terms of precedent, I'm not sure that's an issue - the Act seems quite limited in scope & timeframe?

Erayd
15-09-2010, 09:27 PM
If I read it correctly though, it's the Governor General who actually vests power in said ministers (based on their recommendations). . . . .And the GG is an apolitical appointment. . . :rolleyes:That's true, but the Governor-General is basically a rubber stamp attached to the Crown - they don't make policy decisions. The way this Act is structured, the relevant Minister (in this case Gerry Brownlee), after optional (albeit recommended) consultation with a newly formed commission, makes or amends legislation on almost anything, and can further grant any and all powers and protections granted to the Minister by this Act to any other party. These decisions are approved by default, have very little oversight, and nobody is liable for any legal fallout later.

The checks and balances involved here are fleeting at best, and definitely not evenly balanced with the considerable power vested in a few individuals.


And in terms of precedent, I'm not sure that's an issue - the Act seems quite limited in scope & timeframe?*This* Act has a limited timescale, and although some altering of the norms is obviously needed, I don't think that this Act as worded is the best way of doing that. What worries me is what politicians may do at some later date, when some bright cookie points at this one and says "See, it worked then".

nofam
15-09-2010, 10:01 PM
That's true, but the Governor-General is basically a rubber stamp attached to the Crown - they don't make policy decisions. The way this Act is structured, the relevant Minister (in this case Gerry Brownlee), after optional (albeit recommended) consultation with a newly formed commission, makes or amends legislation on almost anything, and can further grant any and all powers and protections granted to the Minister by this Act to any other party. These decisions are approved by default, have very little oversight, and nobody is liable for any legal fallout later.

The checks and balances involved here are fleeting at best, and definitely not evenly balanced with the considerable power vested in a few individuals.

*This* Act has a limited timescale, and although some altering of the norms is obviously needed, I don't think that this Act as worded is the best way of doing that. What worries me is what politicians may do at some later date, when some bright cookie points at this one and says "See, it worked then".

Fair points - and as John H alluded to, it's a somewhat right-leaning piece of legislation - the checks and balances may simply be that a Labour-led government would never draft such an oligarchical bill in future.

gary67
16-09-2010, 06:59 AM
Get rid of the communist Nationals from the South Island let the North keep them.

Back on topic although I haven't had time to read the new act yet, I somewhat agree with JohnH however Christchurch does need some relaxing of the rules to allow for things to go ahead quickly with less red tape but and it's big but the guidelines regarding building codes etc still need to be followed so that buildings don't just get thrown up by the cowboys. I'm not sure that an act of parliament was necessary though

R2x1
17-09-2010, 08:53 PM
Anything that Parliament passes into law unanimously is going to cause auto-skepticism here. That is the sort of voting they normally reserve for boosting their pay and/or pensions.
I would sooner trust a bunch of car dealers.

Terry Porritt
17-09-2010, 09:34 PM
"The recommendation of the relevant Minister may not be challenged, reviewed, quashed, or called into question in any court."

I'm sure I remember reading those words or similar before, it could have been The Enabling Act of the NSDAP 1933........

"The rulings of the Reichs Chancellor may not be challenged, reviewed, quashed, or called into question in any court."

Hitler would have approved......... :)