Labour goes crying to Helen

May 1st, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

have announced:

The Labour Party has complained to the United Nations over the continuing denial of democratic elections for Environment Canterbury (ECan) councillors.

“The National government took away the right of Canterbury people to elect councillors on ECan and in doing so denied them their democratic rights contrary to international agreements we are party to,” Labour MP for Port Hills Ruth Dyson says.

Two important treaties, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, confirm that it is a human right that citizens have a say on the running of their country and take part in the conduct of public affairs.

“The National government has shown it has no concern for the democratic rights of people here because they didn’t just take away the right to elect regional council members once, they’ve done it twice and there is nothing stopping them doing it again.

“When your own government trashes the democratic rights of its people, there aren’t many places to go to seek redress, but the Human Rights committee of the UN is a place we can go to get the issue investigated, hence the letter written by my colleague and Labour’s Justice spokesperson Andrew Little.

As pathetic stints go, this one is exceptionally bad.

Labour is trying to trash the reputation of New Zealand internationally.  The Parliament of New Zealand, democratically elected, sacking an incompetent local authority. This is quite common. They are now trying to say this makes NZ a violator of human rights.

And who are the countries that Labour is running off to, asking them to decry NZ’s human rights record. Here’s some of them:

  • Algeria
  • Egypt
  • South Africa
  • Tunisia

So very pathetic.

UPDATE: I wonder if Labour complained to the UN when David Cunliffe sacked the democratically elected Hawke’s Bay District Health Board?

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38 Responses to “Labour goes crying to Helen”

  1. Manolo (14,086 comments) says:

    Another muppet behind this Labour joke is the charismatic socialist Andre Little, who refuses to admit he has no future.

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  2. Nick R (513 comments) says:

    But why can’t Canterbury have an elected regional council now in 2014?

    I don’t think going to the UN will achieve anything, but there seems to be no good reason why people in Canterbury are still being denied the right to elect a regional council now, years after the earthquakes.

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  3. jaba (2,146 comments) says:

    Dyson and Little .. wow, talk about a heavyweight duo fighting the good fight

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  4. metcalph (1,436 comments) says:

    I don’t think going to the UN will achieve anything, but there seems to be no good reason why people in Canterbury are still being denied the right to elect a regional council now, years after the earthquakes.

    The Situation at ECan had nothing to do with the earthquakes.

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  5. burt (8,324 comments) says:

    Perhaps the people of Christchurch would like to elect the people they want to manage the situation without central government funding ?

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  6. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    Helen runs the UNDP.

    The UNDP has nothing to do with what is happening here. Nada, zilch, zero.

    Sacking Ecan in 2010 may have been fair enough, but to not have a democratically elected body 4 years later isn’t remotely acceptable.

    Going to the UN achieves nothing, but it does remind the people of Canterbury that John Key thinks they are too stupid to be trusted to elect their own council.

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  7. UglyTruth (4,552 comments) says:

    The Parliament of New Zealand, democratically elected …

    Actually not. Democracy involves due process, which is not part of parliament’s civil system.

    … sacking an incompetent local authority.

    An authority can’t be sacked.

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  8. burt (8,324 comments) says:

    UglyTruth

    I agree, democratically elected is a pretty big stretch for NZ parliament. Any parliament that has the ability and the precedent of using parliament to kill a standing court case against a PM cannot be called democratic.

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  9. alloytoo (575 comments) says:

    Wouldn’t the correct process be to take it to the courts?

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  10. Floyd60 (94 comments) says:

    A bit peevish David. Stiffen the upper lip old boy.

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  11. Tinshed (170 comments) says:

    Perhaps Andrew and Ruth discussed it with Leanne over a cask of wine or three.

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  12. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,924 comments) says:

    How strange! They didn’t do this when the duly elected Hawkes Bay DHB was sacked.

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  13. burt (8,324 comments) says:

    alloytoo

    Wouldn’t the correct process be to take it to the courts?

    Then Key can use parliament to kill the court case and his supporters will say it shows strong leadership and declare him the best PM ever !

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  14. burt (8,324 comments) says:

    Adolf

    The HB DHB situation was very very different. The husband of a Labour party minister might have lost his job if that hadn’t happened.

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  15. davidp (3,588 comments) says:

    Don’t be too sceptical that together the Labour Party and the UN can’t improve our poor human rights. Just the other day, Saudi Arabia and Russia used their UN Human Rights Council seats to recommend improvements to Norway’s awful human rights situation…

    “The gulf state called for all criticism of religion and of prophet Mohammed to be made illegal in Norway. It also expressed concern at “increasing cases of domestic violence, rape crimes and inequality in riches” and noted a continuation of hate crimes against Muslims in the country…. Russia meanwhile called for Norway to clamp down on expressions of religious intolerance and criticised the country’s child welfare system. They also recommended that Norway improve its correctional facilities for those applying for asylum status.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/04/29/saudi-arabia-and-russia-blast-norways-human-rights-record-wait-what/

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  16. peterwn (3,314 comments) says:

    There is no constitutional requirement that there be ‘local government’ at all, or that any local government scheme be configured in any particular way. In New South Wales for example (AFAIK) the state government would be responsible for the ECan issues that have caused angst. No one has said it is undemocratic because the state government looks after public transport, water, etc in the Sydney area, or snatched the electricity distribution networks off local body politicians and turned them into a state money spinner (indeed the Federal Government regards the states as being as much into alleged electricity price gouging as companies in NZ)..

    Similarly there would be no cause for complaint internationally if the Government made Christchurch City a unitary authority so the voting balance of ECan swung in favour of the rural population.

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  17. Psycho Milt (2,419 comments) says:

    But why can’t Canterbury have an elected regional council now in 2014?

    Because how is Amy Adams meant to get a big-ass irrigation scheme for her farms if there’s an elected council? The people of Canterbury can have democracy again once the interested cabinet ministers are satisfied their personal goals have been met.

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  18. Psycho Milt (2,419 comments) says:

    How strange! They didn’t do this when the duly elected Hawkes Bay DHB was sacked.

    However, I’m sure they would have if the people of the Hawkes Bay were still getting refused the right to elect a DHB a good four years later – because only anti-democratic shitheads would prevent those elections, right?

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  19. hannity (152 comments) says:

    ‘sacking an incompetent local authority.’

    What bullshit
    Perhaps you could expand on that dishonest statement.

    Nationals’ duplicious actions-in usurping Ecans authority has ensured we will not have an enduring water solution in Canterbury.
    Thanks National
    Dicks

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  20. Psycho Milt (2,419 comments) says:

    There is no constitutional requirement that there be ‘local government’ at all…

    There’s no constitutional requirement that the government refrain from summarily executing you for not liking your face, but that wouldn’t make it OK for them to do it, would it?

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  21. UglyTruth (4,552 comments) says:

    Any parliament that has the ability and the precedent of using parliament to kill a standing court case against a PM cannot be called democratic.

    Due process and the rule of law is what sets a democracy apart from a mobocracy. An agreement to injure the liberty of others is a conspiracy regardless of whether or not it involves elected representatives.

    Can you give an example of NZ using parliament to kill a standing court case against a PM?

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  22. burt (8,324 comments) says:

    UglyTruth

    Darnton v Clark

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  23. mjw (400 comments) says:

    Perhaps they took inspiration from the following Kiwiblog post, expressing similar views.

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2012/09/the_wrong_decision-2.html

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  24. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    “Thanks National
    Dicks”

    Grow to love them commie. They will be your supreme law making body and exalted masters for a long time yet. Just like the USSR and Pol Pots Cambodia before them, the socialists have self destructed.

    I guess your only hope is North Korea. :)

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  25. slernz (33 comments) says:

    I am a Christchurch ratepayer and I believe the government did the right thing regarding ECan. The Ecan councillors replaced, except for one or two exceptions, were incompetent and incapable of making a decision. I would also like the government to replace Mayor Dithering “let’s have another report” Dalziel and the current Christchurch City Council with suitably qualified commissioners to run the city as the present mob are doing nothing.

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  26. MT_Tinman (3,263 comments) says:

    Like most thinking Cantabrians I vote we keep the commissioners.

    ECan finally works.

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  27. JC (973 comments) says:

    The question the Cantabs have to resolve is whether the same gridlock would occur if they got ECan back.. personally I don’t think so because even a bloody great earthquake couldn’t pull the Council together.

    IMO local Govt in NZ has become something of a joke. We are still electing people whose chief claim to fame is they write letters to the Editor about their particular hobbyhorse.

    JC

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  28. Jaffa (99 comments) says:

    The Government should pull all their people, and our money, out of Canterbury, and leave them to it!

    They deserve each other!

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  29. backster (2,185 comments) says:

    I agree with JC most councils procrastinate and waste money achieving little of value. Appointed Commissioners charged with achieving outcomes seems far more efficient.

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  30. freethinker (696 comments) says:

    Whilst e-can was and still is grossly inefficient (locally they are known as e-can’t or e-won’t) sacking them may be ok but as a democracy requires no taxation without representation and e-can levied taxes in the form of local rates Canterbury still has an undemocratic body effectively run by Government and there is a perception of high level corruption over water issues which the people affected and ratepayer funders of same body are continued to be denied a say.I recall no valid reason why after the commissioners who are now regraded as Kommisars, had sorted out the basic mess should not have been replaced with elected officials.When are we going to get our democratic right to elect our own officials Mr Key???

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  31. georgebolwing (1,011 comments) says:

    There is a view in New Zealand that because they are elected, local government representatives are somehow omniscient beings who can do no wrong.

    Crap.

    They are the worst sort of craven, populist fools, willing to trample on the rights of rate payers to pander to the loudest squeaky wheel.

    Except for a few true natural monopolies (roads and streetlights — but even here there are many private roads that work fine as community property of the residents), most local government functions could be undertaken perfectly well by the private sector.

    So rather than wanting to bring back Ecan, surely the questions is why do we need it at all?

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  32. Fentex (1,042 comments) says:

    Labour is trying to trash the reputation of New Zealand internationally.

    While I don’t think it’s a wise strategy I also think you’re crying crocodile tears.

    If National doesn’t want people speaking up about it’s undemocratic policies and the world discovering it’s lack of concern for democracy then change the policies.

    Exactly who’s crying over the rough game of politics here?

    There is a view in New Zealand that because they are elected, local government representatives are somehow omniscient beings who can do no wrong.

    Does this argue that in their place central government cannot do wrong either? The observation that some are fallible does not prove anyone else isn’t.

    Besides which it is some years since the purported ineffectual ECAN was disbanded. There have not been local government representatives in that office to complain about for some time, which is the point.

    surely the questions is why do we need it at all?

    Local resources are best governed by local people among whom they must be apportioned. If governed from afar then they will be allocated according to interests removed from those involved.

    One might argue that introduces dispassionate disinterest in governance, but in reality it distances accountability and places the interest of strong corporate entities with greater resources above residents.

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  33. OneTrack (3,237 comments) says:

    “Wouldn’t the correct process be to take it to the courts?”

    But that wouldn’t be as much “fun”.

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  34. Harriet (5,145 comments) says:

    “…….When your own government trashes the democratic rights of its people, there aren’t many places to go to seek redress, but the Human Rights committee of the UN is a place we can go to get the issue investigated, hence the letter written by my colleague and Labour’s Justice spokesperson Andrew Little……”

    Except with prostitution. Smacking. Gay ‘marriage’.

    And male members of parliment – and males applying for work in most other workplaces!

    Hypocrats! :cool:

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  35. jcuk (718 comments) says:

    As an ouside from further south it seems to me that what has gone on in CHCH over the past few years demonstrates that Cantabrians simply cannot get their act together and behave in a responsible manner to each other ..

    First the E-Can business, currently the townhall, the cathedral, and the drainage problem to mention the “highlights’ [ lowlights more likely ] along with Mayor Dithering simply show they are a clueless bunch in getting anything done and sorting out the unfortunate mess while the rest of the country pours money in.

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  36. MT_Tinman (3,263 comments) says:

    jcuk, try typing with both hands.

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  37. questions (208 comments) says:

    Is this the best you’ve got?

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  38. ShawnLH (5,761 comments) says:

    “Actually not. Democracy involves due process, which is not part of parliament’s civil system.”

    Also, the sky is really a bright pink colour, and the earth is flat. Most words in the English language don’t mean what you think, ask me because only I know the true meaning of words. Oh and Peter Arnett is an internationally acclaimed and recognised human rights lawyer.

    Now, where did I put those pills they gave me…???

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