Relocating Parliament

May 9th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

An interesting Cabinet paper on what happens to and Cabinet if Wellington is devastated by an . Key aspects are:

  • Parliament and Government shifts to Auckland
  • Parliament will meet at the Devonport Naval Base for 14 days initially, and then elsewhere in Auckland
  • Decision to move would be made by the Prime Minister
  • MPs and essential staff would be transported by either helicopter from Paraparaumu, plane from Ohakea or by ship
  • The House would meet within 7 days
  • Only 42 essential staff plus 120 MPs, GG and spouse would relocate to Auckland
  • Temporary Executive Government and Parliament would have 12 DPMC staff, two GG staff, seven Clerk’s Office staff, eight PMO and Ministerial staff, five Parliamentary Counsel staff and six Parliamentary Service staff

 

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23 Responses to “Relocating Parliament”

  1. mjw (398 comments) says:

    I imagine that Aucklanders would have mixed views about hosting parliament.

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  2. Dave Mann (1,248 comments) says:

    All this supposes that when Wellington has a disaster we will still actually have helicopters, a navy and all that stuff.

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  3. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    noooooooo
    keep the pollys in Wellington or go south
    we don’t want even more useless parasites in the north we have most of the maori that’s enough thanks.

    Tick tock tick tock tick……. for the big shaky one…. when not if…

    And dave we have the kit it just cost too much and has proven to be unreliable.

    From experience being questioned by a SH-2 Seasprite with armed sailor’s pointing guns at you is rather disconcerting as is a p3 orion buzzing you at 100m..

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  4. jp_1983 (225 comments) says:

    You should read the stuff article for a laugh. The Psa union wasn’t consulted and is having a wee moan for the sake of it…
    I would link but am on the road and iPhones are difficult to post here

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  5. metcalph (1,433 comments) says:

    So Parliament and Cabinet only has 42 essential staff out of how many working there?

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  6. Kea (13,192 comments) says:

    Yeah why not just move the whole country there, all the while sucking billions out of productive parts of NZ for transport, rugby piss ups, boat races and a host of other things to try and make the place appear liveable.

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  7. Kea (13,192 comments) says:

    I like Auckland, but seriously ! We are continually told its infrastructure is overloaded and getting worse. We are told of housing shortages. Billions is leached out of the parts of NZ that pay their way to try and remedy these issues. Yet when it comes time to host anything Auckland is chosen ahead of places without the infrastruture problems.

    This is just blatant vote buying and nothing more.

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  8. J Bloggs (248 comments) says:

    Kea: This is just a contingency plan, in case of disaster. I doubt you’d buy any votes with it as a bribe – more like a sure fire vote loser :)

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  9. Crusader (321 comments) says:

    Why wait for the inevitable disaster?

    The original reasons for locating the capital in Wellington were transport related, i.e. a port in a central location, in an era when sea transport was the default means of travel. These days air and road are more important connections, and sea ports can be located away from main cities. Its location is short of flat land, and the city is way bigger than the landscape can cope with. It sprawls up the only two roads out, and of course suffers traffic chaos even on a good day. God help them when the disaster strikes. Wellington will be cut off from the rest of the country for months. No “farmy army” coming in to save you guys unfortunately.

    Looked at from a 21st century perspective the capital should be located on open land between Auckland and Hamilton, or simply in South Auckland itself. Two ports Auckland and Tauranga, plentiful land for aiports, and far better road connections. Less prone to natural disaster. It’s where the people already live, and growth is forecast too. Government functions need to be diversified around the country really for disaster resilience anyway, so start the shift. It’s all pretty obvious.

    Someone will object that NZ needs to spread the population out, or something like that. The Australian states don’t have those concerns. They have one big city in each state, and that’s that. It works for them. Wellington will still exist. There will still be a port there. There will be all the usual wonderful resons for living there. Like… the coffee apparently… or something like that. What would Wellington be afraid of? Losing its raison d’etre?

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  10. peterwn (3,294 comments) says:

    Ah! There is method in the madness. Part of the top secret plan is to leverage private enterprise to build an alternative parliament under the guise of a convention centre. This is coming along nicely. Liberty boats will take on a new meaning – liberating John Key and ministers after a grueling Question Time back to the relative peace and quiet of Devonport.

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  11. RRM (9,992 comments) says:

    They could put a big ‘Air Force One’ Sticker on the side of a Hercules for the special trip. Brownlee and Turei might have to jump out and give it a push start though…?

    How much of the first day a the naval base would be wasted on Maori ™ karakias and blessings and worthless shit like that?

    Hungaabungaaa,
    Hungaabungaaa,
    Hungaaaaaa Bungaaaaaaaaaã….

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  12. Steve (North Shore) (4,579 comments) says:

    » Only 42 essential staff plus 120 MPs, GG and spouse would relocate to Auckland
    » Temporary Executive Government and Parliament would have 12 DPMC staff, two GG staff, seven Clerk’s Office staff, eight PMO and Ministerial staff, five Parliamentary Counsel staff and six Parliamentary Service staff

    That’s all that is needed, the rest of the unproductives can just go bush, we don’t want more freeloaders in Auckland

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  13. Ross Nixon (559 comments) says:

    I hear there is plenty of room for Parliament in Antarctica.

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  14. Paulus (2,652 comments) says:

    Many years ago when in Wellington I understood that Parliament would be “temporarily” house at Massey University in Palmerston North, and that dual facilities had been set up.

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  15. jims_whare (403 comments) says:

    Well if those are the bare minimum numbers needed to run the government and parliament what are the other 60000 civil servants for?

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  16. tvb (4,484 comments) says:

    There are other essential functions such as maintaining the Crowns financial obligations. I presume that could also go to Auckland but not Devonport.

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  17. Nuwanda (83 comments) says:

    Oh, the better plan:

    * declare tax and regulatory holiday
    * seal off SH1 and SH2 northbound
    * come back in five years and see who won

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  18. Captain Pugwash (98 comments) says:

    Why not relocate to some place out of the way, like Dannevirke or Taihape? Seriously I doubt Aucklanders really want Politicians & the inevitable hangers on wandering around Auckland making a nuisance of themselves. Nothing worse than having a night out with friends spoiled when a bunch of MP’s & their retinue brown nosers turn up.

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  19. rangitoto (248 comments) says:

    How about the Chatham Islands?

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  20. Jack5 (5,143 comments) says:

    If Parliament moved to Auckland, it would stay there.

    Fair enough, too. Why should it be just Auckland-based MPs have party time with Chinese business big spenders or illegal immigrants who can tile your place.

    There would be more chance, too, of running into blubber blogger Whale Oil.

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  21. I Say Look Here (57 comments) says:

    It’s when, not if.

    Most of us I think kinda like not living in a state of anarchy, so we need to be getting our government out of Wellington before it happens.

    Not sure where to put it exactly, but there are other parts of the country that have the essential infrastructure: TV Cameras, coffee, journalists, etc.

    Might save the poor old Wellies having to ruin the Basin Reserve with that new flyover too.

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  22. JeffW (327 comments) says:

    120 MPs? Waste of transport fuel.

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  23. RossM (51 comments) says:

    I am pretty sure that there has been a contingency plan to move Parliament to Auckland in case of an emergency for many, many years. Its not as if someone has just asked the question. This paper is just an update.

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