The Watchdog

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OPEN LETTER TO THE SECRETARY OF THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE re: The review of the 5th Report of the New Zealand Government on Civil and Political Rights

16 March 2010

Secretary
United Nations Human Rights Committee
Nathalie Prouvez

Dear Nancy,

RE: REVIEW BY THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE OF REPORT SUBMITTED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF NEW ZEALAND, ON 15 – 16 MARCH 2010:

Human Rights Committee TO Hold Ninety-Eighth Session in New York 8-26 March

Reports submitted by the Governments of Argentina, Mexico, New Zealand and Uzbekistan on measures taken to implement the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights will be reviewed by the Human Rights Committee at its ninety-eighth session, which will be held in New York at United Nations Headquarters from 8 to 26 March 2010.

On the first day of the session, the 18-member Committee will adopt its agenda and programme of work.  The Committee will then hear, in a closed meeting, from representatives of non-governmental organizations and specialized agencies on the situation in the countries that it will review.

The Committee is scheduled to examine the fifth periodic report of Mexico on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, 8 and 9 March; the fourth periodic report of Argentina on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, 10 and 11 March; the third periodic report of Uzbekistan on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, 11 and 12 March; and the fifth periodic report of New Zealand on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, 15 and 16 March, in formal public meetings. The Committee will adopt and make public its concluding observations on the implementation of the Covenant by these countries at the end of its three-week session on 26 March.

http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2010/hrct713.doc.htm

__________________________________________________________________

A) On 7 July 2009, I forwarded a submission to you, outlining how, in my considered opinion as a judicially recognised ‘Public Watchdog’ on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters, the United Nations  has been misled by the New Zealand Government, regarding public consultation and  participation in the ‘policy-making’ process.

Following, is a copy of what I sent you.

(Attached is a copy of the full submission.)

from Penny Bright <waterpressure@gmail.com>
to nprouvez@ohchr.org
cc Penny Bright <waterpressure@gmail.com>
date Tue, Jul 7, 2009 at 7:42 PM
subject The UN has been misled on the rights of New Zealanders to ‘participate in public and political life’.
mailed-by gmail.com
7/7/09

7 July 2009

ALTERNATIVE SHADOW REPORT – FILED BY PENNY BRIGHT, MEDIA SPOKESPERSON FOR THE WATER PRESSURE GROUP, JUDICIALLY RECOGNISED ‘PUBLIC WATCHDOG’ FOR METROWATER, WATER AND AUCKLAND REGIONAL GOVERNANCE MATTERS

(Attached)

AUTHOR:                                                      STATE PARTY: NEW ZEALAND

Penny Bright

86A School Rd

Kingsland

Auckland

New Zealand

Email: waterpressure@gmail.com

New Zealand National Universal Periodic Review Report

9 April 2009

3. Promotion and Protection of Human Rights

3.2.6. Right to Participate in Public and Political Life

…………………………

In New Zealand there is high voter turnout in elections and easy access to elected representatives.  A key tool for participation is the use of consultation by Government (whether central or local). The Government, at both the central and local government levels, seeks the involvement of the public in the policy-making process.  In addition to the specific statutory requirements for consultation across a wide range of laws, the New Zealand courts have also established fundamental principles or elements of consultation. Community organisations are increasingly seeking collaboration with Government rather than a subsidiary role in participatory processes.”

The United Nations has been misled on this matter.

Please see attached document.

Penny Bright

___________________________________________________

B) Further to the above-mentioned ‘Alternative Shadow Report’ , are the most recent developments by the New Zealand Government in relation to this matter:

PETITIONS INITIATED TO RAISE CONCERNS DIRECTLY WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF NEW ZEALAND, ABOUT THE DENIAL OF THE PUBLIC’S DEMOCRATIC RIGHT TO A ‘BINDING POLL’, ON THE FUTURE GOVERNANCE AND INFRASTRUCTURAL LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK FOR THE AUCKLAND REGION:

Petition of Penelope Mary Bright and 62 others

Requesting that the House not implement any legislative changes proposing the “reorganisation” of Auckland regional governance, until the lawful due process for so doing, as enshrined in s24 “Reorganisation Proposals”, and Schedule 3 (particularly s49 thereof – “Polls must be held”) of the Local Government Act 2002, is properly followed; and the mandatory poll of electors who will be affected by the proposed abolition of Auckland, Manukau, North Shore and Waitakere City Councils; and Papakura, Rodney and Franklin District Councils, with their proposed ‘reorganisation’ into one ‘Auckland Council’, is duly held.

Petition number: 2008/20
Presented by: Dr Russel Norman
Date presented: 12 May 2009
Referred to: Local Government and Environment Committee
Report presented on: 19 February 2010
Report name: Petitions 2008/18, 2008/20, and 2008/38 of Penelope Mary Bright and 224 others

Petition of Penelope Mary Bright and 224 others

Requesting that the House repeal the Local Government (Tamaki Makaurau) Reorganisation Act 2009 forthwith, and that the lawful due process, as currently outlined in the Local Government Act 2002, section 24 “Reorganisation Proposal”, schedule 3, including a binding poll through which the majority of citizens and ratepayers (as electors under the Local Electoral Act 2001) have the final say on any such reorganisation, is upheld.

Petition number: 2008/38
Presented by: Sue Bradford
Date presented: 23 September 2009
Referred to: Local Government and Environment Committee
Report presented on: 19 February 2010
Report name: Petitions 2008/18, 2008/20, and 2008/38 of Penelope Mary Bright and 224 others

Petition of Penelope Mary Bright

respectfully requests that the House of Representatives note that 120 people have signed a petition Requesting that there be no legislative change to enact recommendation 21A of the Report of the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance that: “All Auckland Council’s major commercial trading and infrastructure activities should be undertaken through CCOs” until an independent cost-benefit analysis confirms the cost-effectiveness of the CCO model (particularly for water services) for the majority of citizens and ratepayers.

Petition number: 2008/18
Presented by: Sue Bradford
Date presented: 5 May 2009
Referred to: Local Government and Environment Committee
Report presented on: 19 February 2010
Report name: Petitions 2008/18, 2008/20, and 2008/38 of Penelope Mary Bright and 224 others

THE REPORT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND ENVIRONMENT SELECT COMMITTEE OF THE NZ HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT ON THESE ABOVE-MENTIONED PETITIONS – WHICH EFFECTIVELY IGNORED THESE CONCERNS OVER THE DENIAL OF THE PUBLIC’S DEMOCRATIC RIGHT TO A ‘BINDING POLL’, ON THE FUTURE GOVERNANCE AND INFRASTRUCTURAL LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK FOR THE AUCKLAND REGION:

http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/SC/Documents/Reports/d/2/7/49DBSCH_SCR4632_1-Petitions-2008-18-2008-20-and-2008-38-of-Penelope.htm
Petitions 2008/18, 2008/20, and
2008/38 of Penelope Mary Bright
and 224 others

Report of the Local Government andEnvironment Committee

The Local Government and Environment Committee has considered Petition 2008/18 of
Penelope Mary Bright, which respectfully requests that the House of Representatives note that 120 people have signed a petition requesting that there be no legislative change to enact recommendation 21A of the Report of the Royal Commission on Auckland
Governance that: “All Auckland Council’s major commercial trading and
infrastructure activities should be undertaken through CCOs” until an independent
cost-benefit analysis confirms the cost-effectiveness of the CCO model (particularly
for water services) for the majority of citizens and ratepayers.

We have received two further petitions from the same petitioner on the subject of the restructuring of Auckland’s governance. Petitions 2008/20 and 2008/38 both express concern that polls of electors in the Auckland region were not held before the first bill to reorganise the city’s governance structure, the Local Government (Tamaki Makaurau Reorganisation) Bill, was passed under urgency.

We note that the Auckland Governance Legislation Committee has been established specifically to scrutinise the legislationproposed by the Government to restructure Auckland. The committee considered the Local Government (Auckland Council) Bill in 2009, received over 2,000 written submissions, and heard 619 submissions. The committee has called for public submissions on and is currently considering the third and final restructuring bill, the Local Government (Auckland Law Reform) Bill.

The Royal Commission made a number of specific recommendations relating to the use of council-controlled organisations (CCOs) for major infrastructure. While the Government has yet to make final decisions on most of these matters, the Local Government (Auckland Council) Bill provided for the process of integrating Auckland’s water resources to be undertaken by Watercare. We note the Auckland Governance Legislation Committee’s comment in its report to the House on this bill, “We consider that the integration of water and wastewater services in Auckland is likely to provide efficiency gains and boost effectiveness”.

We have no matters to bring to the attention of the House.
Chris Auchinvole
Chairperson

__________________________________________________________

(My underlining)

CAN YOU PLEASE CONFIRM THE FOLLOWING?

1) THAT YOU RECEIVED THIS ‘ALTERNATIVE SHADOW REPORT’ EMAILED ON 7 JULY 2009.

2) THAT ISSUES RAISED IN THIS ‘ALTERNATIVE SHADOW REPORT’, ARE GOING TO BE OR HAVE BEEN DISCUSSED AS ‘ITEMS OF BUSINESS’ IN THE EXAMINATION BY THE UN HRC OF THE FIFTH PERIODIC REPORT OF THE GOVERNMENT OF NEW ZEALAND.

Yours sincerely,

Penny Bright
Media Spokesperson
Water Pressure Group
Judicially recognised ‘Public Watchdog’ on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
“Anti-corruption campaigner:”

waterpressure@gmail.com

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March 28, 2010 - Posted by | Human rights

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