The Watchdog

Keeping citizens in the loop

AUCKLAND CITY MAYOR BANKS DECLINES SPEAKING RIGHTS – I REQUEST THAT HE RECONSIDER.

22 April 2010

Auckland City Council
Mayor John Banks

REQUEST TO RECONSIDER DECLINING ME ‘SPEAKING RIGHTS’ AT TONIGHT’S MEETING OF AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL:

Dear Mayor Banks,

I have received the following email which states that you have declined my request for speaking rights at tonight’s Auckland City Council meeting.

___________________________________________________________________

On Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 8:18 AM, Manaia, Lee wrote:

Dear Penny

Your request to speak at the 22 April 2010 Auckland City Council meeting has been declined as it does not comply with standing order 2.13 for the following reasons:

(i) the request was not received at least three days before the date of the meeting

(ii) the previous disorderly or inappropriate behaviour of members of the deputation/public forum at council meetings

(iii) the subject matter is repetitious.

Regards

Lee Manaia
Democracy Advisor
Auckland City Council

Ph: +64 9 307 7576
Mobile: 027 273 9538
Location: Level 14, Civic Building,
1 Greys Ave, Auckland
http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz

________________________________________________________________________

However, your reasons for declining my request, in my considered opinion, are neither lawful nor justified, as follows:

1) I referred to the specific ‘Standing Order’ (2.13.2) in my request for speaking rights, as follows, which clearly states:

“Notwithstanding order 2.13, where in the opinion of the Chairperson the matter which is the subject of a deputation is one of urgency or major public interest, the Chairperson may determine that the deputation be received by the local authority.”

“21 April 2010
Mayor John Banks
Auckland City Council

OPEN LETTER/ REQUEST FOR ‘SPEAKING RIGHTS’ AT THE NEXT MEETING OF THE AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL TO BE HELD ON THURSDAY 22 APRIL, AT 6PM:

Dear Mayor Banks

I note that there have been no other requests for ‘deputations’ on the Auckland City Council ‘Open Agenda’ for the above-mentioned Council meeting.

I am requesting an opportunity to address the Auckland City Council on the following matters of ‘urgency’ and ‘public interest,’ as provided for under Auckland City Council Standing Order

“2.13.2

Notwithstanding order 2.13, where in the opinion of the Chairperson the matter which is the subject of a deputation is one of urgency or major public interest, the Chairperson may determine that the deputation be received by the local authority.”
a) Mayor John Banks – you have apparently just ignored this ‘Standing Order 2.13.2’.
ON WHAT LAWFUL BASIS?

Have you taken (competent and professional) legal advice on this matter – or just ‘made it up’?
Does the Auckland City Council CEO, David Rankin, know of, and agree with your decision?
If so – on what lawful basis?

2) Mayor John Banks – you have not stated in your reasons for declining me speaking rights that, in your opinion, the subject matter of my deputation is NOT ‘one of urgency or major public interest’.

a) The ‘urgency’ is clear – I have until 7 May 2010 to provide evidence to the Local Government and Environment Select Committee of the NZ House of Parliament, and I am offering an opportunity to yourself and fellow Auckland City Councillors, and opportunity to pass on information which I may include in my ‘submission’, as the initiating petitioner.

This was listed as Item 2 in my request for ‘speaking rights’, as follows:

“2. The only petition which is now ‘live’ before the House is the following:
E) Petition 2008/60 of Penelope Mary Bright and 171 others, presented by Su’a William Sio, on 9 December 2009 – referred to the Local Government and Environment Select Committee.

“Requesting that the House of Representatives do not implement any legislative changes to the Local Government Act 2002 which would make it easier to privatise water services via changes to ‘contracting out’, and ‘Public Private Partnership’ (PPP) provisions, until a full and thorough independent investigation of the pricing practices of private water company United Water’s seven contracts in New Zealand has been undertaken.”

I HAVE BEEN ASKED BY THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND ENVIRONMENT SELECT COMMITTEE TO PROVIDE EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THIS PETITION BY 7 MAY 2010.

(If yourself as mayor, or any Auckland City Councillors have any information/views that they would like included as ‘evidence’ – I will consider adding this as further evidence to support this petition.)”

3) You claim as another reason for declining my request for speaking rights:

“(ii) the previous disorderly or inappropriate behaviour of members of the deputation/public forum at council meetings”

Presumably, although you haven’t stated this to be the case – you are referring to MY behaviour?

Please be reminded that although I have been arrested 22 times in defence
of the basic democratic rights of citizens to ‘open, transparent and democratically accountable’ local government – it is 21- 1 to me in Court.

The only case I lost, arising from an arrest for trespass at the Auckland Town Hall, at a time it was open to the public, was initiated by your predecessor EX-Mayor Dick Hubbard, which, as I recall, you publicly opposed at that time.

Please also be reminded, that the Police no longer attend Auckland City Council meetings – to act as ‘Security Guards’. It appears the Police have far more important things to do with the use of their time and our public monies – (not to mention the fact that they kept losing in Court – which was also a huge waste of Police time and resources).

You, Mayor Banks, are now, in my opinion, wasting public monies by the employment of security guards, to enforce your arguably unlawful decisions.

Have you considered that this may constitute ‘malfeasance’ in public office?

(Please note that I have copied this letter to the Office of the Auditor-General).

Please be reminded that in 2004, fellow ‘Public Watchdog’ Annie King was awarded $10,000 in a settlement against Armour Guard, after she was forcibly removed (on your instruction) by security guards from the Town Hall at an Auckland City Council meeting which you were presiding as ‘Mayor’.

With all due respect – in my considered and honestly-held opinion – it is YOUR behaviour, not mine, which has been ‘disorderly’ and ‘inappropriate’ -especially as someone who wants to become elected ‘Mayor’ of the proposed ‘Supercity’ Auckland Council.

(Whatever happened to “John Banks ‘lite’ “?)

4) Where is the evidence that my subject matter is ‘repetitious’?

Issues about which I wish to speak, are ‘evolving’, as are a number of ‘Items of Business’ on the Auckland City Council agenda. As the subject matter reaches a ‘new stage’ – it is hardly ‘repetitious’.

Especially Item 5, as listed in my ‘subject matter’.

When have I ever proposed, in this form, practical action that yourself and fellow Auckland City Councillors can take in defence of the democratic rights of citizens, and in support of ‘prudent stewardship’ of public assets and resources, as follows:?

“5)Suggested, and recommended action that could be taken by Auckland City Council in support of citizens and ratepayers who are considering the taking of a stand which cannot be ignored:

– A ‘Rates Revolt’ to stop the Supercity, in order to save and safeguard our lawful democratic rights as citizens, our public assets and resources for our children, grandchildren and future generations.

SUGGESTED (DRAFT) RESOLUTION FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL MAYOR AND COUNCILLORS:

“That elected representatives of Auckland City Council resolve
in support and defence of the underpinning principles:

a) That ‘the will of the people is the basis of the authority of government’, and there should be ‘no taxation without representation’;

b)That citizens have a lawful democratic right to a binding poll (vote) on a ‘reorganisational proposal’ such as the Auckland ‘Supercity’;

c) That local government must be ‘open, transparent and democratically accountable’

to the citizens and ratepayers of those districts, cities and regions;

d) That ‘prudent stewardship’ and ‘fiscal responsibility’ must be exercised over the ownership, operation and management of public resources,’ thus models such as Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) whose ‘cost-effectiveness’ for the public majority has yet to be proven by a ‘cost-benefit analysis’, should not be used;

e) That the ownership, operation and management of essential public services – especially water services, which are vital for public health and sanitation,should remain under the direct democratic control of elected representatives, not ‘commercialised’ under the CCO (Metrowater) model or privatised under the Public Private Partnership (PPP – (United Water Papakura) model.

f) That as the right to affordable, safe water is an UN International Human Right
which states:

“.s 27…Equity demands that poorer households should not be disproportionately burdened with water expenses as compared to richer households,”

[“UNITED NATIONS COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS
General Comment No. 15 (2002) The right to water (Articles 11 and 12 of the International Covenant on Economic,Social and Cultural Rights) 26 November 2002.]

– it is recognised that the spreading of ‘user-charges’ for wastewater services will further violate that right, and potentially cause financial hardship particularly to larger, poorer families who need to use more water as a vital necessity for life;

that Auckland City Council hereby resolves that there will be no initiating of ‘rate recovery’ proceedings under s 62 and/or
s63 of the Local Government Rating Act 2002, against any citizens and ratepayers who dispute and withold rates payments for any of the above-mentioned reasons.”

(More background information is available on:

https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

__________________________________________________________

I look forward to lawful due process, and some commonsense being applied here, Mayor, and your granting of my request for speaking rights at tonight’s Auckland City Council meeting
at the Town Hall, at 6pm.

Yours sincerely,

Penny Bright

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

Ph (09) 846 9825
021 211 4 127

https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

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April 22, 2010 - Posted by | Stop the $uper City

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