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A Waiheke Island Myth Part 1 On Waiheke Island, New Zealand, a myth has grown up among a handful of people in the Rocky Bay Village th...

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Saturday, 29 November 2008


There are two ways in which decisions can be made democratically. They can be made by ballot, referendum, majority petition, etc. Or they can be made according to law arrived at by democratic process. For example, a judge who sends a man to jail for theft is making a democratic decision, because the law against theft was arrived at by due democratic process. So what is really happening is that the majority of the people are jailing the thief.

The application to the Local Government Commission to put the Hauraki Gulf Islands under a much better council is decided in the same way. It is a legal process; it must be decided according to democratic law--first and foremost under the heading 'Good Local Government.' It is not a ballot, a vote, a referendum. What people's tastes may be on the matter is irrelevant. To take the point to extremes, the entire population of New Zealand may think a move to Thames-Coromandel is looney, but if after rigorous examination under the points laid down in the Local Government Act 2002, the LGC says we would get good local government there, not under Auckland, it should move us. Or if everyone thinks Thames-Coromandel is brilliant, but the LGC's legal analysis says no, that Auckland provides the best in local government, we must stay with it.