Government Robbing Canterbury People of their Democracy

Alliance Party Co-Leader and former MP Kevin Campbell says the decision by the Government to keep Government appointed Commissioners in charge of the Canterbury Regional Council is a further blow for the spirits of the people of Canterbury.

The people of Canterbury have suffered enough through the earthquakes over the past two years with many robbed of their homes and livelihoods, says Mr Campbell. “The last thing they want now is to be robbed of their democracy once again.”

Mr Campbell says the Government has ignored the advice of commissioners and broken the promise and the law that there would be elections in 2013.

The Alliance is a political movement committed to the principles of Social Justice, and one of the most basic tenets of Social Justice is that the people most affected by a decision should be involved in the decision making process. Mr Campbell says there is no justice in this decision, as the people affected have had no say at all. “Cantabrians spoke loudly and clearly against the Government action when their elected Councillors were sacked – they didn’t agree then and they don’t agree now.”

The Minister claims it would be folly to change the Government appointed Councillors at this time in Canterbury’s recovery. However what is crucial to Canterbury’s recovery is democratically elected City and Regional Councillors who are accountable to the People for the future of our city and region, says Mr Campbell.

“The greatest folly for any society is to deny democratic representation. Christchurch and Canterbury don’t just need sound infrastructure and buildings – we need sound democratic governance at this crucial time.”