NAG CHALLENGES COMMISSION DECISION



Northern Action Group filed an appeal in the Wellington High Court on Wednesday 30 July against the decision by the Local Government Commission (LGC) to not assess their bid to establish an independent North Rodney Unitary Council.

We had to lodge proceedings within 30 days of the decision but in fact only learnt we could appeal 10 days before the deadline.

This proposal was initially lodged with the Commission nine months ago following a poll indicating over 90% of the community supported separation from Auckland Council.

The Commission rejected our proposal on 3 principle areas:
1. That the description of the North Rodney (NR) area wasn’t adequate.
2. That the whole of Auckland hadn’t been canvassed for support.
3. That it wasn’t in the public interest to assess the proposal.

NAG consulted with Wellington Public law specialists, Franks & Ogilvie, who advised that there are grounds to appeal the decision.

Principally they are:
1. That their criticism of the description of North Rodney is unjustified as the proposal does sufficiently describe the area to be removed from Auckland and is accompanied by a detailed Map.

2. That requiring the whole of Auckland to be canvassed for support is contrary to the requirements of the new legislation at this stage.

3. That the LGC conclusion that the proposal is ‘not in the public interest’ is based almost entirely on what Auckland Council itself wants and takes no account of what the North Rodney community’s interests are.

Northern Action Group has been advocating a democratic outcome for North Rodney’s local governance since its inception in October 2009. The new Local Government law requires community’s views to be heard and taken seriously by the Commission as it is required by law to be independent and objective.

We believe the Commission had clearly predetermined their decision. They seem to think having a large supercity council is more efficient and effective and better for the North Rodney community.  But the community has opposed being included in the supercity since day one.

A full copy of our High Court appeal is available here

"Putting the 'local' back into our Local Government"

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