Things that National’s banned

We heard a lot from National before the election last year about the Green Party wanting to ban things. David Farrar even compiled a list, even though many of the things on it incorrectly stated Green policy or were standards or restrictions, rather than bans.

So when I saw John Key reported as wanting to ban pseudoephedrine in cold medicines, I thought I’d do a tally of the things National has banned or has proposed to ban in the six months they have been in office.

I got to 20. Additions to the list welcome.

  1. Public submissions on the Electricity (Renewable Preference) Repeal Act 2008
  2. Public submissions on the Bail Amendment Act 2008
  3. Public submissions on the Energy (Fuels, Levies, and References) Biofuel Obligation Repeal Act 2008
  4. Public submissions on the Education (National Standards) Amendment Act 2008
  5. Public submissions on the Employment Relations (Probationary Employment) Amendment Act 2008
  6. Employees in workplaces with less than 20 staff taking personal grievances if dismissed in the first 90 days of employment
  7. Employees in workplaces with less than 20 staff right to be told the reason for their dismissal if dismissed in the first 90 days of employment
  8. Public submissions on the Electoral Amendment Act 2009
  9. Gang patches in Whanganui
  10. Public submissions on the Local Government (Tamaki Makaurau Reorganisation) Act 2009
  11. Councils and local government organisations in the Auckland region from making ongoing expenditure commitments over $20,000
  12. Councils and local Government organisations in the Auckland region borrowing money for a period that extends beyond 30 June 2011
  13. Councils in the Auckland region refusing to co-operate with the Auckland Transition Agency’s local government reorganisation plans
  14. People in Auckland region having the right to a poll on local government reorganisation
  15. Appealing a resource consent application to the Environment Court unless they put up security for costs
  16. The Minister of Conservation from making decisions on behalf of the public on consent applications for restricted coastal activities
  17. The right to appeal a Council plan on other than points of law
  18. The ability of community groups “representing a relevant aspect of the public interest” to become party to an appeal if they were not a submitter
  19. Councils from creating rules that protect trees of a certain size or type
  20. Pseudoephedrine in cold medicines

Quite a tally for 6 months in office. Scarily, many on National’s list are bans on democratic participation, which is not something you would find on any Green list.

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5 thoughts on “Things that National’s banned

  1. 1 to 5, 8 and 10 are wrong. The Nats have not banned public submissions, they have simply not called for them. There is a real point of difference there.

    11 is a change and is part of an ongoing process to change the governance structure of Auckland.

    14 is wrong because of the same reasoning. There is a difference between taking away from the public what they had and not offering something to the public.

    20 has not happened yet.

    I don’t think 15 can counted as a ban as it does not prevent appeals, it simply requires in law that the Court can already require.

    I also think that most of the others you raise are somewhat tenuous. They are not truly bans, rather most of them are changes of the rules to limit, rather than remove, the rules you mention.

    In fact, the only true ban here is number 9.

    Also, please note that the Greens supported the EFA, which the NZLS and other submitters said was a limit on democratic participation.

  2. F E Smith, I used the same rather liberal interpretation of the word “ban” as David Farrar did when attacking the Greens on Kiwiblog last year.

    Not calling for public submissions and ramming a Bill through Parliament is, effectively, banning public input into it.

    On number 14, the Local Government Act provides that there should be a public poll on local government reorganisation. Government is legislating to ensure there is not in the case of the Auckland reorganisation.

    And while I wasn’t happy with the EFA processes, at least there was an opportunity for public submissions and a Select Committee hearing. With the Bills I referred to above, including the Electoral Amendment Act that repealed the EFA, even that right was denied.

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