Councillor successfully sees gagging order dropped

Published: Tue 4 Aug 2015 12:26 PM
Tuesday, 4 August 2015
Councillor successfully sees gagging order dropped
“It’s great news that Auckland councillors and local board members will not be answerable to the Council-Controlled Organisations when it comes to speaking to the media,” says Auckland Councillor for Orakei, Cameron Brewer.
Mr Brewer’s comments following today’s CCO Governance & Monitoring Committee where councillors were asked to approve the Auckland Council’s Governance Manual for Substantive CCOs.
Under the ‘No Surprises’ section it was proposed that councillors and local boards members ‘WILL advise CCOs if they are approached by media to speak about a CCO-related issue’.
However Mr Brewer argued such a strong directive was an outrageous gagging order on elected representatives. He then put up an amendment that successfully resulted in the word ‘WILL’ being changed to ‘MAY’.
“The public don’t want us gagged. In fact quite the opposite. They increasingly want us to have greater control over the CCOs and be able to freely express any concerns or issues surrounding these largely ratepayer-funded entities which represent most of council business.
“We’re not answerable to the CCOs and nor should we be. They’re answerable and accountable to us. This failed directive was just another attempt by non-elected officials to grab more power from us elected representatives. This was a small but important win for democracy in Auckland,” says Mr Brewer.

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