INDEPENDENT NEWS

Labour Lip-Service Meaningless

Published: Mon 24 Nov 2003 09:04 AM
Labour Lip-Service Meaningless
ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy today welcomed Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy's opposition of Labour's plan to abolish DHB constituencies, especially in light of the lack of democratic consultation with the local community.
"When asked in Parliament this week Health Minister Annette King said the public had received adequate consultation through DHBs and local councils - this, however, has not been the case," Mrs Roy said.
"Submissions on the Health Ministry's discussion document on this proposal closed on Wednesday 19 November. The document was not released publicly, nor was there any public announcement regarding its release.
"The only way the public could have known about the document was through DHBs and local bodies calling for submissions. In actual fact, however, most did not receive the document in time to run a consultation process without undue haste.
"Smaller cities and towns are at serious risk of having their representation wiped out, without realising what's happening. Rural constituencies are clear that they will have no representation at all under the STV at-large voting system.
"I challenge the Minister to name any of the 21 DHBs or councils which have held public meetings on the issue of constituency arrangements under STV. This is a clear-cut case of Cabinet making decisions, paying lip service to consultation processes, and then pronouncing the deal done," Mrs Roy said

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