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Labour's democracy restoration bill drawn

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 19/10/2016

Parliament is going to debate a Labour Party bill that calls for the immediate election of all the members of Environment Canterbury.

It was drafted by Labour's Canterbury spokeswoman Megan Woods in response to the government's sacking of all the regional council's elected members in 2010.

The government replaced them with commissioners because there had been serious delays in water management decisions.

It subsequently decided on a partial return to democratic representation, and in the local body elections earlier this month seven members of the 13-member council were elected.

The government has appointed the other six.

Ms Woods says that's not good enough.

"The government stripped Cantabrians of their right to have a say over the future of the region," she said after her bill had been drawn in the member's bill ballot on Thursday.

"Half a democracy isn't a democracy, we need full elections as soon as possible."

The Environment Canterbury (Democracy Restoration) Amendment Bill will go on parliament's order paper for a first reading.

It isn't likely to get any further because the government will oppose it.

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