Cabinet celebrates the ECan coup

A picture is worth a thousand words:

Update: If you are in or near Christchurch tomorrow Friday 30 April, come and join the protests against this abrogation of democracy:

5:30 pm  @ ECan office 58 Kilmore St, moving to the Jenny Shipley gloat-fest lecture at  the Copthorne Hotel, corner Durham and Kilmore Streets an hour or so later.

41 Comments Posted

  1. Hi Everyone – Some of us Cantabrians decided to do something to help empower Cantabrians to maintain their regional democracy and so have put together a website type blog called ECan in Exile. We’ve submitted it for Google indexing and would now like to get it linked into as many related high traffic sites as possible. Please have a look at our site here: and if you like what we’ve done please link us from your website.

    >>In democracy it’s your vote that counts; In feudalism it’s your count that votes.

  2. Heads? Why not whole body effigies? Like the ones of Jenny Shipley that were paraded around and burned following the 1991 benefit cuts.

  3. PM Watcher
    I like your ‘heads’ idea, only I’d suggest a refinement;
    if the heads could be those of Brownlee, Smith, Key et al and be raised aloft on pointy stakes, the marchers would be making a powerful statement.

  4. Anderton has also said he will continue as the MP for Wigram for a year if he wins the Mayoralty. That is a very poor look.

    We in Auckland were very critical of Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga for continuing to serve as an Auckland City Councillor after being elected MP for Maungakiekie. No-one can be both a local body elected representative and a Parliamentary elected representative and do both jobs properly.

    That said, Parker must go after his role in undermining democracy in Canterbury by helping orchestrate the ECan coup.

  5. Parker is a prat.
    Anderton has been no friend to the green movement.
    Sorry Christchurch.
    Your prospects look poor at this point.

  6. Stephensmikm made a very good point. I know at least 6 people who could not make it but supported the antimining march. I think we should be making ‘head’ shapes with a photo or name of that person to take on marches with us. Six heads on a placard on one side and the statement on the other side.

    So 50,000 people according to TV3; multiplied by an average of 3 heads = 150,000 people. I suggest Key heeds those numbers – bit like an iceberg effect. If you also remember these are New Zealanders, who prefer to keep their heads down in these matters and that really ratchets up the political impact for Key. Kiwis don’t march unless they’re really feeling ignored and their views trampled on.

    Remember that in the 80s under Douglas, the marching didn’t start until the 2nd term of government; this is only mid term in the first term of government. Wonder what Douglas is thinking. Is he enjoying the damage he is doing once again to New Zealand and NZers?

  7. I was there but left after Bob Parker waffled on and on and on.

    What I’d like to know is “Does Bob believe in climate change or not ?” To paraphrase him … “some say climate change is man made and some say it is not”
    For crying out loud Bob, almost all qualified scientists say it is man made and only the fossil fuel lobby say it is not.
    Yet the city council, led by this fool, wants to charge us for implementing a climate change strategy – but their leader will not make up his mind preferring to say what ever the audience wants to hear.
    Grow a back bone man, as you’ll need it when you’re dumped in October.

  8. Yeah, somehow the ECan discussion has got onto the mining thread. Hope it wasn’t my fault, although they are closely related issues.

    Anyway, ‘fly, agreed that it is (almost) okay for Government to urge the populace how to vote in a local election and put up arguments to support that stance. The decision remains with the voters.

    But to cancel the election altogether is fascist. I’m not one to use that term lightly, but eredwen on the other thread where this debate probably should not have been is correct in her analysis.

    I’m as wary as anyone of Godwinning a blog thread, but canceling an election because you are “wary of the outcome” is about as totalitarian as you can get.

  9. “Just to make absolutely sure we are in no doubt as to the government’s intentions Finance Minister Bill English said last week the government itself would provide the money for investment in damming Canterbury rivers for irrigation if the private sector couldn’t by itself guarantee enough profit for investors.

    The government was strongly advised not to take the dramatic action it did.”

    So much here to give you the chills, New Zealand.

  10. with the mining… again I support it but only in some areas , I certainly side with the protesters over the Islands in the North but not on the West Coast- that area needs it. you can take that each of those marching probably does have an extra 2 or 3 who couldn’t march directly supporting them so that is a bit significant, far more so than that rabble outside the Corpthorne last night

  11. But from what I gathered at the event

    Farmers will be punished if they don’t monitor usage over 5 litre/s ie – 250 households worth – Farmers will have to pay for the privilege of being monitored at a cost between 2800-8000$$ depending on the size of the farm with an extra 400-1000 per year in additional costs meaning across NZ, starting in Canterbury and Otago all Farmers will have to disclose what their wastage is and subsequently from that alot of info can be gathered which will make it far easier to prosecute those who are breaching stream limits and polluting Cantabrian aquifers

  12. I know there was a radio nz or somesuch mic there so you could probably get it right from the source

    as for the mining – that kinda does speak for itself actually

  13. the annoying thing about that protest I found was that what was being said inside the debate was probably exactly what everyone outside wanted to hear but were to stubborn to listen

  14. stephen – entire agree re. drums, ffs.
    Greens, get smart. Who’s the audience. We’re not tslking to ourselves here.
    Public nuisance however, is good, but the makers of the nuisance must be be indistinguishable from ..the public.

  15. @AlbatrossNZ

    As an attending at that lecture we were laughing from the moment someone brought out the drums

    Too few to be an actual protest, too many to ignore = a public nuisance
    and why did parent’s take their toddler children out their, it was cold, most weren’t wearing sweaters and it is common knowledge that taking a child to a protest doesn’t increase your support amongst the opposition because that child doesn’t know what’s going on at all and in this case should have been in bed

  16. Having just returned from the Lecture very very interesting things are going to happen that even the Greens will support.

    Watch the news…

    PS : Playing bonjo drums and the like makes people NOT want to listen to concerns for future reference

  17. As an added attraction, Nick Smith will be at the Shipley gloat-fest.

    Figures. Someone to give her post-address flowers!

    Last one I saw was David Carter doing the honors. While ago, admittedly..

    BTW anyone care assist me ID the guys in the pic..

  18. I hear that some E-can councillors don’t want to stand down and those environmental councillors should refuse to stand down because they are in the right. The PSA and the CTU could do very well to back them.

    Toad should such councillors refuse to move could they not challenge the government to take them to court?

    After all we have a fair idea of thr MOJ’s views on this.

  19. From Councilwatch:

    The Agriculture Minister’s recent comments to farmers that the removal of the rights of Canterbury region’s voters to select regional council representation was designed as a “signal” to the local Government sector is cause for alarm, says local democracy watchdog Council Watch.

    The Press reports Agriculture Minister David Carter has sent ‘a signal to regional authorities to work more constructively with farmers’. There could scarcely be a more direct threat to the very function of environmental protection that regional authorities carry out. The Government can no longer try and perpetuate the myth that the sacking of ECan was necessary, just or rational. Here is the clearest indication yet that the Government are seeking to instruct regional authorities to accede to farmers’ demands for irrigation regardless of environmental impact.

    The message must be clear, not just to regional authorities but to environmental groups and ordinarily caring citizens of NZ that: “working with farmers” in the Government’s definition means capitulating to them on all matters relating to water – irrigation, dam construction and resource consents this is important for the short term economic well being of NZ (not to mention our friends the farmers) if you don’t do this you will be stripped of your powers regardless even if those powers were granted by a democratic process…

    Let us consider what could have happened if due process had been followed. Just before Christmas 2009 (a good time for releasing sensitive information unheralded) a report from the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) found prima facie evidence that four ECan councillors had abused their position by voting on matters in which they had a pecuniary interest. Such was their arrogance that they did this despite being advised by their own Chairman and the Auditor Generals office that they had such a conflict! Crucially however, the Auditor General Lyn Provost chose not to prosecute.

    Council Watch questioned this decision at the time as it seemed inconsistent with the truly damming nature of her findings. Although the amounts involved were small, around $13,000 in the largest case, the intent of the four councillors was very clear and furthermore continued long after their obvious failings had been pointed out to them. When Council Watch sought information on the AG’s rationale under the Local Government Information and Meetings Act provisions, the request was declined. The rationale provided by the law officers who advised Ms. Provost is a crucial piece of information that the public should have access to because it begs the question of just how badly a councillor may behave before any kind of sanction is applied.

    Why is this important? The public has have heard much about the deadlock around the ECan table in relation to matters of environmental protection versus unfettered access to water and this could have been broken at a stroke by the AG prosecuting the ECan four, effectively removing them from the table and altering the balance of voting power.

    For the Government however, simply breaking the deadlock was not enough, it had to be broken in such a manner that the right side won. It was and it did. Is this how we want our democracy to function in NZ? We should all be concerned, very concerned.

  20. samiuela! Beans! Serve with fresh (f)artichokes!
    Only ‘matured’ paua guts can top Drak’s ancient eggs!

  21. If you’re going, follow Drakula’s advise; I’m sure you’ll be excused for buying cage grown eggs. Also, if a large enough group pays the $10 entry fee, make sure you have a pre-lecture meal of beans.

  22. Where is the $10 for the Shipley gloat fest going? If this a Nat fundraiser, as stephensmikm suggests, I wouldn’t give them one cent.

  23. You do know there is a discussion at the end…if you felt so strongly about this you’d pay the 10 bucks and go in and crowd the end questioning rather than just moan outside with maybe a little tv and radio coverage – or are you so adverse to giving that 10 bucks to National that you would’t stand up to fighting for your “constitutional” outrage?


    Muldoon was often drunk in charge of a country!! You can’t get pulled up for that can you!!

    Those going to the Jenny Shipley gloat fest will not want to go empty handed, may I suggest two dozen eggs? The not so expensive veriety, eggs that have matured over the years and have attained a certain bouquet to the noses of the most refined of conneseurs!!!

    HAVE FUN!!!!

  25. I think this opportunity to show your support for your councillors & your regional democracy tomorrow must be grasped by all Cantabrians.
    Its either that or you’ll just continue to be Up Sh*t CREECH!

  26. Those dehydrated husks look as though they desperately need watering (odds-on Muldoon’s glass is vodka).

  27. ECan Democracy – The Resurrection
    I see from the popular prints that the public have been calling on the ECan councillors to continue in an informal voluntary capacity, especially as the commissioners don’t seen to have either the inclination, mandate or public confidence to undertake advocacy for ratepayer constituents.

    I believe the attending ECan councillors tomorrow night will ask for guidance from attendees as to whether they should continue as an “ECan in Exile”

    However, I understand there is quite a bit of interest from the councillors in the idea and their backroom boys (& women) may already be putting the machinery in place that will enable them to continue to fullfil their democratic mandate.

    And finally a couple of wise words to chew over…

    “If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost.”
    ~ Aristotle

    “Freedom is not merely the opportunity to do as one pleases; neither is it merely the opportunity to choose between set alternatives. Freedom is, first of all, the chance to formulate the available choices, to argue over them — and then, the opportunity to choose.”
    – C. Wright Mills

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