The Northern Action Group Incorporated is an apolitical organization made up of a wide range of members from all around the North Rodney community including farmers, employees, retirees, businessmen, professionals, housewives and past Rodney District Council members.
We originally formed in October 2009 following the overturn of the Govt. select committee’s recommendation to leave us out of the proposed super city . This action completely swept aside this communities democratically expressed preference not to be included. The Local Government Minister Hon. Rodney Hide cited a large number of requests he had received by phone calls, Cards, letters and Emails from people requesting that North Rodney (NR) be included in the proposed super city.
Following a denied OIA request and finally a complaint to the Ombudsman by us he was forced to disclose that the actual number from NR was just 28 who had expressed a preference to be included. Using such a small number to overturn a major recommendation was, we considered, simply wrong and that he had mis-lead Parliament causing a Law to be passed on incorrect information .
This is a direct contravention of Parliaments standing orders and a complaint was made to the speaker, Lockwood Smith , which received no response.
We collected a 6300 strong petition requesting the decision be overturned and the original recommendation be reinstated but this was also ignored by Government.
We were forced into recess by a 3 year embargo on any more reorganization proposals following which we reconvened to continue the fight to get back our democracy.
We modelled a new NR Unitary Council (NRUC) which a poll showed was supported by over 90 % of the NR community. Accordingly we prepared a detailed proposal and filed it in November 2013 with the Local Government Commission (LGC) for consideration. The LGC took 8 months to decide not to assess our proposal on the grounds that it was ‘not in the public interest’.
In August 2014 we became an incorporated society (see constitution here) in preparation for a High Court appeal (lodged in July 2014) against the LGC decision. This was found in our favour and In June 2015 the Judge ruled that the Commission was to reconsider their decision.
Experience with the Thames Coromandel District Council Community Empowerment Model allowed us to modify our application to incorporate that model. We provided our revised application in June 2016. As part of the review, we later commissioned a model (ignored by the Commission) which showed that a NRUC could be viable - the Commission’s modelling had said it was not.
After 2 years of deliberation (and four years since we applied) the Local Government Commission in Nov 2017 decided the Status Quo was its preferred option, once again denying the community a vote on the decision.
We appealed the decision on several reasonable grounds, but in April 2020 the High Court, in a conservative decision, decided that the Commission was free to conduct its review as it pleased, as long as it complied with the process in the Act.
We remain committed to restoring a democratic outcome to the issue of this community’s local governance.
Our fears that North Rodney would be isolated, effectively disenfranchised, exploited and ignored within an urban-centric AC have been realised.
We continue to work to improve the governance of Rodney within AC and achieve fair and effective representation and proportionately fair treatment of Rodney within AC in financing, the provision of facilities and services, and the management of assets.
"Putting the 'local' back into our Local Government"
Copyright 2021 © The Northern Action Group Incorporated (2611636)
The Northern Action Group