As readers of this blog may have noticed, I’ve been campaigning hard for decent cycling infrastructure in Hamilton for some time now. My blog post numbers reached 500 individuals a day. As one of Hamiltons 2 cycling/make world a better place/political blogs (chur Hamilton Urban Blog!) thats pretty ok numbers for a small city who tend to not even vote in local body elections.
An info graphic showing Hamilton City Council planned to spend $0 over the next decade was used by the good young things at Generation Zero and led to over 350 submissions on the #Ham10YP and shared all round the place. We drove online social media submissions and accounted for 98% of all of them.
Yes it’s wonderful that the council have finally bowed to massive public and factual pressure and decided to actually spend $ on cycling infrastructure.
Of course it’s only 0.6% of the transport budget and cyclists make up 6% and growing according to census figures. Bow down before the mighty 10th of what should be received. We as a City are clearly not worthy.
Jump on this piece of consultation, tell them you want more, you want better, maybe even also thank them for at least making a start. Sigh. Do it for our kids, so that they may ride safely. Do it for others both now and in the future. Do it for less traffic and a cleaner planet. Do it for the love.
Here is my email sent to the appropriate HCC addresses. I have also made an Official Information Act request for the feedback which supposedly led to this decision. Personally I doubt this feedback exists, except in some ephemeral anecdotal form in a certain Mayor’s head. Here’s this mornings complaint:
I am writing to make a formal complaint about the current Submission processes surrounding the 10 Year Plan and Hamilton City Councils ongoing submissions procedures.
Hamilton City Council must offer the option to submitters of presenting an oral submission to full council within the council chambers as it has always done.
The only chance for oral presentations during the submission period for the Hamilton 10 Year Plan has been through ‘Community Engagement Meetings’, a very informal space where public talk over you and you talk to a few councillors and a few staff. This is unacceptable. It is not an appropriate forum to give a full submission to reach all councillors, appropriate staff whilst being heard by the public gallery and any attendant press.
Council has stated that due to changes in local government legislation, the Council is able to use different ways to hear people’s views on proposals. You’ve stated you are able, not that you are required. Many other councils in NZ are continuing to have formal oral submissions heard and have also added community meetings to their process, thereby strengthening democratic engagement and offering more avenues of participation. Not less.
The contention from Council that you have had feedback in the past that the hearings process is very formal and people would like opportunities to share their views with councillors in a less formal setting” is wonderful and I’m glad some people can now happily attend a community engagement meeting. Conversely many people find the formal oral submissions in the chamber extremely important, and wish for this to continue.
Thankyou for hearing this complaint and I look forward to your reply,
Will keep you updated by updating this post, on both the OIA and the complaint.
The Internet Party is currently number 8 on the NZ app store for iOS. Beating out Spotify and almost overtaking Snapchat is no mean feat, just ask any kiwi game developer. But when this is a political party we’re talking about it is literally revolutionary.
What is amazing here is finally a party is making fantastic tech integrations and plugging in democracy the way it could have been done at least 2 elections ago. Online memberships, Android and iOS apps, these are pre-cursors which I suggest will see a rise in membership of political parties on the whole, though not to pre-1984 levels.
Having been shown what is possible, every other party needs to do this if it wants to remain relevant this election and into the future. Whether you like the party or not is no import, they have shown they way forward for political parties to remain relevant and that is what is newsworthy here. If National and Labour don’t have an app in production already someone needs to clear house in their IT and strategy departments.
Changing the game is as important as being in the game. Whether or not the party gets into parliament they have already changed the face of kiwi democracy for the better, congratulations Internet Party