Monday, March 19, 2012

Ports and transparency III: The solution

Over the last two posts on this topic, I've pushed for more transparency in our ports. We own them, so we should be able to see what they're doing. We accept this principle for other businesses majority-owned by local government, and there seems to be no justification for ports to be an exception.

So how do we achieve that? Simple: we amend the definition of Council Controlled Organisation to remove the exclusion (and make a consequential amendment to the Port Companies Act). I've included a simple bill to do this below:

Local Government (Council Controlled Organisations) Amendment Bill

The Parliament of New Zealand enacts as follows:

1. Title
This Act is the Local Government (Council Controlled Organisations) Amendment Act 2012.

2. Commencement
This Act comes into force on the day after the date on which it receives the Royal Assent.

3. Purpose
The purpose of this Act is to amend the Local Government Act 2002 to remove the exclusion of port companies and their subsidiaries from the definition of Council Controlled Organisation.

4. Principal Act Amended
This Act amends the Local Government Act 2002.

5. Section 6 Amended
Sections 6(c) and 6(ca) are repealed.

6. Consequential Amendments to Port Companies Act 1988
Section 6(4) of the Port Companies Act 1988 is repealed.

The question now is whether any politicians are willing to stand up and advocate for more transparency over publicly owned assets.