Yule is the only mayor in Hawke’s Bay to back a five-council amalgamation of the sort that was stingingly dumped in Wellington earlier this month and slowly evaporated in Northland. A final proposal for a merger in Hawke’s Bay will be voted on in September.
Agenda 21 is a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations with regard to sustainable development. It is a product of the Earth Summit (UN Conference on Environment and Development) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. (1)
This agenda has been embedded in New Zealand’s institutional framework for over 20 years, manifesting itself through such buzzwords as “sustainable development”, “biodiversity”, “smart growth”, “waste minimization”, and “population control”.
Through this agenda a foreign group like the United Nations effectively dictates policy through our central and local government and will ultimately siphon money from our local and central government to fund their master plan involving the global redistribution of resources.
As Commonwealth Local Government Forum chair, Yule told Botswana president Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, United Nations Development Programme administrator Helen Clark, forum secretary general Carl Wright, Botswana Association of Local Authority president Mpho Moruakgomo, and the large room full of conference delegates, that:
“ . . it was encouraging that there is a formal agreement that all levels of government, including the subnational, have a role in implementing the sustainable development goals, that there is support for addressing the issues of capacity and resources, and that a dedicated sustainable development goal on cities and human settlements is proposed.
The forum represents local government at Commonwealth level, including to the Commonwealth Secretary-General and at meetings of Commonwealth Heads of Government and with other Commonwealth partners. It also makes written submission to consultations and other policy development forums. (2)
Sustainable development goals are a new, universal set of goals, targets and indicators that UN member states will be expected to use to frame their agendas and political policies over the next 15 years.
They follow, and expand on, the millennium development goals, which were agreed by governments in 2000, and are due to expire at the end of this year.
The eight millennium development goals – reduce poverty and hunger; achieve universal education; promote gender equality; reduce child and maternal deaths; combat HIV, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; develop global partnerships – failed to consider the root causes of poverty, or gender inequality, or the holistic nature of development. What are the proposed 17 sustainable development goals?
1) End poverty in all its forms everywhereThe Hastings mayor who is on a salary of $120,000 is mostly away from Hastings working on his other jobs being the president of Local Government New Zealand, as well as Commonwealth Local Government Forum chair.
2) End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
3) Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages
4) Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
5) Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
6) Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
7) Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
8) Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all
9) Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation
10) Reduce inequality within and among countries
11) Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
12) Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
13) Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (taking note of agreements made by the UNFCCC forum)
14) Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
15) Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss
16) Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
17) Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development. (3)
For those who think local government is all about roads, water, sewage, parks, libraries, and building consents, think again.
Merger mayor Lawrence Yule appears to think that Hawke’s Bay ratepayers have a further obligation to end poverty and hunger, to promote education and gender equality, to promote sustainable energy and industrialisation, to reduce inequality, to make cities and towns inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, to combat climate change, to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, manage forests, combat desertification, provide access to justice for all, and so on.
Local government in Hawke's Bay would have to be much bigger, and therefore, much more costly, to take on all of that.
When voting in September, Hawke’s Bay residents should be very careful in choosing whether or not to endorse the five-council amalgamation that the largely absentee Hastings mayor Lawrence Yule is promoting.
1. Agenda 21, https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/Agenda21.pdf
2. Commonwealth Local Government Forum Conference 2015. http://www.cvent.com/events/commonwealth-local-government-conference-2015/event-summary-7a7456d65b9a41a8924127af31399eaa.aspx
3. Sustainable development goals. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/topics/sustainabledevelopmentgoals