15 Nov 2012

Outburst halts hearing on Canterbury council elections

5:12 pm on 15 November 2012

A select committee hearing into a bill seeking to further delay Canterbury Regional Council elections had to be suspended after an angry outburst from one of the submitters.

The current act, which installed commissioners in 2010, expires next year, requiring the Government to pass a new bill.

The chairperson of the Local Government and Environment Committee, the National MP Nicky Wagner, cleared the room on Thursday after one submitter, Cliff Mason, labelled the bill an outrage for denying Cantabrians their democratic rights.

Afterwards, Mr Mason was unapologetic about his outburst.

"I'm very angry about the situation but we're here to make a respectful sort of submission in front of the select committee, so that's all I did, but you can't not call an outrage an outrage."

Asked if he raised his voice, Mr Mason said: "I certainly did and slammed my open hand on the table but I don't think that constitutes any risk to law and order."