Support local democracy by legislating for binding referenda prior to any major change to constitutional arrangements in local government.



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    Auckland Council spent $129M on iwi consultation and other targeted Māori spending over the past six years. Read the report here

Our campagns

  • Latest from the blog

    Three Waters Reform

    Currently the majority of our three water services (drinking water, wastewater and stormwater) are publicly owned and delivered by our 67 local councils. We have 61 territorial authorities and seven unitary authorities providing services, along with major providers in Auckland and Wellington. Water service and delivery forms a large part of a council’s responsibilities, along with local planning, roading, waste collection etc. Ensuring accountability is kept at a local level means communities have a say in the water governance matters important to them. But this is about to change. Continue reading

    Treaty-Based Local Governance

    There are several mechanisms to encourage Māori to participate in local government that are specific to Māori citizens. These are set out in a range of Local Government related Acts, the Resource Management Act and Treaty settlement legislation. Continue reading


    Democracy Action strongly opposes the decisions of District Health Boards to prioritise Maori and Pacific patients on elective surgery waiting lists. We believe priority should be based on clinical urgency and the time a patient has waited, not their race. When someone is bumped up on a list, someone else must be moved down. Continue reading

    Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act

    The Marine and Coastal Area Act has resulted in over 580 applications for the recognition of customary rights and customary marine title over 10 million hectares of our foreshore and seabed, out to 12 nautical miles (22 kilometres), including harbours, estuaries and river mouths, the airspace above and many of the minerals below. Continue reading

Latest news

  • Latest from the blog

    Further Councils Considering Establishing Māori Wards

    Councils: Waipa, Hawke’s Bay, Horizons, Horowhenua, Hamilton As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, the new Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Act 2021 extended the deadline for councils to consider Māori wards for the 2022 triennial local government elections to 21 May 2021. This has brought forward a flurry of proposals and votes.  Continue reading

    Next Steps For Māori Representation In Local Government

    As covered in our March newsletter, the Government has passed the Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Act 2021. This legislation abolished a democratic right that allowed the community to force a public vote if their council made the decision to introduce Maori wards. The legislation also reopened the window for councils to consider Maori wards in time for the 2022 elections, which some are now doing.  Continue reading

    Another Day, Another Rāhui

    Ngāti Hei Trust has requested a temporary closure to the eastern Coromandel scallop fishery, citing the degradation of the scallop bed in their application. After a “successful” voluntary rāhui over summer, the iwi now wish to make it official for another two years, and have vastly extended the area under the rāhui -  from Opito Bay to Anarake Point in the north, to Opoutere in the south, stretching 12 nautical miles offshore, to include the islands of Repanga/Cuvier, Ahuahu/Great Mercury, Ohinau, Whakahau/Slipper and the Alderman Islands.  Continue reading

    Next Steps for Three Waters Reform

    This is a complex set of reforms the Government intends to implement in stages over the next three years.  The first stage was the Water Services Regulator Act - which created the water services regulator ‘Taumata Arowai’. This body will oversee and enforce a new drinking water regulatory framework, and have oversight of the management of our wastewater and stormwater networks. This is designed to ensure that minimum water standards are met no matter who the supplier. This new Crown entity is currently being established, and will become responsible for drinking water regulation when the second stage, the Water Services Bill, is passed, which is expected to be mid-2021. Continue reading

    Another Media Council Fail

    Recently a member sent a letter of complaint to Stuff regarding a comment made by Labour MP Arena Williams as guest columnist in newspapers published throughout New Zealand during February. The Williams commentary trotted out the oft-repeated lie about the Rangiaowhia affray - saying that “Colonel Nixon… was famous for razing unfortified Rangiaowhia while men, women and children burnt in their church.” The member writes:  “That would certainly be a callous act if it were true. But it is not.  Continue reading