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  • WELCOME TO
    DEMOCRACY ACTION

    We are a not-for-profit incorporated society working to champion the fundamental importance of democracy & equality of citizenship for all New Zealanders.

  • SPECIAL REPORT

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

  • THREE WATERS REFORMS

    New reforms will see water controlled by a small number of multi-regional entities not directly accountable to the public

  • TREATY-BASED LOCAL GOVERNANCE

    Maori wards are just the start to the changes the government is planning for local government

  • MAORI WARDS

    Check to see if your council is considering one or more Maori wards and make sure you have your say



Latest news

  • Latest from the blog

    Three Waters Reform – further constitutional change by stealth

    In another step in what the Government terms ‘partnership-based reform’ Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta last week released further information on plans to move the ownership and management of water infrastructure from local councils into the hands of four multi-regional water service entities across New Zealand. This information includes the proposed boundaries of the four water providers, and further details on the proposed water services entities - including governance arrangements, how they would be regulated, and the role of iwi. Nanaia Mahuta stated: “The Government will continue to work with the sector, iwi and industry on some of the details to give these transformational reforms the best chance of success. We will be making further announcements in the coming weeks, including a three waters reform support package for councils and their communities’’. Continue reading

    Crown not appealing foreshore and seabed decision

    The decision last month by Justice Peter Churchman is the first major case under the foreshore and seabed legislation, the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011, which replaced Labour's foreshore and seabed law. The decision awarded customary title in three parts of Eastern Bay of Plenty to six hapū of Whakatohea.  Justice Churchman’s decision elevated the status of Maori “tikanga” above the common law tests in the Marine and Coastal Area Act. This means that unless the judgement is overturned, it is likely to have a significant impact not only on the claims process, but on New Zealand’s legal system as well. If this judgement is allowed to stand, it is likely that hundreds of claims for customary marine title – involving most if not all the coastline – will succeed. The Crown considered lodging an appeal against this decision, but has decided not to. Instead, the Attorney-General has applied to appear as an intervenor to assist the court. Any expectation that the government would act in the interests of the rest of New Zealand have been dashed.  Lodging an appeal has been left up to a self-funded private group to act in the public interest. Continue reading

    ‘Māori-Crown Partnership’ features strongly in revamp of education system

    During 2018 the Government announced a three-year work programme to bring about significant changes to New Zealand’s education system, from preschool to university. The reforms include a complete overhaul of the Ministry of Education, a review of Tomorrow’s Schools, and NCEA, and a programme of change for vocational education.  Continue reading

    New rules set to encroach on private property rights

    Anger has erupted around the country over the Government’s much stronger approach to protect indigenous biodiversity, as outlined in the Draft National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity (NPSIB). Due to take effect in July 2021, it contains a set of objectives and policies to identify, protect, manage, and restore indigenous biodiversity. Continue reading

    Update on separate Māori representation on councils

    Photo: Political lobbying - tikanga style Manawatū District Council chambers 20 May 2021 – how to turn a No to Māori wards vote to a Yes In a flurry of activity leading up to the final date to amend governance arrangements for the 2022 local body election, thirty-five councils have opted to establish Māori seats, some making an abrupt about-turn at the last minute after intense lobbying from iwi. Continue reading