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.
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.
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.
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.
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.