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April 2018

It has been another busy month for the Democracy Action working group. Auckland Council gave its citizens just 28 days to read, research and respond to the draft Auckland Plan 2050 – very little time, and so much to do!  Many of us are very alarmed by what we read in the plan. Please see the update below for more details.

Even though the deadline has passed for officially providing the council with feedback on the Plan, this does not prevent us from letting our representatives know what we think about the proposals. Please take the time to do so.

Another issue that has reared its head – again - is the push to disempower citizens by taking away their right to petition for a vote on Māori ward seats. This time by Local Government New Zealand. LGNZ “considers that the appropriate democratic discipline on council decision-making occurs every three years at the local body elections”. (LGNZ policy brief - Māori wards and constituencies, 28 March 2018).

So, according to LGNZ, that’s your lot, folks!

Although not a democracy issue, I am aware that many of our members are strongly opposed to the special tax exemptions for charitable companies conducting commercial operations e.g. Sanitarium and iwi owned companies. Currently the government is reviewing our tax laws and are calling for submissions by 30th April. Some may want to provide feedback to the government. Click here for more information.

Thank you for your continued interest and support. If you have any suggestions you would like to offer, or if you need further information or help, please do not hesitate to contact us at democracyaction@xtra.co.nz

Kind regards,

Susan Short
Secretary
democracyaction@xtra.co.nz

Draft Auckland Plan Subverts Democracy

In last month’s newsletter, we went into some detail about how the Draft Auckland Plan 2050 is promoting the subversion of our democracy by bestowing extra co-governance rights on a group of citizens based on race, and requiring the recognition of ‘mana whenua’ as rangatira (chief) in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland). Continue reading

Countering The Campaign To Abolish The Poll Provision

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ), along with the Green Party and ex-New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd, are agitating to remove those sections of the Local Electoral Act 2001 that allow for electors to vote on whether or not a city, district or region can establish Māori wards. Continue reading

The Claims To Our Coast

There are two pathways claimants to the marine and coastal area could choose to file applications for the recognition of customary interests, i.e. the High Court route and/or direct engagement with the Crown. The Attorney General is currently involved in the first stage of dealing with the claims filed in the High Court. In the meantime, we hear that the government has agreed to negotiate Te Whanau a Apanui’s marine and coast area claim and its historical claim in the one package. See Waatea news item here. Continue reading

Lies, lies And More Lies - Challenging The Propaganda

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” George Orwell, 1984 The media and iwi appear to be on a crusade to ‘appropriate’ the truth. For instance, over the past couple of weeks both Radio NZ and the East & Bays Courier have featured items whereby there have been claims made that Ngati Whatua Ōrākei gifted the land for the establishment of Auckland. Continue reading