Welcome to the April edition of our monthly update. Isn’t time flying by - who can believe Autumn has arrived?
The issues we highlight each month are by no means the total sum of the persistent march of a political agenda incompatible with the principle of equality of citizens. We, as a nation, are constantly bombarded with a plethora of under-the-radar constitutional changes that undermine this principle, aided and abetted by both central and local body governments, our universities, iwi entities, and a compliant media. As a group of volunteers, we are overwhelmed by the magnitude of push for the separatist "two nations in one state" orthodoxy. We have come to the conclusion that more needs to be done if we are to have any hope of retaining the integrity of our Democracy - that is, what’s left of it.
With this in mind, we are looking to employ ‘a good keen person’ to work alongside us. Skills that would be particularly useful include a strategic thinking ability, with a good understanding of the issues; strong communication skills – both verbal and written, and experience in using digital media. If you know of anyone who may be interested, please ask them to get in contact with our Chair, Lee Short, at [email protected] or you can phone Lee on (09) 2815173.
During this month some of us will be appearing before the Maori Affairs Committee to present oral submissions in opposition to the Electoral (Entrenchment of Maori Seats) Amendment Bill. Our thanks and best wishes go out to all involved.
Other issues that currently require action include:
- Providing feedback on the Waikato District Council’s Blueprint – a 30yr spatial plan for the region. There are only a few days left, you have only until 5pm Monday 8 April to have a say. See why this is important below.
- Have your say on Auckland’s water future. Feedback must be received by 19 April 2019. See below, and the March edition of the Democracy Action update for more details.
- It is suggested we also send messages of support to the four Hasting District Councillors who took a stand to protect the integrity of our democracy by voting against the proposal to appoint unelected Maori to the council’s standing committees. Their email addresses are listed below.
Several of our members requested a link to the video recording of the Don Brash presentation regarding the Government’s support for a Crown-Maori partnership. I’m pleased to be able to offer you the opportunity to view it - with many thanks to all concerned. Please click here.
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 [email protected]
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It appears every act of special entitlement is simply used as a stepping stone to further power. We see an example of this in the Waikato District Council’s Blueprint project, with its pitch to build on the Joint Management Agreements and other agreements with iwi, and the proposal to appoint a ‘Maori Partnership Manager’ “to sit with the CE group, which will, appropriately, facilitate a “chief to chief” relationship” – with the assistance of an operational support person. There are only a few days left to have provide feedback. Go online to have your say by 5pm Monday 8 April.
Auckland Council recently released a discussion document on developing ‘a water strategy to ensure a secure, sustainable, and healthy future for water in Auckland’. We covered this issue in the March update, but to briefly recap, as to the advancement of a co-governance agenda, concerns centre on the following statements:
New Zealand First has scuppered Labour's bid to give Ngāi Tahu permanent seats on the Canterbury Regional Council, saying its special treatment for Māori. Shane Jones acknowledged the party's long-held position against separate seats for Māori on local body councils.
A big thank you to those who contacted Hasting District councillors to encourage them to vote against the proposal to enable four members of the Maori Joint Committee to sit and vote on the council’s four standing committees. Unfortunately, enough councillors (10-4) felt able to turn their back on democracy by appointing unelected Maori to all committees.
Last month we reported on the Horizons Regional Council vote to create a committee of councillors and iwi leaders to come up with strategies for managing Manawatū waterways.
For those who were unable to attend the public meeting held in West Auckland on February 23, at which Dr Don Brash gave a presentation on the Crown-Maori partnership ideology, you can now view it here:
On March 26 Maori claimants from around the country gathered to make submissions to the Waitangi Tribunal for the rights to their coastal water areas, saying that since the foreshore and seabed march in 2004, progress has been slow in recognising iwi governance of their marine and coastal areas.
Margaret Mutu, current leader of the Iwi Chairs Forum, is pushing for the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, (UNDRIP), claiming the Minister for Maori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, is supportive. See media release ‘Iwi Pleased with Government Decision to Develop a Plan of Action for Indigenous Rights’ and listen to a Waatea News interview with MUTU by clicking HERE
The Ministries of Conservation and Fisheries are in the process of setting up a Ministerial Advisory Committee, (MAC), the purpose of which is to “help shape the proposals, facilitate engagement with our Treaty Partners and stakeholders, and provide advice and report to the three Ministers – Environment, Conservation & Fisheries.”
The oft-touted claim that the chiefs did not cede sovereignty needs to be challenged whenever it arises.
In response to claims by Tom Roa, associate professor at Waikato University, as reported on Radio NZ during the news item: ‘Māori leaders say acts of terror nothing new in New Zealand’, a member of Democracy Action sent an email to Radio NZ with the following message:
Two associate professors at Waikato University seized the opportunity they perceived in the tragedy in Christchurch to present what one of calls “colonial terror and violence since 1642”, and the other “Maori had been victims to acts of terrorism in Aotearoa in the past”.