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August 2018

Do you remember back in May, when the citizens of Western Bay of Plenty, Whakatane, Palmerston North, Manawatu and Kaikoura voted to reject the creation of Maori ward seats? The people spoke clearly, but it now appears local bodies are choosing not to listen.

A number of councils are looking at ways to circumvent the constitutional right of their citizens to vote on whether they support a racially based political system, or not. Instead, councils are stealthily introducing race-based seats at the decision-making table, as Hamilton City Council did on 2 August when it voted 6-4 to appoint five Māori representatives to council committees.

Councillor Mark Bunting, who vote against the proposal, expressed the concern that there was no input from the public on this decision. "My concern is that by not giving people the choice we are not following the process," Mr Bunting said. "Are we afraid to have this debate with the public?"

Yes, Mr Bunting, it is obvious some members of your council do not want the people of their city to debate the issue, let alone have a choice in the matter.

Currently, other councils are also undergoing representation reviews, which must be undertaken every six years. We have highlighted both the Western Bay of Plenty District Council, and Hamilton City Council in our newsletter below, but suggest you check to see if your council is also undertaking a review.

Other issues highlighted in this edition of our monthly newsletter include updates on the following:

  • Processing the claims under the Marine & Coastal Area Act
  • The Nga Rohe Moana o Ngati Porou Bill (No 2)
  • Mataitai Reserves – another avenue for the control of the coastline
  • The battle to set the record straight at the Ports of Auckland
  • The Sea Change Plan versus democracy in the Hauraki Gulf

It is with much sadness we acknowledge the sudden death of Dan, a valued and committed member of the Democracy Action working group. He will be much missed. R.I.P. Dan.

Our next working group meeting will be held on Monday 10th September, at 7pm, 21 O’Rorke Rd, Penrose. If you have any items for the agenda, please send to Susan at: democracyaction@xtra.co.nz

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

Bruce Moon talks on the Treaty

Bruce Moon, a retired physicist and avid historian, was invited by the Nelson Institute to give a talk at Nelson’s Elma Turner Library, on 8th April. He chose to speak on New Zealand's "fake history" related to Treaty of Waitangi issues, billed as “Twisting the Treaty and other fake history”. Continue reading

‘Kaitiaki’ payments for the dredging Whangarei Harbour

New Zealand Refining has been granted resource consent to dredge the entrance to Whangarei Harbour, something it says will let larger crude cargoes of around 1 million barrels to be shipped to Marsden Point. As part of the consent the company will be making the following payments to a ‘Kaitiaki Group’: Continue reading

Cultural Advice on the Christchurch Rebuild

The Matapopore Charitable Trust Set was up in 2014 to give cultural advice on the Christchurch rebuild anchor projects. It has invoiced taxpayers and ratepayers for $2.5 million of consultancy work since then. Matapopore, which has a monopoly on Māori consultancy for the public anchor projects, describes itself as representing the iwi's "values, narratives and aspirations". Continue reading

Sea Change Plan versus democracy in the Hauraki Gulf

Auckland Councillor Mike Lee speaks out on the high stakes power play over ownership and control of the Hauraki Gulf, in an article first published in the Gulf News on 21 June.  “The Hauraki Gulf belongs to all of us and should not be handed over to a non-democratic elite and their consultant advocates”, writes Mike. Read Mike’s excellent article HERE. Continue reading

Ports of Auckland defends the peddling of a myth

The new memorial plaque on the Ports of Auckland frontage, Quay St, states "Te Kawau gifted 3000 acres to establish the City of Auckland." It replaces a plaque which referred to a purchase rather than a gift. Factual evidence shows that there is no doubt the land was sold. In an attempt to set the record straight, several of our members have contacted the CEO of Ports of Auckland, Tony Gibson, requesting that the plaque be corrected to reflect the facts. Continue reading

We were warned!

Back in 2006, at the launch of the book ‘Public Policy and Ethnicity, the Politics of Ethnic Boundary Making’, Professor Elizabeth Rata warned that public policy, formed along racial rather than egalitarian lines, is undemocratic and that racial divisions, knitted into the culture by government funding policies, are undemocratic and dangerous. Continue reading

Hamilton City Council stymies the voice of the people

Hamilton City Council is also in the throes of a Representation Review, but instead of allowing the  community the opportunity to have a say on  whether they support race-based representation, the council voted 6 to 4 in favour of introducing five vote-making positions in council for Māori - before the public consultation phase of the review has begun. Continue reading

The attack on accountable democracy continues - Western Bay of Plenty

In November 2017, the majority of the Western Bay of Plenty District councillors voted to establish one or more Māori wards. This was decision was overturned as a result of a binding referendum. In response, the Council indicated it would consider feedback and go back to the community with an initial proposal for future representation arrangements in the second half of 2018, which they have now done so. The initial proposal was notified publicly on 24 July, with the formal public consultation period open until 5pm Friday 24 August 2018. Continue reading

Mātaitai Reserves - another vehicle for tribal control of the coast

Those seeking to gain control of the coastline are not confined to making claims under the Marine and Coastal Area Act. Although not in the same league as the nearly 600 claims under the Act, there are also a growing number of areas approved as special customary management zones, such as mātaitai reserves, (customary fishing reserves), and taiapure, (local fisheries which give Maori customary area management rights). We are also seeing increased calls by Maori entities for temporary closures and restrictions on fishing methods, and the introduction of fisheries bylaws. Continue reading