The great beach giveaway

UPDATE: 7 MAY 2021 The High Court has granted 13 iwi customary rights to several marine areas in the Bay of Plenty, which could set a precedent for the 580+ other claims that cover the rest of the coastline of New Zealand. This ruling grants iwi a new form of property right, known as customary marine title, over areas of foreshore and seabed between Whakatāne and Ōpōtiki, from the high water mark on the land side, out 12 nautical miles to sea, including the airspace above.  Continue reading

Māori Wards

A tally of the 78 Councils around the country shows that: three have had separate Māori representation for several years; 35 have now opted to also create Māori seats; three have delayed the decision to enable public consultation; 10 are not eligible due to the low number of voters on the Māori roll in their area; and 27 have not undertaken formal measures. Whether or not a council decides to introduce a Māori ward (or wards) does not preclude councils establishing different mechanisms to include Māori at governance level - where decision-making takes place. Many Councils have dedicated seats for unelected members on their Council Committees, some with full voting rights. Please see below a table of Māori wards and alternative representation models. N.B. This situation is fluid, with councils choosing to establish various forms of Maori representation on council, usually without consulting their communities. If you have any other information relating to this issue in your area, please contact us at: [email protected] Colours: Green - Māori seats / Blue - Māori representation / Red - Neither / Grey - Not eligible for Māori seats, no Māori representation 

Three Waters Reform

Currently the majority of our three water services (drinking water, wastewater and stormwater) are publicly owned and delivered by our 67 local councils. We have 61 territorial authorities and seven unitary authorities providing services, along with major providers in Auckland and Wellington. Water service and delivery forms a large part of a council’s responsibilities, along with local planning, roading, waste collection etc. Ensuring accountability is kept at a local level means communities have a say in the water governance matters important to them. But this is about to change. Continue reading

Treaty-Based Local Governance

There are several mechanisms to encourage Māori to participate in local government that are specific to Māori citizens. These are set out in a range of Local Government related Acts, the Resource Management Act and Treaty settlement legislation. Continue reading