Is the government staying true to its promises?

In November 2023, National released the coalition agreements made with ACT and NZ First.  The Coalition Government agrees to defend the principle that New Zealanders are equal before the law, with the same rights and obligations, and with the guarantee of the privileges and responsibilities of equal citizenship in New Zealand. It will work to improve outcomes for all New Zealanders and will not advance policies that seek to ascribe different rights and responsibilities to New Zealanders on the basis of their race or ancestry.   Continue reading

The true Treaty of Waitangi

It is acknowledged by Treaty of Waitangi historians and experts that the final English draft of the Treaty, which provided the text for the Māori translation, went missing in February 1840. From historical references we know that this document was written by British Resident, James Busby. Captain William Hobson handed the final draft to Reverend Henry Williams on the 4th of February 1840 for translation into Te Tiriti O Waitangi. Continue reading

He Puapua

While the UN was originally created to uphold the sovereign power of existing states, developments since the 1970s have seen the UN provide a vehicle for indigenous peoples to organise collectively in favour of their rights outside of existing state authority. This follows indigenous peoples around the world lobbying the UN, calling for their country to be decolonised and for their sovereignty as a distinct people to be recognised. Continue reading

Health Reforms

The recent Labour Government-led Health Reforms have resulted in the introduction of the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill. This legislation will fundamentally change the structure of our health system. The bill's stated purpose is to provide public funding and provision of health services to protect, promote, and improve the health of all New Zealanders, and achieve health equity by reducing health disparities among New Zealand’s population groups. The objective of achieving health equity among New Zealand’s population groups, in particular for Māori, is the key driver of this new health system. Continue reading

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

Article last updated 9 April 2021. See related articles below new updates. 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

Sites of Significance and Value

When the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (the Plan) was first published, we were alarmed by several provisions that provided one class of citizens, loosely defined as “mana whenua”, with new and substantial powers over Auckland’s resources and the private property of its citizens. We could see the erosion of our democratic values would mean higher development costs and time delays, opaque decision-making, inevitable conflicts of interest, and an unacceptable risk of corruption. Continue reading