< April 2018 newsletter

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.

The Local Government and Environment Committee, considering the bill at the time, advised parliament that the establishment of Māori wards should require public support, and that the entire district or region has a right to express a view. The poll provision was included in the legislation to ensure that Māori representation on councils can be determined by the whole community. However, now Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider legislating for Māori seats on all councils. See RNZ news item here.  

Mahuta has also said that if there is a clear steer from mayors and councils that the law around Māori seats need to change, she will listen. See here.

This challenge has been picked up by LGNZ. On the 27th of March they upped the ante by sending an open letter to the three leaders of the governing coalition, seeking support to remove those sections (s. 19ZA to 19ZG) of the Act that allow for the poll option. This was followed by a media release, and social media posts.  Click here to view the LGNZ media release.

The Democracy Action media release in response can be viewed by clicking here.

LGNZ proudly states on its website that its paramount role is to protect and enhance local democracy - and yet it wants to deny citizens their democratic right to say whether they support race-based political representation, or not. It is no wonder that the public’s opinion of the performance of local government is poor, as indicated by the Colmar Brunton 2017 Local Government Survey, which shows that overall only 17% of those polled are satisfied with local government’s performance. Click here for a report on the survey.

In June last year, Marama Davidson's bid to change the law was voted down 71 to 48. NZ First MP Ron Mark’s speech to the House on 28th June during the debate is well worth a look. To view click here.

The politicians need to hear from the public. Please take the time to send messages to:

The email addresses of MPs are available here.

One of our members has prepared a form letter to send to MPs. You are welcome to use this, or adapt to suit. Click here to view.

Also, please send messages to the president of Local Government New Zealand, Dave Cull

Email: dave.cull@dcc.govt.nz

And to the other members of the National Council of Local Government NZ.

The members are listed here.

Go back to the April 2018 newsletter


Compulsory Māori seats touted for Northland

Northland Māori are making a push for greater representation in local government, renewing calls for local Māori seats. Some say government intervention is necessary and that may include compulsory Māori seats. Pita Tipene of Ngāti Hine laments that local government legislation and processes are "shutting out our people". Continue reading

Citizens Get To Vote On Maori Wards - Congratulations To All Concerned!

Thanks to the hard work of locals, in some cases with the support of the people at Hobson’s Pledge, all five councils that voted to introduce Māori wards, (i.e. Manawatu, Whakatane, Western Bay of Plenty, Palmerston North and Kaikoura), will now be polling their citizens in a binding referendum as to whether they support Māori wards for their area. See Hobson’s Pledge media release here.

Maori wards supporters want to overturn the Māori ward poll law

In response to the binding poll in Palmerston North, a lobby group in the Palmerston North/Manawatu area has launched a campaign to promote the introduction of Maori wards, and to encourage voters to say "yes" to Māori wards in the upcoming referendums. A report on their campaign launch is available here. As well as campaigning to promote Māori wards, supporters want to overturn the law which enables voters to challenge any Māori ward decision through a binding poll. Continue reading

Maori wards for local authorities?

Four more councils have voted to foster racial division - councillors in Palmerston North, Manawatu, Whakatane and Western Bay of Plenty districts have voted to proceed with separate Maori wards, doing so without consulting their constituents. It is now over to locals to demand a vote. Help is being sought to collect signatures for petitions to spark polls in these areas. Continue reading

LGNZ's Campaign to Abolish the Poll Provision

Local Government NZ (LGNZ) is campaigning vigorously to abolish the sections the Local Electoral Act 2001 which relate to the rules for binding citizens initiated polls concerning the establishment of Maori wards. The members of National Council of LGNZ want its members to be able to impose Maori wards unchecked - thereby depriving members of local communities of an individual democratic right expressly written into law. For a comprehensive and well researched essay on this issue, please click HERE. This essay, authored by Michael Coote - a freelance writer and financial journalist - was published on the NZCPR website on 22nd April. Michael explains what LGNZ is seeking, and the reasons why. Continue reading