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February 2019

Happy New Year to you! I hope you have had the chance to rest, relax and enjoy the sun.

We have several projects on the go as we head into 2019. At our first working group meeting of the year - to be held 11 February - we will be setting priorities for the year ahead. These will include issues relating to the upcoming local body elections, to be held on 12 October, and assisting with the campaign to counter the claims to the coast made under the Marine and Coastal Area Act.

We acknowledge and very much appreciate the all the time and effort those at the New Zealand Centre for Political Research (NZCPR) and the Countering Coastal Claims Campaign are putting into fighting tribal control of New Zealand’s coast. As it is a very complex business, understanding the process is not easy, and countering the claims a huge task. It is especially frustrating that while generous taxpayer funding is available for claimants, there is no government assistance for anyone wanting to defend the public interest in the coast. On behalf of the Democracy Action Working group, a heartfelt thanks to all involved.

I spent Waitangi Day sifting through recent developments relating to the Treaty of Waitangi, and its contrived ‘principles’. I can see why the likes of Margaret Mutu are increasingly optimistic and confident of constitutional transformation, just as promoted in the Report of Matike Mai Aotearoa - the Independent Working Group on Constitutional Transformation. (Mutu being co-author of the report. Please click HERE to view).

If you would like to become more actively involved, do come along to our monthly working group meetings, at which we discuss the issues, and decide on action.

Our first monthly meeting of the year is to be held on:
Monday 11th February, at 7pm
21 O’Rorke Rd, Penrose.

If you plan to attend, please contact me at for a copy of the agenda. Email: 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

Hauraki Gulf Forum meeting - change of date and venue. Friday 8th February

Time: 2.00pm Venue: Room 1, Level 26, 135 Albert Street Auckland The Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta is to address the Forum. Public are welcome to attend. The agenda is available HERE. Continue reading

The Office of the Attorney General has released its review of the Sea Change process.

As to the implementation aspect of the Plan, the review says that the agencies involved in the project each developed their own processes for considering how to implement the plan. For instance, Auckland Council and Waikato Regional Council have taken different approaches. Please click HERE to download this file. Continue reading

Claims under the Marine and Coastal Area Act

The first of the High Court cases to be heard is the Clarkson application. Details about this claim (and the other overlapping claims) are available on the NZCPR website. Please click HERE. Continue reading

Campaign to repeal the MACA Act and restore public ownership of the coast

NZCPR has launched a campaign to restore public ownership of the coast. Continue reading

North Head now controlled by Tupuna Maunga Authority

As part of a Treaty of Waitangi settlement, 14 volcanic cones were given to 13 iwi and hapū of Auckland when the Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau Collective Redress Deed passed into law in 2014. North Head (Maungauika) is the last of these to come under the control of the Tupuna Maunga Authority (TMA) - when it was transferred from the Department of Conservation on January 18.  Continue reading

Ratepayers’ group criticised for objecting to iwi gaining control of public parks

In a treaty settlement well underway for Whanganui iwi, the Whanganui Land Settlement Negotiation Trust (WLSNT) is negotiating for ownership of land around the airport, harbour and city endowment land, as well as Pākaitore, (also known as Moutoa Gardens). Radio NZ recently reported they are also seeking ownership of the harbour. Continue reading

Iwi leaders welcome more influence over government policy

The Iwi Chairs Forum held its first hui of the year in the lead up to Waitangi Day. Tribal leaders welcomed the government's willingness to give Māori a greater say in the way the country is run. Continue reading

Marlborough District Council seeks unelected race-based appointments – without consulting the community

Marlborough District council is holding a hui early this year to encourage a partnership with iwi. Part of that is more iwi representation on council. A sub committee has been formed to work out the best way forward with the appointment of cultural advisors and iwi representation, according to Councillor Nadine Taylor, chair of the subcommittee. Continue reading

Hawke’s Bay Councillors accused of racism for acting with integrity

Two Hawke’s Bay Regional Councillors are being accused of racism after raising concerns about a deal the council has done with local iwi, Ngāti Kahugnunu. Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s deal to loan 100,000 carbon credits to iwi is being described by councillors Debbie Hewitt and Fenton Wilson as “deeply concerning”. The council voted in December to lend the carbon credits to iwi subsidiary Kahutia Limited Partnership. The credits were worth around $2.5 million. This decision was rushed through without proper consultation, with key documents detailing the final agreement and legal advice were not given to councillors until 7pm on the night before the decision-making meeting. Continue reading

Supreme Court decision gives weight to the ‘principles’ of the Treaty

An Auckland iwi, Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki Tribal Trust, has won a Supreme Court case giving it the right to re-apply for exclusive rights to conduct commercial operations on Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands, (situated in the Hauraki Gulf). The main issue was the interpretation of section four of the Conservation Act, "to give effect to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi". Continue reading

Rapid landscape transformation in South Island following initial Polynesian settlement

Despite claiming to be "of the land" the first colonists burned and destroyed huge tracts of native bush and trees, as shown in the article ‘Early settlers rapidly transformed lowland forests with fire’, published by TerraNature, 15 December 2010. This article was informed by the more in-depth article published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) -‘Rapid landscape transformation in South Island, New Zealand, following initial Polynesian settlement’

Recommended reading

‘Drifting into racism, the destruction of New Zealand social structure’ by Dr John Robinson, the author of ‘The corruption of New Zealand democracy, a Treaty overview’, ‘When two cultures meet, the New Zealand experience’, and ‘The Kingite Rebellion’. Other articles by Dr Robinson can be accessed on the Kiwi Frontline Forum by clicking HERE. Continue reading