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February 2020 Update

Welcome to the latest Democracy Action Update. In this issue I am suggesting you consider having your say on the Taumata Arowai—the Water Services Regulator Bill, which is open for submissions until March 4th. (I know, I know - not another &#%! request to send a submission!)  It is obvious the government is using its time in power to implement as much legislation as it can, hence the Bills are coming thick and fast.

Essentially this Bill establishes a new water regulator along with an associated special interest group – a Maori advisory group. 

To add to our understanding of the Bill, we commissioned law firm Simpson Grierson - recommended as experts in local government law - to analyse of the likely effects of provisions in the Bill pertaining to the role of the Maori Advisory Group. We have now received their opinion on the provisions. For a copy of the Simpson Grierson advice, please click HERE.

Please scroll below for more information on the Bill, which includes our summary of the Simpson Grierson advice.

(Legal advice doesn’t come cheap. We would appreciate any financial assistance to help pay the bill. Please donate to the Democracy Action bank account -  either by direct credit to account no. 12-3086-0271568-00 or click HERE for the Democracy Action donation page).

On another issue – the indoctrination of our children through fake history. Have you seen the comic book, Ti Tiriti o Waitangi – the comic book by Ross Calman, Mark Derby and Toby Morris? If not, I recommend you read it, especially if you have children or grandchildren at primary or intermediate school. Scroll below for more about this book and the reasons for our concern, and if you are incensed about the misconceptions and in some cases downright fibs it promotes, please contact the Government, demanding it be withdrawn from our schools.

We have been sent an invitation from the Open Government Team at the State Services Commission  to attend Open Government Partnership Public Workshops and drop-in sessions in Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin. They would like to hear our ideas to improve open government in New Zealand.  These will be run throughout March. If you would like to attend, registration information can be found at www.ogp.org.nz/workshops or on the Open Government Partnership Facebook page.  You can learn more about the Open Government Partnership at www.ogp.org.nz

Additionally, the State Services Commission is also holding an Open Data, Open Potential seminar in Wellington on 6th March. Please click HERE for details.

You are welcome to share the information in this newsletter with your friends, family and other contacts. Also, please direct to our website anyone who may be interested in the issues we cover and would like to be added to our mailing list. See: https://www.democracyaction.org.nz/about

Our next working group meeting is to be held on Monday 9th March. You are welcome to attend. Please email me at: [email protected] for details.

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 [email protected]

And please help spread the message by sharing our newsletters with anyone who may be interested. You can receive further updates by registering or joining us.

Kind regards,

Susan Short

[email protected]

Influential role for Maori at new Water Services Regulator

Taumata Arowai—the Water Services Regulator Bill, open for public submissions until 4th March, seeks to create a new water regulator - to be called Taumata Arowai. The Bill includes provision for a Maori advisory group to work alongside this new Crown entity. The Maori Advisory Group is another manifestation of the government’s commitment to support agencies to form true partnerships with Māori "by actively facilitating new prototype partnerships between the Crown and Māori", as outlined in a cabinet paper released in July 2019, 'Building Closer Partnerships with Māori'. Continue reading

The indoctrination of our children through fake history

Many of us have grave reservations about the content the new, soon-to-be-compulsory history curriculum. As political commentator Chris Trotter writes in Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story:  “If Maori nationalist historians can seize control of the new, soon-to-be-compulsory, history curriculum, then the necessary ideological preparations can be made for a radical constitutional transformation”. We have a right to expect a fair view of our history that it will be taught in a factual and unbiased manner. However, our hopes are already being dashed - the indoctrination of children through fake history is already being realised. Continue reading