Thank you to all who joined the action over at the Gulf Users Group by signing their petition or sending a message to the elected members of the Hauraki Gulf Forum asking them to vote down the proposal to introduce 50/50 co-governance to the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.
According to the Group, nearly 14,000 people signed the petition in just three weeks, and 2,400 individual emails were sent. Great response!
Regrettably, some Forum members were not moved by the public’s response to the proposals. Some even appeared to be annoyed about the publicity campaign and seeing their name in the paper requesting they consult the public.
Lee Short, spokesman for the Gulf Users Group, presented at the start of the meeting. You can find a copy of his presentation at www.gulfusers.org.nz.
This was followed by an at times heated debate, after which the Forum voted 11-7 in favour of changing its composition to that of a 50:50 co-governance body with mana whenua and ‘others’, including a proposal to develop its own statutory plans that could prevail over council policies and central government decision-making for matters in respect of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.
We share the Gulf Users Group's disappointment in this decision made by the Forum. There was no public consultation beforehand, and believe their decision is not in the best interest of Gulf users. Nor has there been an explanation as to how the proposed changes will be better for the Marine Park.
The majority of elected representatives voted against the proposals. This is how the elected members of the Forum voted:
|Against the proposal:||For the proposal:|
Mayor Sandra Goudie
Cr Pippa Coom
Although the elected members voted 7-5 against the proposal, six more votes were collected from the tangata whenua appointed members - Ms Nicola MacDonald, Ms Charmaine Bailie, Mr Joe Davis, Mr Terence Hohneck, Mr Paul Majurey and Mr Dean Ogilvie - making the final vote 11-7 for the proposal. The three Government appointees abstained.
The Forum Co-Chairs will now take the resolution to the Government to advocate for legislative change.
We are mindful that all elected members on the Forum come up for re-election at the Local Body elections later this year - allowing citizens to express their views at the ballot box. Additionally, the Gulf Users Group has announced it will be calling for a referendum on the issue at the local body council elections later this year.
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE COUNCILLORS WHO STOOD UP FOR US
We encourage you to write to the elected members of the Forum who voted against the proposal.
Click here to email all councillors.
Alternatively, you can email them individually:
Mayor Sandra Goudie, Thames-Coromandel District Council - [email protected]
Cr John Watson, Albany Ward - [email protected]
Cr Wayne Walker, Albany Ward - [email protected]
Cr Christine Fletcher, Albert-Eden-Puketāpapa Ward - [email protected]
Cr Donna Arnold, Matamata-Piako District Council - [email protected]
Cr Rob McGuire, Waikato District Council - [email protected]
Mr Scott Milne, Chair, Ōrākei Local Board - [email protected]
Below is an example message:
Hello good Councillors,
Thanks for taking a principled stand against the co-governance motion at last Monday’s Hauraki Gulf Forum meeting. It must have been an unpleasant experience as I understand that the discussion got quite heated. It is a shame that you were unsuccessful in stopping it.
This was a graphic example of why so many people are opposed to co-governance arrangements. It only takes one member of the 'others' to vote with an iwi ‘block‘ vote on issues in which they have direct or indirect vested interests to give iwi, who are NOT ACCOUNTABLE to the general public, effective control.
Thanks again for the work and effort that you put in on our behalf.
FOLLOW THE GULF USERS GROUP
If you haven't already, head over to the Gulf Users Group and sign up to receive information about future action: www.gulfusers.org.nz