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.

 

LOCAL DEMOCRACY

Amend Local Electoral Act 2001 - Māori wards

"Restore the right to local referendum on the establishment or ongoing use of Māori wards, including requiring a referendum on any wards established without referendum at the next Local Body elections."

In 2021, the Labour government enacted legislation that revoked a community's right to petition for a binding referendum when their council implemented the introduction of Māori wards or constituencies. You can read more about this here.

No progress.

Repeal Canterbury Regional Council (Ngāi Tahu Representation) Act 2022

"Repeal the Canterbury Regional Council (Ngāi Tahu Representation) Act 2022."

Labour's legislation allows Ngāi Tahu (the dominant South Island iwi, with considerable economic interests) to choose two members to sit on the Canterbury Regional Council. This flies in the face of democratic accountability to the community.

No progress.

Electoral (Lowering Voting Age for Local Elections and Polls) Legislation Bill

The bill would amend the Local Electoral Act 2001 so that persons aged 16 or 17 years are eligible to vote in local elections and polls. It would not change the voting age for parliamentary elections. The bill would establish a new category of electors, named youth electors, and provide for 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds to be registered on a youth electoral roll.

 Withdrawn by the Government on 26 January 2024. See more here.

JUSTICE

Amend Marine and Coastal Area Act 2011 - section 58

"Amend section 58 of the Marine and Coastal Area Act to make clear Parliament’s original intent, in light of the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Whakatohea Kotahitanga Waka (Edwards) & Ors v Te Kahui and Whakatohea Maori Trust Board & Ors [2023] NZCA 504."

If section 58 is not amended, virtually the entire New Zealand coastline and territorial sea could end up under customary marine title, contrary to National MP Christopher Finlayson's promise that it would be “no more than 10 per cent”, and only in remote areas. You can read more about section 58 here

No progress.

Defund Cultural Reports

 Cultural reports, or 'section 27 reports'' named after a section of the Sentencing Act 2002, are pre-sentencing background reports used to give judges insight into what brought people before the court. They can cut an offender's sentence almost in half, rely on information given by the criminal themselves, with no formal obligation on report writers to verify what they are told. Funded by taxpayers, costs have ballooned to more than $7.5 million in the year to June 2023. 

✔ Item 28 of the 100 Day Plan is to "Stop taxpayer funding for section 27 cultural reports."

TREATY PRINCIPLES

Review Treaty principles in legislation

"Conduct a comprehensive review of all legislation (except when it is related to, or substantive to, existing full and final Treaty settlements) that includes “The Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi” and replace all such references with specific words relating to the relevance and application of the Treaty, or repeal the references."

Dozens of statutes refer to the "principles of the Treaty". However, there is no established set of principles that guide those who operate the law.

No progress.

Introduce Treaty Principles Bill

"Introduce a Treaty Principles Bill based on existing ACT policy and support it to a Select Committee."

The bill will propose the principles say that: 1. The New Zealand Government has the right to govern New Zealand; 2. The New Zealand Government will protect all New Zealanders’ authority over their land and other property; 3. All New Zealanders are equal under the law, with the same rights and duties. 

Act has launched a Treaty Principles Bill campaign. Go to treaty.nz for more.

Amend Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975

"Amend the Waitangi Tribunal legislation to refocus the scope, purpose, and nature of its inquiries back to the original intent of that legislation."

The Labour government created the Waitangi Tribunal to hear Māori claims of breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi. It has now set its sights on our constitutional arrangements.

No progress.

CO-GOVERNANCE

Remove co-governance from public services

"Remove co-governance from the delivery of public services."

Co-governance was introduced to key public services by the last Labour government, including our health system, our resource management system, and in the provision of water services.

✔ Item 41 of the 100 Day Plan - "Begin work on delivering better public services and strengthening democracy"

Public services on need not race

"As a matter of urgency, issue a Cabinet Office circular to all central government organisations that it is the Government’s expectation that public services should be prioritised on the basis of need, not race."

"Ensure government contracts are awarded based on value, without racial discrimination".

✔ Item 41 of the 100 Day Plan: "Begin work on delivering better public services and strengthening democracy."

Repeal Three Waters

Labour's Three Waters regime saw the confiscation of ratepayer assets and a loss of democratic control over these vital services. Despite widespread opposition to the reforms, Labour passed the legislation in 2022. Even though all three parties in the new government indicated an instant repeal, Labour soldiered and has now sunk over a billions of dollars into a programme most citizens do not want. You can read more about this here.

✔ Item 20 in the 100 Day Plan: "Introduce legislation to repeal the Water Services Entities Act 2022"

✔ The Government has announced it will pass a bill to repeal Three Waters by 23 February 2024. This is to be replaced by another plan, Local Water Done Well, which will be implemented by progressing two further bills through Parliament. All legislation to support the new plan’s implementation is expected to be passed by mid-2025. See article on 1News here.

Disestablish Māori Health Authority

The Māori Health Authority, established by Labour in the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022, was created as a standalone authority to work in partnership with Health NZ - the new centralised health system for all New Zealanders. An independent report released in 2023 shows that after a year of operation and over half a billion dollars spent, the Māori Health Authority has failed to deliver an overarching plan for activities, nor any timeframes, resources, accountability, or performance measures.

✔ Item 43 in the 100 Day Plan: "Introduce legislation to disestablish the Māori Health Authority." The legislation will be introduced by March next year.

Disestablish Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology

Te Pūkenga, initiated by the Labour government as part of its service centralisation efforts, was presented by then-Minister Chris Hipkins as a solution to enhance student outcomes and alleviate polytechnic debt. The sector now faces twice the debt it had prior to restructuring, declining enrolments, and uncertainty leading to resignations. Te Pūkenga has also spent an extra-ordinate amount of time consulting on its preferred governance and leadership model - with the latest round of feedback calling for co-leadership at the chief executive level (to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi and rectify “an imbalance in mana”), and for the 16 original Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics to be divided into four regions—North, East, South, and West – as long as the borders align to traditional iwi-Māori boundaries laid out in Treaty settlement legislation. This reform programme has proven disastrous on multiple fronts.

✔ Item 40 of the 100 Day Plan: "Begin disestablishing Te Pūkenga"

RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

Repeal Natural and Built Environment Act 2023 & Spatial Planning Act 2023

Labour’s resource management regime, which came into law in August 2023, diminishes local voices, reduces democratic accountability, increases uncertainty, and embeds inequitable rights based on race. You can read more about it here.

✔ Item 21 of the 100 Day Plan: "Repeal the Spatial Planning and Natural and Built Environment Act and introduce a fast-track consenting regime"

✔ The Government has repealed the Natural and Built Environment Act 2023 & Spatial Planning Act 2023, reverting back to the Resource Management Act 1991. See the Government press release here: https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/nba-and-spa-successfully-repealed

Review Significant Natural Areas

The National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity came into force on 4 August 2023. It requires local government to “form strong and effective partnerships with tangata whenua” to provide direction in all aspects of the management of indigenous biodiversity, such as the identification of SNAs and decision-making on the management of such. It allows for a group of citizens, identified as tangata whenua, to be directly involved in the decision-making and management of areas of privately owned land. You can read more about this here.

✔ Item 22 of the 100 Day Plan: "Begin to cease implementation of new Significant Natural Areas and seek advice on operation of the areas."

Replace National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management

“Replace the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 to allow district councils more flexibility in how they meet environmental limits and seek advice on how to exempt councils from obligations under the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 as soon as practicable”.

David Parker’s National Policy Framework requires Regional Councils to set new regional regulations to improve water quality in line with four new national water quality "bottom lines" and Te Mana o te Wai. You can read about Te Mana o te Wai here.

No progress.

INTERNATIONAL INFLUENCE

Stop work on He Puapua

"Confirm that the Coalition Government does not recognise the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as having any binding legal effect on New Zealand."

The 2019 He Puapua report - hidden from New Zealanders until after the 2020 election - sets out to introduce new constitutional arrangements, purportedly based on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). There would be a significant impact the lives of all New Zealanders if the recommendations were implemented. New Zealand will turn from a nation-state to an ethnostate - one where political, social, and economic rights are based on ancestral membership rather than citizenship. You can read more about this here.

✔ Item 33 of the 100 Day Plan: "Stop all work on He Puapua" [However, there is still a long way to go to repeal the policies and legislation based on He Puapua recommendations.] 

Introduce a 'National Interest Test'

"Ensure a ‘National Interest Test’ is undertaken before New Zealand accepts any agreements from the UN and its agencies that limit national decision-making and reconfirm that New Zealand’s domestic law holds primacy over any international agreements."

✔ Item 36 of the 100 Day Plan: "By 1 December 2023, lodge a reservation against adopting amendments to WHO health regulations to allow the government to consider these against a “national interest test.

To contact the leaders of our governing parties, send your messages to:

Rt. Hon. Christopher Luxon  Prime Minister [email protected]
Rt. Hon. Winston Peters Deputy Prime Minister  [email protected]
Hon. David Seymour   [email protected]

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