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July 2019

Do you remember back in 2013, when the government of the day undertook a constitutional review? This review featured the role of the Treaty of Waitangi, and Maori representation in Parliament and local government. Feedback from around the country was such that the Review Panel concluded there was no widespread support for constitutional change, and recommended that any significant steps in the constitutional journey be taken following appropriate public participation and deliberation. However, both local and central governments are disregarding this recommendation – the silent majority has become the irrelevant majority.

Many Treaty of Waitangi settlements over the last 10 years have included highly undemocratic co-governance provisions. This major constitutional change is happening without the consent of the public - there is not even the opportunity to voice our opposition before these arrangements are forced upon us. The Government sells the concept as a way of balancing iwi interests with that of other citizens. But in practise it is Maori interests that take primacy, and the wishes of all ‘others’ are regarded as of no consequence. The Tupuna Maunga Authority is a case in point. Please see below a startling account of just how disrespectful this co-governance body has become towards the wider community.

The Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities Bill is another example of both the introduction of significant constitutional change through the back door, and the undermining of the national values of equality and fairness. See below for details. Please make a submission – the deadline is 11th July.

Other suggested actions you can take include:

  • contacting National and NZ First leaders and MPs, urging them to oppose the Electoral (Entrenchment of Māori Seats) Amendment Bill;
  • contacting MPs about UNDRIP and the Matike Mai Aotearoa proposals for constitutional ‘transformation’;
  • become part of our proposed ‘challenging misinformation group’.

Please see below for details.

Last month I suggested that if you would like to keep up-to-date with what is going on, to visit the Kiwi Frontline Facebook page. Sadly, this Facebook page has since been ‘deplatformed’. However, super sleuth is still at it – collating news and updates from around the country, and posting the them on the Kiwi Frontline website

Upcoming Events:

  • We will be holding our AGM on 12th August. A formal notice will be issued nearer the time.
  • Democracy Action working group meeting, 7pm, Monday 8th July

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. They can sign up here: https://www.democracyaction.org.nz/sign_up

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

Have your say: The government to create a powerful new authority – with the Treaty and its principles front and centre

The Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities Bill will create a new authority that will be the leading authority for all urban development projects. Kāinga Ora will be required to identify and protect Māori interests, partner and have early and meaningful engagement with Māori, and offer Māori opportunities to participate in urban development. Find out more and have your say on the bill by July 11th. Continue reading

Plan underway to implement UNDRIP

The Ministry of Maori Development, is developing a plan to progress the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Given the serious implications of this declaration, and the adoption of an engagement process with iwi, hapū and whānau, but not the wider community, the government needs to hear from us. Continue reading

Matike Mai Aotearoa - Working Group on Constitutional Transformation

This group is actively campaigning to have its proposals for constitutional transformation adopted. The report is available below. The proposed models for consideration can be found on pages 104 – 112. See also the group’s suggested plan of action on page 113.   Continue reading

Co-governance – the Trojan horse of iwi control

Some think co-governance is being nice and inclusive - but it's not working out that way in practice. All is not well in the co-governance arrangements we have been observing in Auckland. We have reported previously on how the citizens of Devonport have been treated by the Tūpuna Maunga Authority. This unfortunate state of affairs was reinforced at the Authority’s hui on May 6th. Continue reading

The battle for the control of the Hauraki Gulf

You may have read the article ‘Saving the Gulf: tradition holds key’ published in the NZ Herald on June 24 (copy below), which promotes the idea of ahu moana - 50:50 co-management arrangements between mana whenua and local communities covering the entire coastline of the Hauraki Gulf. Regrettably, the ahu moana proposals are not the only avenue being pursued for control of the Gulf. Communications consultant Fiona McKenzie, in her article ‘Who’s Protecting the Public Interest?’ warns us of that democratic governance of the Hauraki Gulf is being threatened on three fronts. Continue reading

Update on claims to the marine & coastal area

An update on applications lodged in the High Court: The second round of case management conferences are currently underway. The applicants have been requested to provide evidence to back up their claims, including accurate maps. They have also been instructed to deal with the overlapping claims. One of our members attended the conference held on 27th June in the Auckland High Court and will be reporting back to our Working Group at the July meeting. Continue reading

Challenging misinformation

At our June Democracy Action Working Group meeting it was proposed we set a group to investigate and challenge false information wherever and whenever it arises. This is an action you can do at your keyboard – no need to attend meetings. If anyone would like to join this group, please send Susan a message via the Contact Form on our site.

This month's recommended reading

1. ‘Blood and Tears’, by Adam Plover  “New Zealand's history is being rewritten with a new narrative in favour of the ever-growing grievance industry. In the process real historical events are being swept under the carpet and out of sight if they get in the way of this new agenda. This book, based on facts alone and impeccably researched, tells of some of these long-buried events as they really happened”. Continue reading

The undermining of our democracy continues apace

Please see below some examples from around the country: Earlier this year the Minister of Conservation signed a partnership agreement between the ministry, DOC and Auckland iwi Ngai Tai ki Tamaki, to share in the management of natural resources, and cultural and historical heritage. Ngai Tai ki Tamaki’s role is that of guardians and stewards. They are seeking to establish an ‘iwi conservancy’ over land and taonga species. They are based at Umupuia, just south of Maraetai, on the shores of the Hauraki Gulf. Yet they claim an area of interest, and therefore influence, that stretches from north of Auckland, down to Tauranga, including the whole of the Coromandel Peninsula; much of the Manukau Harbour in the west, and out past Gt. Barrier Island in the east, as shown below. Continue reading