Many thanks to all of you who answered our call to send submissions to the Maori Affairs select committee on the on Ngā Rohe Moana o Ngā Hapū o Ngāti Porou Bill - a settlement which will give Ngāti Porou customary title over significant parts of the East Coast coastline. And thank you too, to all who contacted Auckland councillors about the anti-democratic provisions in the Auckland Plan 2050. It is disappointing to see the council has adopted this plan, with only four councillors voting against. Liane Ngamane of the Independent Maori Statutory Board expressed a great deal of satisfaction, saying such provisions would not have been approved 10 – 15 years ago.
However, despite this set-back, those of us who value our democracy must continue our fight for equal rights for all the citizens of New Zealand. The issues the Democracy Action working group are currently working on include the following:
- The fight to retain our petition rights on Maori Wards
- Lobbying against the bid to entrench the Maori seats
- Setting the record straight at the Ports of Auckland
- And currently one of the biggest threats of all to our democracy - the Crown-Maori Relationship agenda
Please see the newsletter below for details on these issues, and why they are of concern. The feedback on the hui held by the Minister of Crown-Maori Relations is particularly eye-opening, and a must read for an understanding of the expectations within the iwi community.
The working group would like to thank all our members and other supporters who get in behind us by becoming actively involved in the issues. While we still have a democracy, numbers do count, so the more the merrier!
The Democracy Action Inc AGM is coming up soon – it is to be held on Monday 6thAugust. All members are welcome. You will be sent a notice with details closer to the time.
Our next working group meeting will be held on Monday 9th July, at 7pm, 21 O’Rorke Rd, Penrose. If you have any items for the agenda please send to me via: [email protected]
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.
From 15 to 17 July, local body politicians from around the country will be meeting at the Local Government NZ (LGNZ) conference in Christchurch. Given that the president of LGNZ, Dave Cull, is vigorously campaigning to remove those sections of the Local Electoral Act 2001 that allow for polls on whether or not a local body can establish Māori wards, no doubt this matter will be discussed. It is highly likely Mayor Cull will be seeking a mandate to take to government the recommendation that the poll provision be abolished.
The Prime Minister has established a new Crown/Māori Relations portfolio, “to focus on the health of the Crown/Māori relationship now and over time”. The Minister for Crown-Maori relations – Kelvin Davis – has been touring the country, seeking advice on what such a relationship should be post Treaty Settlements. Throughout this consultation process the general public have been side lined, with most meetings held with the Maori community.
Currently, the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, on behalf of the Crown, is engaging with groups where the Crown had an existing commitment before 2017. The groups are:
The Auckland Plan 2050, the long-term strategy for Auckland’s growth and development, and which provides a framework to inform decisions, has been adopted by Auckland Council.
Further indication of how far Auckland Council is prepared to go to promote Maori interests is illustrated by the new memorial plaque on the Ports of Auckland frontage. Despite documentary evidence to the contrary, Ports of Auckland has backed Ngati Whatua’s attempt to re write history - the truth be damned!
In last month’s update we reported on the cost of iwi consent, under the RMA, being taken to a new level with the Lyttelton Port Company’s large payment to Ngai Tahu hapū of $675,000 over 25 years. This has already been topped - the Horowhenua District Council’s Chief Executive has agreed to provide at least $880,500 to Te Runanga o Raukawa provided it did not object to a wastewater scheme. See the Kapiti Independent news report here.
Not only did the people of the Bay of Plenty run a very successful campaign to overturn race-based ward/s for the Western Bay of Plenty, but they also took the opportunity at a meeting held by Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller, to voice their concerns on the issue of Maori influence over aspects of the Resource Management Act and other local government issues.
The Nga Rohe Moana o Ngati Porou Bill (No 2) gives Ngati Porou two years to put in a claim for the recognition of customary marine title under the Marine and Coastal Area Act. The iwi is seeking customary title and rights over the over a significant part of the East Coast coastline down to Gisborne.