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June 2022

We have exciting news – earlier this year we commissioned Professor James Allan, Garrick Professor in Law at the University of Queensland, and constitutional law expert, to write an analysis of the He Puapua Report, the likely implications for New Zealand’s democracy and what this could mean for the people of New Zealand. The release of his report will coincide with his speaking tour of NZ the week beginning 20 June. These public meetings will be held in Auckland on June 21 (at the Ellerslie Racecourse Event Centre), Wellington on June 22, and Christchurch on June 23.

Please gather your friends and family and come listen to what Professor Allan has to say. We will email you further details next week.

The fight against the Three Waters reforms is hotting-up - the New Zealand Taxpayers' Union has begun a nationwide road trip to call for an end to the planned scheme. The 'Stop Three Waters Roadshow', starting in the South Island, will visit 39 towns and cities across New Zealand over the next five weeks. Please go along to show your support. The full itinerary of the tour is available HERE. See 'Taxpayers' Union takes to the streets to fight Three Waters' below for further details.

Meanwhile, despite overwhelming opposition from councils and the public, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to establish four Water Services Entities - the bill to do so was introduced to Parliament last week (2 June). It is due to undergo its first reading debate in Parliament and will then be subject to a select committee process, to which we will be invited to make submissions. You can read the bill HERE.

Bubbling away in the background, largely out of the public eye, plans are afoot to make radical changes to local government. After talking to local and central government, iwi and hapū, and "a range of other groups and individuals", the Future for Local Government review panel is finally getting around to engaging with the wider public. This is to be done via two one-hour webinars, to be held on 17 & 20 June. The webinars are for the public to ask questions about the 'five key shifts' that the panel believes are essential to a future system of local governance, before public feedback closes by 30 June. See: ‘Radical changes to local government afoot’ below for further information, and webinar registration details.

The Labour Government’s commitment to a Treaty of Waitangi-based partnership model is being embedded in practically all legislation and policies emanating from this government. This is illustrated in policies such as the recently released Biodiversity Implementation Plan, in which whānau, hapū, iwi and Māori organisations are recognised as leaders, and as partners with the Crown in decision-making. The Government is proposing similar policies in its plans to reform conservation legislation. Public feedback is being invited on the proposed changes outlined in the DOC discussion document: 'Conservation management and processes'. We have until June 30 to make submissions. See ‘Overhaul of conservation legislation underway’ below.

Following hard on the heels of calls for submissions on “Streamlining the stewardship land reclassification process”, which closed on March 18 - thank you to all who made submissions - DOC has announced the commencement of a 40-day consultation period allowing for public input into the proposed reclassification of 504 parcels of stewardship land on the West Coast of the South Island. The consultation period runs until 26 July 2022. See ‘Stewardship land reclassification on the West Coast’ below.

Go people power!

It is very heartening to hear that thousands of people have filed Official Information Act requests, letters, emails, media posts and submissions in response to the Hauraki Gulf Forum decision to advocate for co-governance of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. In an interview, Nicola MacDonald, co-chair of the Forum, said OIAs queried the Forum’s ability to make such a call, and Forum staff said 95% of other communications focused on challenging the co-governance proposal.

This great effort on the part of the public echoes the thousands of us who made submissions to the Māori Affairs Select Committee on the Rotorua District Council (Representation Arrangements) Bill, and the more than 4,000 who asked to make oral submissions as well. It is no wonder the system was having trouble coping before the plug was pulled. A big thumbs up, everyone!

Another action we encourage you to take is to keep up the pressure on National MPs - listening to Luxon, the party still appears to support the co-governance of our natural resources. Their contact details are available HERE.

Other issues we cover this month include:

  • The upcoming changes to Pharmac’s funding priorities.
  • The MBIE sponsored guide to manipulating the NZ public into accepting co-governance.
  • Whether our councillors are being set up to fail.

You may be interested in new two books on different aspects of NZ’s history. Both books are available from Tross Publishing:

  • The Kohimarama Conference, by John Robinson, records in their own words the thoughts and wishes of a large gathering of chiefs in 1860; and
  • Hoani's Last Stand by Piers Seed - a detailed account of the skirmish at Rangiaowhia in the Waikato war.
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]

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Kind regards,

Susan Short
Secretary
[email protected]

Government to force Three Waters scheme despite overwhelming opposition

The controversial Three Waters legislation is one step closer - the Water Services Entities Bill was introduced to the House last week. Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta said it was the first of several pieces of legislation concerning the proposed water entities. Continue reading

Taxpayers’ Union takes to the streets to fight Three Waters

Christchurch was the first of 39 stops in a nationwide roadshow run by the Taxpayers’ Union to oppose the Government’s Three Waters reform. Executive director Jordan Williams said the tour was being held to hear and highlight the concerns of ratepayers and local councils opposed to the “undemocratic three waters asset grab.” Continue reading

Radical changes to local government afoot

A Ministerial review into the future for Local Government is underway “to consider how New Zealand’s system of local democracy and governance will need to evolve over the next 30 years, in order to improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders, and actively embody the Treaty partnership”. Ārewa ake te Kaupapa – Raising the platform Continue reading

ARE COUNCILLORS BEING SET UP TO FAIL?

As local body elections loom in September/October, concerns are being expressed that councillors are insufficiently resourced to effectively represent their constituents. Continue reading

Overhaul of conservation legislation underway

The government is undertaking a comprehensive reform of conservation legislation. Currently, it is consulting on a set of targeted amendments to legislation regarding conservation management planning, and the concessions system. Continue reading

Stewardship land reclassification on the West Coast

Following hard on the heels of calls for submissions on “Streamlining the stewardship land reclassification process”, which closed on March 18, DOC has announced the commencement of a 40 day consultation period allowing for public input into proposed reclassifications of 504 parcels of stewardship land on the West Coast of the South Island. The consultation period runs until 26 July 2022. Continue reading

Pharmac to change drug funding priorities

The Government’s key driver for its current health sector reforms is to secure better and “more equitable outcomes for all New Zealanders, but in particular for Māori, Pasifika, disabled people, and other priority populations.”  An emphasis on equity of outcome forms much of the focus of the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill, which will come into effect on 1 July 2022. We have previously covered the new legislation in PAE ORA - THE RADICAL CHANGE TO OUR HEALTH SYSTEM Continue reading

How to talk about co-governance: a guide for legislators

In keeping with the Government’s propaganda campaign to manipulate the public into supporting wide-ranging and fundamental changes to our legal, constitutional, and democratic governance arrangements, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), through its National Science Challenge, has sponsored a guide for legislators and policymakers to use when talking to the public about co-governance. Continue reading