< All newsletters

March 2019

Welcome to our monthly update. In this edition, among other items of interest, you’ll find information about:

  • further developments in the advancement of the ‘partnership’ agenda, including proposals in Auckland Council’s discussion paper ‘a water strategy for the region’;
  • updates on the Canterbury Regional Council (Ngāi Tahu Representation) Bill; and the HRC decision on race-based policy in Waikato Plan Change 1;
  • the misgivings voiced by the Waikato Regional Council about the significant costs of implementing Treaty settlements. (Please note, WRC also reveals there are approximately 40-50 iwi authorities in their region that may initiate a request for a Mana Whakahono a Rohe Agreement at any time).

Please see below for details.

It is of grave concern that Auckland Council, in its recently released a discussion paper ‘Our Water Future,’ is steering us in the direction of bowing to the dictatorship of Maori lore - by recommending we adopt a Maori world view in respect of water, and proposing co-governance arrangements over the waters of Tamaki Makaurau. A strategy to ensure a secure, sustainable and healthy future for water in Auckland is a must – but not if it is being used as a Trojan horse to usher in serious constitutional change. Please see more details below. I encourage you to read the proposals in the discussion paper and then ‘have your say’. Feedback closes 19 April 2019.

Members of Democracy Action have been regularly attending the Hauraki Gulf Forum meetings since 2012, when the setting up of a co-governing body to oversee a marine spatial plan for the Hauraki Gulf marine park was first proposed. A group of us went along to the last meeting - on Friday 8th February - which was addressed by Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development. This meeting was very tense at times, but you wouldn’t know by reading the minutes. For a more realistic account of what happened, we have put together some notes which provide a broad overview of key points raised. This is available by clicking HERE. You will note that the minister said:

“The post-treaty world is going to look entirely different to the one we see today”.

Personally, I have come to the conclusion that some members of the Forum are deliberately going out of their way in a concerted effort to sabotage the effectiveness of the Forum, no doubt in my mind with the aim of having it replaced with an entity more to their liking. I am sure messages of support sent to the councillors who oppose this push for the co governance of the Hauraki Gulf would be very welcome.

Thank you so much for your continued interest and support. If you have any comments/feedback, or if you need any further information please do not hesitate to contact us.

The next working group meeting will be held on Monday 11th March, at 7pm, 21 O’Rorke Rd, Penrose. All welcome. If you plan to attend, please contact me at for a copy of the agenda. Email: [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.

Kind regards,

Susan Short

[email protected]

Electoral (Entrenchment of Māori Seats) Amendment Bill

The purpose of the bill is to entrench the provisions of the Electoral Act 1993 that relate to the Māori electorates. It is currently before the Maori Affairs committee. Continue reading

The Māori and Indigenous Governance Centre, University of Waikato, argues for a Treaty partnership power sharing model over the marine and coastal estate

The Māori and Indigenous Governance Centre, University of Waikato, argues for a Treaty partnership power sharing model over the marine and coastal estate. Continue reading

Advancing the co governance agenda

Auckland Council recently released a discussion document on developing ‘a water strategy to ensure a secure, sustainable, and healthy future for water in Auckland’ - Our Water Future: Auckland's water discussion. Continue reading

Slowly, slowly, catchy monkey - renaming the country just one step along the way

According to Dr Carwyn Jones, (Senior Law Lecturer, Victoria University), an even better realisation of the symbolism of ‘Aotearoa New Zealand’ would be to reflect the Treaty partnership in our constitutional arrangements. Dr Jones writes: Continue reading

Canterbury Regional Council (Ngāi Tahu Representation) Bill

The latest news, via Parliamentary Order Papers, is that the bill has been postponed until further notice. Canterbury local, John Bell, who is spearheading the public campaign against the bill, is asking everyone to write to National MPs urging them to ensure that the Bill is defeated at a First Reading. The more letters to that effect as possible, the better. A First Reading defeat would save us the trouble of flooding a Select Committee with submissions. Continue reading

Implementation of Treaty settlements creating significant cost pressures

The Waikato Regional Council’s draft submission to the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into Local Government Funding and Financing reveals that the implementation of Treaty of Waitangi settlements creates significant cost pressures for Council. The submission states that “the Council wishes to work with its iwi partners in partnership but notes that the costs to do so is significant to its ratepayers”. Continue reading

Rust never sleeps!

Ngai Tahu has requested to be involved in the Otago Regional Council policy-making committee. The council has voted to seek more information on the agreement before making a decision. Continue reading

HRC decision on race-based policy in Waikato Plan Change 1

The Healthy Rivers Wai Ora Plan Change 1 (PC1) is to give effect to the Treaty settlement to improve water quality in the region. It is aimed at addressing the water quality by imposing rules and restricting any change on land use in the rural sector over the next 10 years. However, controversial policies in the Plan, particularly policy 16, would allow iwi to develop land and change the land use when other landowners with similar land are denied. Continue reading

Update on the Sea Change Marine Spatial Plan

Further announcements from the Government are expected very soon about the makeup of the Sea Change Ministerial Advisory Committee. Continue reading

Principles of the Treaty halts review of park management plans

Last month we reported that an Auckland iwi, Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki Tribal Trust, had won a Supreme Court case giving it the right to re-apply for exclusive rights to conduct commercial operations on Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands. The iwi argued DOC didn't properly consider the issues relating to the Treaty of Waitangi when granting concessions for commercial activities, in particular the interpretation of section 4 of the Conservation Act, "to give effect to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi". Continue reading

Recommended reading

‘The Treaty and its Times’, by Paul Moon and Peter Briggs, (Resource Books). Starting around 1800, this book moves to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and finishes with the Northland wars of 1845. You will find detail on how and why the Treaty was written, the robust debate around the signing, and its aftermath. An excellent reference book.