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May 2022

There is so much going on at the moment. Our democracy is under attack from so many quarters, I hardly know where to begin!

But let’s start with the good news – the highly controversial Rotorua District Council (Representation Arrangements) Bill has been halted after it faced scrutiny from Attorney-General David Parker, who said it presented an unjustified disadvantage to non-Māori and moved Rotorua away from proportional representation at its council. No kidding, Mr Parker.

Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to the deluge of public submissions, and to those who put their hand up present to the Māori Affairs committee in person - over 4,000 people did so. Given the time it would have taken to hear these all these submissions, the bill would have been prevented from passing before 1 June, the target date. Therefore, it would not apply to this year’s local elections. Hooray!

In an effort to kill the bill - according to the chair of the Māori Affairs Select Committee, it has merely been paused to consider possible amendments - a private citizen has filed an urgent judicial review of the Council’s decision to seek legislative change to enable their preferred undemocratic representation model. Click HERE for more information. The Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers is calling for donations to fund this court action. If you would like to help, you can donate to its ANZ account 06 0413 0524259 00.

Now to the disappointing, but not unexpected, outcome of the Governance and Accountability working group tasked with advising Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta on how to address concerns over the Government's Three Waters Reform programme. The Government will be forging ahead with its highly unpopular reforms, with its most controversial proposals intact. In response, the Taxpayers’ Union is to resume the campaign against Three Waters. You can help by donating to the fighting fund HERE.

We cover a range of others issues this month, including an update on the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill, and the Government’s plan to implement UNDRIP. We also have news of two recently signed local body partnership/co-governance agreements – in Taupo and Wellington.

You may be interested in a highly informative YouTube video presentation by prolific author and historian Dr John Robinson, who talks about He Puapua and other pressing matters. This is available HERE. I think you’ll find it well worth viewing.

We’d also like to congratulate Sean Plunket, who is on the cusp of launching a new media platform - The Platform NZ. The Platform is focused on debating the issues facing New Zealanders today and promises to be a strong advocate for free speech. Launching this Monday (9 May), The Platform will have live talkback from 7am to 6pm weekdays, with hosts Sean Plunket, Michael Laws, Leanne Malcolm and Martin Devlin, as well as podcasts and articles from some of New Zealand’s best columnists, all accessible via a free app downloaded to your phone or via their website. Find out more and download the app here: theplatform.kiwi

If you share our concern that race-based co-governance is destroying our democracy, visit your local MP. Ask where they stand on two governments, one for Māori and the other for everyone else.

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]

Urgent judicial review of discriminatory Rotorua Council Bill

“It is premature to declare victory over the Rotorua District Council (Representation Arrangements) Bill”, writes Rotorua Councillor Reynold Macpherson.  “It has not been withdrawn, only ‘paused’. If you want to defend democracy against co-governance, please submit an Affidavit in Support of a private citizen’s application for a judicial review”. Continue reading

'Others' not consulted on Declaration Plan

Photo: Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, Jacinda Ardern, Kelvin Davis and David Parker at the 2018 National Iwi Chairs Forum. Alarm bells are ringing after Māori leaders expressed monumental ambitions during initial discussions with the Government about how to recognise the highly controversial United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). The Minister for Māori Development, Willie Jackson, says those discussions will shape the Government’s Declaration plan.  Continue reading

Pae Ora Bill doubles down on Treaty partnership ideology

The Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill passed its second reading this week. The hybrid Māori Affairs/Health Select Committee examining the legislation has recommended several amendments, which have been accepted. These changes include provision to further strengthen the Treaty of Waitangi partnership ideology in the legislation. Continue reading

Taupō District Council throws democracy under the bus!

Are the current murmurings of Mt Ruapehu a sign that the gods are not happy with the new Taupō Council agreement?  Taupō District Council recently signed a Mana Whakahono ā Rohe agreement with Ngāti Tūrangitukua that has taken a statutory obligation under the RMA much further than required under the legislation - to a whole new level of co-governance. This agreement includes of a range of policy, planning and operational areas outside of the RMA. Continue reading

Co-governance does far more than ‘tweak’ democracy

Co-governance is a manifestation of the Treaty ‘partnership’ ideology. To date co-governance has largely been confined to Treaty settlements over specific natural resources. However, this is now expanding to cover public services and local authorities. Continue reading

The 'decolonisation' of civics and citizenship education

“The definition of ‘civics’ must also be broader than simply liberal democratic notions premised on the idea of indivisible sovereignty. The definition must look beyond the existing constitutional arrangements and carefully incorporate Indigenous constitutionalisms and aspirations”  - NZPSA Civics Citizenship and Political Literacy in Aotearoa New Zealand: A Public Discussion Paper Continue reading

Co-governance advocates bully dissenter on Hauraki Gulf Forum

  Below is an email sent to members of the Gulf Users Group on 28 April 2022: I am writing to bring your attention to an attempt by the Hauraki Gulf Forum’s co-chairs to muzzle Auckland Councillor John Watson, a Forum member, after he shared on social media our NZ Herald advertisement. This advert named the five local body councillors who voted to introduce a new 50:50 co-governance arrangement with mana whenua and ‘others’ to manage the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. Furthermore, these five Councillors failed to seek a mandate from the public and ignored the concerns of thousands that had signed our petition or emailed Forum members. Continue reading

Start From Scratch: The New Zealand Histories Curriculum

Sean Plunket recently asked one of our top historians, Dr Paul Moon, Professor of History at Auckland University of Technology, for his view on the new history curriculum to be taught in New Zealand schools. His answer? Start from scratch. Continue reading