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.To keep up to date with democracy issues facing New Zealand, please remember to regularly check-out the Democracy Action Facebook page, where we post opinion pieces and new items as they come to hand.
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