Democracy Action calls on Vice-Chancellor Jan Thomas to resign

Massey University Vice-Chancellor Jan Thomas should resign over her decision to cancel a talk by Dr Don Brash scheduled for tomorrow, says Democracy Action. Continue reading

New Zealanders deserve a referendum on Māori seats

Democracy Action welcomes Winston Peters’ call for a two-pronged referendum on whether Māori seats should be entrenched, or should go altogether. Continue reading

The People Have Spoken

Democracy Action is applauding the decision made by citizens to reject the introduction of Maori ward seats. Chairman of Democracy Action, Lee Short, says: “This was a highly contentious proposal, and if introduced would have established two classes of citizens. By choosing to reject a future driven by division, the citizens of Manawatu, Palmerston North, Western Bay of Plenty and Whakatane have shown more wisdom than the politicians elected to represent them.” Continue reading

LGNZ’s referenda stance serves politicians over people

In response to Local Government New Zealand’s recent call for changes to Māori wards legislation, Democracy Action founder Lee Short says, “Local Government New Zealand is supposed to be about protecting and enhancing local democracy, but here they are trying to take away the right of communities to control how their local council is elected. The move is totally inconsistent with what they claim to stand for.”   Continue reading

Serious misconduct at Horowhenua District Council - CEO must resign

Pro-democracy lobby group, Democracy Action, says that details reported by Radio New Zealand this morning, which allege Horowhenua District Council CEO David Clapperton has been surreptitiously intercepting and blocking emails sent and received by elected officials amount to serious misconduct and, if true, warrant his immediate resignation. Continue reading

Binding referenda on Maori seats welcomed

Pro-democracy lobby group, Democracy Action, welcome New Zealand First’s commitment to hold a binding referendum on the retention of Parliament’s Maori Seats, should the Party find itself in a position of power post the general election. Continue reading

Auckland Council process undemocratic

Pro-democracy group, Democracy Action, says the process in which Auckland Council has consulted on its Annual Plan is flawed and undemocratic, with public participation and oral submissions being shunted down to local boards, when it is Councillors who will be making the decisions. Continue reading

Payments for Cultural Impact Assessments should be refunded

Pro-democracy group, Democracy Action, says the High Court's dismissal this week of the appeal by the Independent Maori Statutory Board against the decision by Auckland Councillors to accept the Independent Hearings Panel’s recommendation to remove the ‘Sites and Places of value to Mana Whenua’ from the Unitary Plan, gives every reason for the Council to refund amounts paid for the unnecessary and costly cultural assessments.  Continue reading

Proposed changes to RMA discriminatory and unfair

The Local Government and Environment Select Committee report on the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill, which was released on Monday, includes changes to the Resource Management Act which are undemocratic and would weaken the role of local government, says Democracy Action spokesperson Lee Short. Continue reading

Hauraki Gulf Forum dysfunctional

The ongoing divisions and infighting within the Hauraki Gulf Forum need to stop if the group has any hope in protecting and enhancing the Hauraki Gulf, says pro-democracy group Democracy Action. The first meeting of the newly constituted Forum on Monday was marred by verbal abuse and name calling, with newly re-elected Chair, Mayor John Tregidga, at times barely able to control the meeting. Continue reading

Council Confirm Removal of Mana Whenua Overlay

After 18 months of hard work by hundreds of members and supporters, Democracy Action is celebrating Auckland Council’s decision to accept the recommendations of the Independent Hearings Panel to remove all of the Mana Whenua provisions from Auckland’s Unitary Plan. Continue reading

Democratic Decision-Making Welcomed

Democracy Action is welcoming this morning’s decision by Auckland Council to send the Unitary Plan straight to the Governing Body for consideration, avoiding unelected Independent Maori Statutory Board (IMSB) members from voting on Unitary Plan decisions. Continue reading

Democracy Action Demands Solid Evidence From Auckland Council

Responding to the report released yesterday by Auckland Council officersrecommending that the Council's Development Committee reject the Independent Hearings Panel's recommendation that the remaining 2,213 Sites and Places of Value to Mana Whenua be removed from the Auckland Unitary Plan, Lee Short, chairman of Democracy Action, says: Continue reading

Auckland Unitary Plan Committee Delegation Risks Legal Challenge

Auckland Council’s decision last Thursday to delegate the first round of decisions relating to the recommendations of the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel to the Auckland Development Committee is inconsistent with legal advice previously tendered, which advised Councillors of the need to keep ‘an open mind’ in relation to the Unitary Plan, and against consulting with members of the public. Continue reading