Latest News

Further Councils Considering Establishing Māori Wards

Councils: Waipa, Hawke’s Bay, Horizons, Horowhenua, Hamilton As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, the new Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Act 2021 extended the deadline for councils to consider Māori wards for the 2022 triennial local government elections to 21 May 2021. This has brought forward a flurry of proposals and votes.  Continue reading

Next Steps For Māori Representation In Local Government

As covered in our March newsletter, the Government has passed the Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Act 2021. This legislation abolished a democratic right that allowed the community to force a public vote if their council made the decision to introduce Maori wards. The legislation also reopened the window for councils to consider Maori wards in time for the 2022 elections, which some are now doing.  Continue reading

Another Day, Another Rāhui

Ngāti Hei Trust has requested a temporary closure to the eastern Coromandel scallop fishery, citing the degradation of the scallop bed in their application. After a “successful” voluntary rāhui over summer, the iwi now wish to make it official for another two years, and have vastly extended the area under the rāhui -  from Opito Bay to Anarake Point in the north, to Opoutere in the south, stretching 12 nautical miles offshore, to include the islands of Repanga/Cuvier, Ahuahu/Great Mercury, Ohinau, Whakahau/Slipper and the Alderman Islands.  Continue reading

Next Steps for Three Waters Reform

This is a complex set of reforms the Government intends to implement in stages over the next three years.  The first stage was the Water Services Regulator Act - which created the water services regulator ‘Taumata Arowai’. This body will oversee and enforce a new drinking water regulatory framework, and have oversight of the management of our wastewater and stormwater networks. This is designed to ensure that minimum water standards are met no matter who the supplier. This new Crown entity is currently being established, and will become responsible for drinking water regulation when the second stage, the Water Services Bill, is passed, which is expected to be mid-2021. Continue reading

April Recommended Reading

We've complied some recommended reading for the month of April. Continue reading

Another Media Council Fail

Recently a member sent a letter of complaint to Stuff regarding a comment made by Labour MP Arena Williams as guest columnist in newspapers published throughout New Zealand during February. The Williams commentary trotted out the oft-repeated lie about the Rangiaowhia affray - saying that “Colonel Nixon… was famous for razing unfortified Rangiaowhia while men, women and children burnt in their church.” The member writes:  “That would certainly be a callous act if it were true. But it is not.  Continue reading

Have your say on Waiheke Island rāhui

The Ministry of Primary Industries is calling for public submissions on the Ngāti Pāoa imposed rāhui around Waiheke Island. The closing date for submissions is Monday 22 March 2021. The ban relates to the harvesting of four species of kaimoana - i.e. scallops, mussels, crayfish and pāua - the aim being to restore their declining numbers. Continue reading

Government legislates away a democratic right

“Labour will ensure that major decisions about local democracy involve full participation of the local population from the outset.”  So pledged the Labour Party during the 2020 election campaign. Just four months later they have broken this promise in spectacular fashion, passing under urgency the Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Act - thereby abolishing the right of local communities to petition for a referendum on Maori wards or constituencies. Continue reading

New history curriculum - thumbs down from some

The Government has recently released their draft New Zealand history curriculum, which has been circulated for public feedback. The main themes include the arrival of Māori, early colonial history, the Treaty of Waitangi, the New Zealand wars, and New Zealand's role in the Pacific. Continue reading

The cancelling of Dr Michael Bassett

'If you want to know who controls you, look at who you are not allowed to criticise.' Voltaire. Up until recent times, New Zealand has had an enviable international reputation for upholding the right to freedom of expression. But this status is fast evaporating under the recent push toward censorship – or, in the current euphemism, “no-platforming” or “de-platforming” - of dissenting views. Continue reading