Latest News

Aotearoa New Zealand Public Media Bill Submission

We at Democracy Action have significant concerns about the independence of public media under the proposed legislation. We believe the bill does not adequately safeguard editorial freedom. Continue reading

LGNZ has lost the plot!

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ), an organisation that purportedly represents the interests of local authorities (and by extension local communities), appears to have changed its prime allegiance from local authorities to central government. Continue reading

Proposed changes to our electoral system

The Ministry of Justice is currently reviewing our electoral law. The government-appointed Independent Electoral Review panel is inviting feedback on the future of our electoral system. Continue reading

A recipe for ‘differentiated citizenship’

The Government’s radical plan to impose co-governance over all aspects of the New Zealand government came a step closer with the release of the Review into the Future for Local Government draft report. Read the report here. Continue reading

Marine protection secondary to ‘customary rights’

Although all looks well on the surface, it is well documented that the Hauraki Gulf is under stress. Sedimentation, pollution, overfishing, and poor fishing practices are all taking their toll on these beautiful waters. Marine mammals, fish and seabird species are dwindling in numbers. So, not before time, plans are underway to reverse this decline and revitalise the Gulf. However, the plan comes with a few fish hooks of its own. Continue reading

Advancing the plan for a race-based constitution

Legal academic Dr Claire Charters, lead author of He Puapua and part of the steering group working to produce a draft national plan to realise the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People is organising ‘The Constitutional Kōrero: Transforming New Zealand’s Constitution’ conference “to bring international thought-leaders on constitutions and Indigenous peoples together with Aotearoa-based thought-leaders to generate transformative, practical and robust options for constitutional transformation in Aotearoa”. Continue reading

Willie Jackson’s new media empire causes concern

More than 800 submissions have been received on the Government’s Aotearoa New Zealand Public Media Bill, a law that will merge TVNZ and RNZ under a new parent group. A number of media executives, including from TVNZ and RNZ, are expressing concerns about the lack of protection for editorial independence of the proposed new public media entity - that the bill would give the Government far greater control over public media than it has at the moment. Continue reading

Te Tai o Poutini submission deadline extended

The Te Tai o Poutini Committee has extended the submission deadline for the draft combined district plan (for the Buller, Grey Westland District Councils and the West Coast Regional Council) to 28 October 2022. This is largely due to a mapping “glitch” that saw landowners on the West Coast receive a letter advising their property was affected by a newly designated site and area of significance to Māori, some of which were inaccurate.   Continue reading

Local body elections – backing democratic governance and political equality

Candidate nominations for this year's local body elections have closed, and campaigning for a place at the council table is well underway. Now is the time to ask the contenders the crucial questions – before casting our votes we need to know their intentions and their stance on issues of concern.  Continue reading

Fears raised about government control of new public media entity

Independent media, free of government influence, is vital to a well-functioning democracy. The media must be able to hold government officials accountable, raise controversial issues without fear of reprisal, and include a diversity of voices and opinions, not just those that politicians want covered. However, the legislation to merge RNZ and TVNZ - the Aotearoa New Zealand Public Media Bill - is raising fears that our new public media entity - ‘Aotearoa New Zealand Public Media’ will result in opportunities for political interference. Continue reading