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Our key concerns with the Water Services Entities Bill

The impact of the Water Services Entities Bill will be profound. The public and many local authorities appear to share many common concerns about provisions set out in the Bill. These include: Continue reading

GOVERNMENT SET TO ENDORSE RADICAL CHANGE TO ELECTORAL LAW

The Canterbury Regional Council (Ngāi Tahu) Bill, creating permanent Ngāi Tahu representation on Environment Canterbury (ECAN), undergoes its third reading this week. This legislation represents a significant shift away from two key principles of democracy: equal suffrage and accountability at the ballot box. Continue reading

ANGER ON WEST COAST AS NEW RULES IMPACT PROPERTY RIGHTS

West Coast landowners from Karamea to Haast are shocked and angry after receiving letters from the Te Tai o Poutini plan committee chair out of the blue, informing them of new legal planning rules affecting their land. Letters to 1500 property owners reveal that the new rules have immediate effect. Both urban and rural properties are impacted. Continue reading

PROFESSOR JAMES ALLAN ANALYSIS OF HE PUAPUA NOW AVAILABLE

Towards the end of 2012 Democracy Action commissioned Professor James Allan, of the University of Queensland, to produce an analysis of the He Puapua Report  - a report that calls for highly controversial constitutional change. Specifically, we sought Professor Allan’s opinion on the implications for New Zealand’s liberal democracy in adopting recommendations made in He Puapua, and what this would mean for the future of New Zealand. Continue reading

COUNCILS TO BE FORCED TO CONSIDER MĀORI WARDS EVERY SIX YEARS

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta wants to make it mandatory for councils to consider Māori wards. “Under the proposed changes, when councils undertake their regular Representation Review every six years, the first step must be a decision about whether to establish Māori wards or constituencies. Currently there is no obligation to consider Māori wards at all”, said Ms Mahuta. Continue reading

The report of Professor James Allan on He Puapua

Early this year (2022) Democracy Action commissioned the Garrick Professor of Law at the University of Queensland, Professor James Allan, to draft a report on He Puapua. Professor Allan’s analysis - "The radical prescription for undermining democracy and the rule of law" - can be read, watched, or listened to below. We hope this analysis sparks a national conversation about the future of New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements and is considered in any UNDRIP implementation or realisation plans proposed by the Government. Continue reading

Government to force Three Waters scheme despite overwhelming opposition

The controversial Three Waters legislation is one step closer - the Water Services Entities Bill was introduced to the House last week. Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta said it was the first of several pieces of legislation concerning the proposed water entities. Continue reading

Taxpayers’ Union takes to the streets to fight Three Waters

Christchurch was the first of 39 stops in a nationwide roadshow run by the Taxpayers’ Union to oppose the Government’s Three Waters reform. Executive director Jordan Williams said the tour was being held to hear and highlight the concerns of ratepayers and local councils opposed to the “undemocratic three waters asset grab.” Continue reading

Radical changes to local government afoot

A Ministerial review into the future for Local Government is underway “to consider how New Zealand’s system of local democracy and governance will need to evolve over the next 30 years, in order to improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders, and actively embody the Treaty partnership”. Ārewa ake te Kaupapa – Raising the platform Continue reading

ARE COUNCILLORS BEING SET UP TO FAIL?

As local body elections loom in September/October, concerns are being expressed that councillors are insufficiently resourced to effectively represent their constituents. Continue reading