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The Treaty of Waitangi – a force for unity or division?

The anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on 6 February is an appropriate time to reflect on the Treaty, and what it means for New Zealand today. Continue reading

Claims for customary title to Whāngarei Harbour in court

Despite the Prime Minister Christopher Luxon promising his government would respond to a controversial Court of Appeal decision made under the Marine and Coastal Area Act, (i.e. the 'Edwards/Whakatōhea' case), the promised amendment to section 58 of the Act as stated in the coalition agreement has not been included in the 100-day Action Plan. It is disappointing this has not been treated as a matter of urgency. Continue reading

Tikanga in the law – a recipe for chaos?

A growing number of jurists and academics are advocating for ‘tikanga Māori’ to be recognised as a legitimate source of law and legal rights. The influence of tikanga on the common law was evident in the 2012 decision in the Takamore v Clarke judgment involving the burial of a man of Māori descent. In that case, the Supreme Court found that where tikanga is relevant, the common law requires reference to tikanga. Continue reading

Further news, views, and opinions...

Please see further items posted on the Democracy Action Facebook page. Continue reading


Please see more posted on the Democracy Action Facebook page Continue reading

Election promises

Promises, promises: it’s easy for politicians to forget what they pledged when they take the reins of power. We're determined to hold our governing parties to account, and to that end have compiled a list of the promises regarding democracy/constitutional issues made by National, Act and NZ First.  Continue reading

Tikanga Trumps 'State' Law

Image: Ōhope Beach with Ohiwa Harbour in the background. The Great Beach Grab! The long-awaited Court of Appeal judgement under the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (MACA) was released the week following the general election. Continue reading

A recipe for chaos?

RULE OF LAW refers to a system whereby the Government and citizens (and other individuals) are bound by the law, and all are accountable under the law. Everyone must be treated under the same laws and possess the same rights. Simply put, this means that no one is above the law. RULE BY LAW is a concept that sees the governing authority as somehow being above the law and has the power to create and execute law where they find it to be convenient, despite the effect it has on larger freedoms that people enjoy. Continue reading

The Founding of the City of Auckland

Auckland, also known as Tamaki Makau Rau or Tāmaki Makaurau, was originally a Māori settlement. New Zealand’s first Governor, William Hobson, established Auckland as the nation’s capital in 1841 on land offered by Ngāti Whātua, following the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. Continue reading

Further news, views, opinions.......

Please see more posted on the Democracy Action Facebook page. ELIZABETH RATA: TWO TREATIES OF WAITANGI: THE ARTICLES TREATY AND THE PRINCIPLES TREATY Elizabeth Rata, a professor of education at the University of Auckland explains how parliament’s failure to define the principles of the Treaty has led to claims of co-governance rights. READ MORE Continue reading