Latest News

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

Update on the fate of Auckland maunga trees

The Tūpuna Maunga Authority – a Treaty partnership body that equally comprises iwi and Auckland Council members - wants to rid Auckland’s volcanic cones (maunga) of all exotic trees - some 2500 in all. Continue reading

Recommended reading - ONE SUN IN THE SKY

‘ONE SUN IN THE SKY - The untold story of sovereignty and the Treaty of Waitangi’ by Ewen McQueen, presents an evidence-based perspective on the question of sovereignty and the Treaty of Waitangi.  Continue reading

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