Latest News

THE CONTROVERSIAL FAST TRACK APPROVALS BILL

It is generally acknowledged that excessive red tape is hindering much-needed infrastructure projects in New Zealand. According to the Minister for RMA Reform, Chris Bishop, “Consenting major projects in New Zealand takes far too long and is far too expensive.” In response, the government recently announced its solution - the Fast Track Approvals Bill  - in a bid to make it easier to get infrastructure built. However, concerns are being raised about the undemocratic and the racialised nature of this proposed legislation. Continue reading

THE RISING TIDE OF CUSTOMARY RIGHTS OVER THE FORESHORE AND SEABED

In another shock decision made under the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act, the High Court has awarded Māori groups customary title and other exclusive rights to the entire South Wairarapa coastline, stretching over approximately 150 kilometres.  Justice Cheryl Gwyn has granted five Customary Marine Titles over the area to multiple iwi and hapū groups. Three of these sections cover an area up to 3km out to sea from the high-water springs, while the other two extend out to 10km. Continue reading

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

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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

FURTHER NEWS, VIEWS, OPINIONS.......

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