Latest News

We want a vote on Māori wards!

The Local Electoral Act’s binding poll system is a form of direct democracy that enables local electors to choose for themselves by simple majority vote whether or not they support race-based council representation. However, to trigger a poll 5 percent of electors must support a petition to hold the referendum. Campaigns to do so have already started in several regions. Please offer your support and encouragement to those who are standing up for the right to have a say on whether we support designated race-based seats at the council table. Continue reading

The cats got their tongue - Auckland councillors fail to respond to Atawhai report

In September Democracy Action, in conjunction with the Auckland Ratepayers Alliance, released a briefing paper that we have been working on for some time. The paper, titled ‘Atawhai: Generosity for some’, shows how in just six years Auckland Council spent at least $129 million on targeted Māori spending and iwi consultation. And the bill is increasing. Last year’s spend came to $30 million – more than double the $13 million spent six years ago. Continue reading

Labour continues down race-based path - undermining equal rights, democracy

Labour’s Māori Manifesto 2020 recommits to the partnership path with Māori. They will continue to support the role of Māori Crown relations – Te Arawhiti in growing the capability and capacity of government departments and organisations to be better Treaty partners, promising to look to take even bolder steps to create change. Continue reading

Te Hurihanganui - education or indoctrination?

The Ministry of Education is about to implement a programme to radically change our education system. True to the doctrine of a Treaty partnership, the Ministry has been working with Māori academics and educationalists to design a blueprint for a ‘transformative shift’ in the education of our children and grandchildren. Continue reading

Mayors seek law change to thwart citizens’ right to have a say on Māori wards

Every six years local bodies are obliged to review the ward system. We have seen a flurry of such activity over the past few months, with both New Plymouth and Tauranga acting to establish Māori wards, and others considering whether to follow suit.  Continue reading

Democracy Report: Where each political party stands on democracy issues

We are getting close to the big day, Saturday 17 October, the day when we exercise our right to choose who will make the decisions that will affect our lives, our country. With the election campaign well underway, we have been looking at each party’s policy statements specifically relating to democracy and the equality of citizenship on which it is based. Continue reading

Auckland Council: $129M on iwi consultation and other targeted Māori spending

Today we release an important document that we've been working on for some time. Our paper, titled Atawhai: Generosity for some, shows how, in just six years, Auckland Council spent at least $129 million on iwi consultation and targeted Māori spending. Continue reading

PETITION: SURGERY BASED ON NEED NOT RACE

Democracy Action strongly opposes the decisions of District Health Boards to prioritise Māori and Pasifika patients on elective surgery waiting lists. We believe priority should be based on clinical urgency and the time a patient has waited, not race. When someone is bumped up the list, someone else must be moved down. Continue reading

Preferential treatment for iwi under proposed Fast Track Consenting Bill

We are asking for your help to fight against legislation currently being drafted by the Government which clearly discriminates in favour of iwi, while the rest of us would effectively be marginalized. The issue is urgent - the Government plans to push this legislation through by late June - under urgency and with minimal public input under the pretext of COVID-19. Continue reading

Partnership trumps good governance - the Taupō water monitoring deal

The Waikato Regional Council is planning to outsource the monitoring of the waters in and around Lake Taupo and its tributaries to the Tūwharetoa Maori Trust Board. This is despite the Council having identified the risk that it may be expected to undertake similar agreements with other iwi authorities or local authorities that may result in not being able to deliver on expectations due to competing priorities.   Continue reading