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We were warned!

Back in 2006, at the launch of the book ‘Public Policy and Ethnicity, the Politics of Ethnic Boundary Making’, Professor Elizabeth Rata warned that public policy, formed along racial rather than egalitarian lines, is undemocratic and that racial divisions, knitted into the culture by government funding policies, are undemocratic and dangerous. Continue reading

Hamilton City Council stymies the voice of the people

Hamilton City Council is also in the throes of a Representation Review, but instead of allowing the  community the opportunity to have a say on  whether they support race-based representation, the council voted 6 to 4 in favour of introducing five vote-making positions in council for Māori - before the public consultation phase of the review has begun. Continue reading

The attack on accountable democracy continues - Western Bay of Plenty

In November 2017, the majority of the Western Bay of Plenty District councillors voted to establish one or more Māori wards. This was decision was overturned as a result of a binding referendum. In response, the Council indicated it would consider feedback and go back to the community with an initial proposal for future representation arrangements in the second half of 2018, which they have now done so. The initial proposal was notified publicly on 24 July, with the formal public consultation period open until 5pm Friday 24 August 2018. Continue reading

Mātaitai Reserves - another vehicle for tribal control of the coast

Those seeking to gain control of the coastline are not confined to making claims under the Marine and Coastal Area Act. Although not in the same league as the nearly 600 claims under the Act, there are also a growing number of areas approved as special customary management zones, such as mātaitai reserves, (customary fishing reserves), and taiapure, (local fisheries which give Maori customary area management rights). We are also seeing increased calls by Maori entities for temporary closures and restrictions on fishing methods, and the introduction of fisheries bylaws. Continue reading

Join The Fight To Retain Our Petition Right

From  15 to 17 July, local body politicians from around the country will be meeting at the Local Government NZ (LGNZ) conference in Christchurch.  Given that the president of LGNZ, Dave Cull, is vigorously campaigning to remove those sections of the Local Electoral Act 2001 that allow for polls on whether or not a local body can establish Māori wards, no doubt this matter will be discussed.  It is highly likely Mayor Cull will be seeking a mandate to take to government the recommendation that the poll provision be abolished. Continue reading

The Crown-Maori Relationship – Demands A Threat To Democracy

The Prime Minister has established a new Crown/Māori Relations portfolio, “to focus on the health of the Crown/Māori relationship now and over time”.  The Minister for Crown-Maori relations – Kelvin Davis – has been touring the country, seeking advice on what such a relationship should be post Treaty Settlements.  Throughout this consultation process the general public have been side lined, with most meetings held with the Maori community. Continue reading

Update On The Marine And Coastal Area Act

Currently, the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, on behalf of the Crown, is engaging with groups where the Crown had an existing commitment before 2017. The groups are: Continue reading

Auckland Plan 2050 Adopted – With The Anti-Democratic Provisions

The Auckland Plan 2050, the long-term strategy for Auckland’s growth and development, and which provides a framework to inform decisions, has been adopted by Auckland Council. Continue reading

The Ports Of Auckland Assist Ngati Whatua In Rewriting History

Further indication of how far Auckland Council is prepared to go to promote Maori interests is illustrated by the new memorial plaque on the Ports of Auckland frontage.  Despite documentary evidence to the contrary, Ports of Auckland has backed Ngati Whatua’s attempt to re write history - the truth be damned! Continue reading

The Cost Of Iwi Consent – Large Pay-Outs A Growing Trend?

In last month’s update we reported on the cost of iwi consent, under the RMA, being taken to a new level with the Lyttelton Port Company’s large payment to Ngai Tahu hapū of $675,000 over 25 years. This has already been topped - the Horowhenua District Council’s Chief Executive has agreed to provide at least $880,500 to Te Runanga o Raukawa provided it did not object to a wastewater scheme. See the Kapiti Independent news report here. Continue reading