Latest News

Three Waters Legal Challenge Underway

You may not have heard of the Water Users’ Group. This is a group of concerned citizens who are taking legal action against the Labour Government’s plan "giving some Māori the effective control of more than a hundred billion dollars of ratepayer funded three waters assets". A link to the Group's website is here: www.waterusers.org.nz Continue reading

Submission on the Canterbury Regional Council (Ngāi Tahu Representation) Bill

  WRITTEN SUBMISSION Democracy Action does not support the Bill.  We do not support establishing iwi-based power by appointment in our governance arrangements. Therefore, we oppose the purpose of the Act, that is, to enable Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu to appoint up to 2 members to the Canterbury Regional Council.  We urge the Government to reject the Bill in its entirety.  Continue reading

Submissions on the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill

Oral submission text: Thank you for the opportunity to provide comment on the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill. I am presenting this submission on behalf of Democracy Action.  Firstly, I want to make it clear we wholeheartedly support the purpose of the Act - that is to protect, promote, and improve the health and future health of all New Zealanders. But, if the intention is to improve the health of ALL New Zealanders, this proposed legislation is absolutely the wrong way to go about it.  Continue reading

Bill rides roughshod over nation’s democratic principles

The Canterbury Regional Council (Ngāi Tahu Representation) Bill, currently before the Māori Affairs Select Committee, is set to entrench Ngāi Tahu’s representation on the Canterbury Regional Council (ECan). Submissions are invited - the deadline is Wednesday 2 February 2022. Continue reading

Dismantling the Golden Rule of Democracy – Political Equality

Rotorua seeking law change unacceptable in democratic terms  Calls by Māori sovereignty campaigners for special rights, even inequitable power-sharing, have become increasingly strident under the current government. Rotorua Lakes Council being a case in point. It is seeking legislative change to enable its preferred representation model to be adopted. Its preferred model is illegal because an equation in the Local Electoral Act means the number of people enrolled in the Māori roll in the district has a bearing on how many seats can be allocated. In seeking this change, the Council agreed “to affirm that voters on the Māori electoral roll should not be permanently locked into a minority and should have equal opportunity as those on the general roll to vote for a Council they consider will best represent their interests”.  Continue reading

A lot riding on making mātauranga Māori equal to science

Changes are underway in the education system to achieve government policy of better reflecting the partnership between Māori and the Crown. One particularly contentious subject is the place of Mātauranga Māori in the school curriculum. However, Graham Adams in his commentary Follow the money: matauranga Maori and the millions at stake published at Point of Order, contends that the casting of Mātauranga Māori as equal to science in the NCEA science syllabus is only the tip of an iceberg. Continue reading

Three Waters - the deluge continues

As the Government’s Three Water reforms enter their final stage, we are moving dangerously close to being marginalised in relation to the control of our ratepayer-owned water assets. Continue reading

Major survey: Kiwis demand consultation on Three Waters

The most comprehensive polling to date on the Government’s Three Water reforms reveals the overwhelming majority of New Zealanders believe the Government should consult with them over the highly contentious policy proposal. Continue reading

THREE WATERS – COUNCILS LAUNCH LEGAL PROCEEDINGS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT

Incensed at the Government forcing through a plan for four mega entities to take over the country’s three waters infrastructure and service delivery - despite widespread opposition from 60 of the country’s 67 councils, and the promise from the government that their proposal was optional – three councils have banded together to file an application in the court against Minister of Local Government Nanaia Mahuta and Secretary for Internal Affairs Paul James. Continue reading

THE ROLE OF TE MANA O TE WAI IN WATER SERVICES ENTITIES

All Water Services Entities will be required to give effect to Te Mana o Te Wai. Three of its six principles will encompass all aspects of the water delivery system - specifically Mana whakahaere, Kaitiakitanga, and Manaakitanga. These principles are to be defined by tangata whenua. Continue reading