< November 2019 newsletter

More co-governance to be served up to unsuspecting communities

Increasingly Treaty of Waitangi settlements are including a requirement to enter into co-governance arrangements. The Ngāti Hinerangi Claims Settlement Bill, which had its first reading in parliament on 19th September, is one such settlement. The Bill announces the intention to introduce a co-governance arrangement over the upper part of the Waihou and Piako river catchments areas.

The details are not available in the Bill, but co-governance commonly means that there are equal numbers of iwi representatives and council members involved. Therefore, power is shared equally between iwi representatives and the remaining approximately 84% of New Zealanders. How democratic is that? Additionally, they also often fall outside the usual democratic safeguards. Take for example the Waikato River Authority. According to a report released in 2016 by the Office of the Auditor-General.

“The Authority is a unique public entity. It is not subject to the Official Information Act 1982 or the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987. Trustees do not have to make minutes of their meetings public or publicise where meetings are held, and can hold meetings behind closed doors.”

Relationship Agreements - a further manifestation of the ‘partnership principle’

The Deed of Settlement also provides for Ngāti Hinerangi to enter into relationship agreements with the Department of Conservation and Ministry for the Environment. The relationship agreements will outline how these agencies will engage with the Ngāti Hinerangi governance entity. Additionally, the summary of the Deed of Settlement also states that a relationship agreement with the New Zealand Transport Agency will be developed outside of the Treaty settlement. This will outline how NZTA will interact with the Ngāti Hinerangi governance entity.

Relationship Agreements are high-level documents that formally acknowledge and identify the scope and extent of understandings and/or working relationships between a local body or a government entity and a specific tangata whenua group. They provide an opportunity for Māori to contribute to the decision-making processes.

Media coverage

Stuff: Ngāti Hinerangi and Crown settle Treaty breaches

RNZ: Ngāti Hinerangi settlement has first reading in parliament

Go back to the November 2019 newsletter



The partnership ideology under the Treaty of Waitangi is poised to extend to the management of Auckland’s 28 Regional Parks if provisions in the Draft Regional Parks’ Management Plan are adopted. Continue reading

Māori seats in local government a step to 50-50 power share

Photo: Andrew Judd hiding from a taniwha Before the ink has dried on the establishment of separate Māori seats on 38 councils, calls for "more equitable representation and a partnership with Māori" in a 50/50 power sharing model have arisen - not only from Māori sovereignty activists, but also from some councillors. Continue reading

Iwi push for 'tripartite governance'

A letter to the New Zealand Productivity Commission from the Auckland Council Mana Whenua Kaitiaki Forum (a collective of the 19 hapū and iwi authorities), dated 22 August 2019, reveals an agenda that turns democracy on its head. The letter talks of an “emerging tripartite governance” – over land and water, comprising central government, local government, and mana whenua. Continue reading

Citizens stand up to the Tūpuna Maunga Authority

The Tūpuna Maunga Authority* (TMA), who control Auckland’s 14 volcanic cones (tūpuna maunga), is once again causing consternation amongst the people of Auckland - this time by wielding its powers in a destructive and seemingly vengeful way. Waging utu on the exotics? The TMA has plans to remove 2,000 exotic trees from the 14 maunga, and is currently in the process of implementing its decision. Continue reading

Co-governance – the Trojan horse of iwi control

Some think co-governance is being nice and inclusive - but it's not working out that way in practice. All is not well in the co-governance arrangements we have been observing in Auckland. We have reported previously on how the citizens of Devonport have been treated by the Tūpuna Maunga Authority. This unfortunate state of affairs was reinforced at the Authority’s hui on May 6th. Continue reading

The Maori world view - 'military' style gates on Mt Albert

Users of Ōwairaka, the maunga in Auckland's Mt Albert, are objecting to the ‘military’ style gates designed to enforce the summit vehicle ban. Comments include words such as "hideous", "an atrocity", and “out of step with the place's natural beauty”. Continue reading

Advancing the co governance agenda

Auckland Council recently released a discussion document on developing ‘a water strategy to ensure a secure, sustainable, and healthy future for water in Auckland’ - Our Water Future: Auckland's water discussion. Continue reading

Auckland Council’s ‘Our Water Future’ - Remember to have your say

Auckland Council recently released a discussion document on developing ‘a water strategy to ensure a secure, sustainable, and healthy future for water in Auckland’. We covered this issue in the March update, but to briefly recap, as to the advancement of a co-governance agenda, concerns centre on the following statements: Continue reading

Draft Auckland Plan Subverts Democracy

In last month’s newsletter, we went into some detail about how the Draft Auckland Plan 2050 is promoting the subversion of our democracy by bestowing extra co-governance rights on a group of citizens based on race, and requiring the recognition of ‘mana whenua’ as rangatira (chief) in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland). Continue reading