News

3 News (1) | Auckland Council (4) | Auckland Unitary Plan (32) | Bruce Moon (1) | David Cull (2) | In the Media (3) | Len Brown (1) | Maori seats (1) | Maori wards (6) | Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act (11) | Members (7) | Mike Lee (1) | PAUP meeting (1) | PAUP (4) | Take Action (4) | Video (2) | Winston Peters (1) | censorship (1) | hauraki gulf (1) | referendum (1) |

Massey University Vice-Chancellor Jan Thomas should resign

Massey University Vice-Chancellor Jan Thomas should resign over her decision to cancel a talk by Dr Don Brash scheduled for tomorrow. It should always be possible to debate Treaty of Waitangi issues on our university campuses – including whether it is justified to introduce Maori wards into local government.  Continue reading

STOP UNELECTED APPOINTEES TO HAMILTON CITY COUNCIL COMMITTEES

Click here to sign our petition opposing Hamilton City Council's plan to undermine democracy with unelected, racially-determined committee appointees.

Councillor Mike Lee speaks out on democratic governance of the Hauraki Gulf

Councillor Lee comments on the high stakes power play over ownership and control of the Hauraki Gulf. Continue reading

Winston Peters' calls for a referendum on Māori seats

We welcome Winston Peters’ call for a two-pronged referendum on whether Māori seats should be entrenched, or should go altogether. Continue reading

The people have spoken

We are applauding the decision made by citizens to reject the introduction of Maori ward seats.  This highly contentious proposal, and if introduced would have established two classes of citizens. Continue reading

Free speech blocked at Nelson library

Democracy Action is condemning Nelson City Council and the city library’s decision to withdraw speaking permissions for a public talk on the Treaty of Waitangi by Bruce Moon. The Council’s cancellation of a library meeting for fear that it would ‘disturb the peace’ and pose health and safety risks would be laughable, if it didn’t display such disregard for the democratic role of public libraries. Continue reading

New social campaign to spread the word

On Friday we went live on Facebook with our video ‘A Tsunami of claims has hit the coast of New Zealand’.  We are asking people to consider standing up for the public interest by becoming involved in the claims process as interested parties, because it is likely that the less public opposition there is to a claim, the greater the chance it will succeed. Continue reading

Marine and Coastal Area Act: Maps of application areas

Below are the maps of the application areas. Click a map to enlarge. Continue reading

Marine and Coastal Area Act: Encourage others to take action

In addition to encouraging family, friends, and colleagues to take action, approach other potential interested parties, such as boating clubs, fishing groups, bach owners, community groups, and anyone else with close associations with the coast, suggesting they also file Notices of Appearance; Continue reading

Marine and Coastal Area Act: How to oppose a claim made directly with the Crown

Under Crown engagement, the general public will be able to object to or support any application as part of a public enquiry process seeking submissions. This process has not yet begun. The sequence and timing for determination of Crown engagement applications are being developed and information about this will be published on the Justice Department website in due course. Continue reading

Marine and Coastal Area Act: How to oppose a claim made to the High Court

Please note, the deadline to oppose a claim has passed. There will be an opportunity at a later date to submit on the applications received by the crown. To oppose or support a claim, any interested party may appear and be heard on an application for a recognition order if that person has, by the due date, filed a ‘Notice of Appearance’. In due course the interested party will be called on to give evidence. (You can simply state what time periods you have had unrestricted use of that area, and for what purpose). Continue reading

Marine and Coastal Area Act: Andrew Little's Response

We posed a few questions to Andrew Little and here are his responses. Continue reading

Payments for Cultural Impact Assessments should be refunded

Auckland property owners stripped of thousands of dollars to undertake cultural impact assessments should be refunded by the Council. The High Court decision to dismiss the IMSB's appeal of the Council's decision to remove the remaining ‘Sites and Places of Value to Mana Whenua’ (read more here), confirmed that the Council has inflicted additional costs and uncertainty on Auckland property owners through these cultural impact assessments with little or no justification since they were first introduced in September 2013. Continue reading

Win in Court

Earlier this week we received Justice Wylie's decision dismissing the High Court appeal by the Independent Maori Statutory Board against the decision made by Auckland Councillors to accept the Independent Hearings Panel’s recommendation to remove the ‘Sites and Places of value to Mana Whenua’ overlay from the Auckland Unitary Plan.  Read the ruling here. Continue reading

Common sense prevails in Auckland

We are applauding the recommendations of the Independent Hearings Panel to delete Cultural Impact Assessment requirements, and the scheduled “sites of value” from the Auckland Unitary Plan. The Panel clearly recognises the folly of adopting such a flawed system, a system which was in danger of undermining public support for sites of significant historical and cultural heritage. Thank you to all of our supporters, and those who have worked tirelessly to oppose these proposals. We are pleased to see that commonsense has prevailed.

Submissions to PAUP oral hearing

The Democracy Action team have been busy preparing and presenting their submissions against the the Mana Whenua provisions within the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan. The documents below should serve as a great resource for people interested in learning more about the implications for Aucklanders of the Mana Whenua provisions, and why they should be opposed. Continue reading

Iwi Claims for Special Treatment over Water

Currently the Government is holding a series of talks with the Iwi Leaders Group, who are demanding proprietary rights to freshwater. In September 2012 the Maori King Tuheitia Paki called over 1,000 tribal representatives to Ngaruawahia to discuss the ownership and control of New Zealand’s water. He declared, “We have always owned the water”. More information (NZ Herald) Continue reading

Site of the week 2

ID#3172, Waiuku The mana whenua provisions don’t just affect sites in downtown Auckland. One of our eagle-eyed volunteers has tracked down ID#3172, which is right in the middle of a new housing development. Our volunteer documents:  Continue reading

Site of the week 3

ID#205, East Tamaki Our volunteer documents: “The site is on top of the hill that is the former Greenmount municipal landfill that is being remediated by Auckland Council and will become a park with sweeping views. The area is a huge 54ha, bounded by Harris, Smales and Springs Rds. Continue reading

Site of the week 1

ID#2028, Mount Eden The mana whenua provisions don’t just affect homes and businesses, but also community sports groups. One of our volunteers took the time to track down site #2028, which is nestled somewhere on, in or below the Auckland Table Tennis Association building in the Withiel Thomas Park, as the map shows. Continue reading

Mana Whenua site map

Below is a map of a number of sites that Democracy Action's army of volunteers have been busy documenting.Sites with red markers have been completed, whereas green markers indicate that they are free to investigate.If you would like to join our ranks of volunteers to assist Democracy Action with the documenting of these sites, or have another skill that can help us with this campaign, please click here.

Our letter to Len Brown and Councillors

Democracy Action has written to Mayor Len Brown and all Councillors to highlight the need for action on the radical Mana Whenua provisions in the PAUP. Our letter to the Mayor outlines how the Mana Whenua provisions has had the effect of being a unilateral decree, and that property valuers believe that the imposed provisions will likely affect property values.You can view our letter to the Mayor and Councillors below Continue reading

Hearing materials

The team have made several submissions throughout the PAUP Hearing process. The submissions convey our objections to the mana whenua provisions and outline why we think the radical provisions should be taken out of the PAUP. Please click on the links to read each submission. Continue reading

3 News on Councillor accusations of subterfuge

The video of tonight's 3 News story covering the documents uncovered by Democracy Action that revealed accusations of subterfuge by Auckland Council over a controversial part of its Unitary Plan.  Click here (or the image below) for video on demand.  

Were Auckland Councillors stitched up by officials?

Democracy Action has today revealed internal Council documents indicating a disturbing lack of consultation with elected officials about the controversial cultural impact assessment provisions in the 7,000 page Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan. Continue reading

Hearing for Regional Policy Statement, 30 October 2014

Democracy Action founder, Lee Short, attended the hearing on 30 October for the Regional Policy Statement (005) topic with lawyers Stephen Franks and Pam McMillan.Below are the handouts presented at the meeting. Continue reading

Is your property affected by a Mana Whenua site?

We've been getting a lot of questions from members of the public wanting to know whether their property could be affected by the PAUP's Mana Whenua provisions. Although some types of resource consent activities (such as discharging into water or air) may trigger 'cultural impact assessments' regardless of where they are in Auckland, the main impact is likely to be initially felt by property owners within 200m of more than 3,600 sites of value to Mana Whenua. Continue reading

Video footage: PAUP public meeting

Video footage of our recent public meeting on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan is now available online via our YouTube channel. At the conclusion of the meeting, there was a fascinating Q&A session where Democracy Action supporters asked questions of Chief Planning Official Roger Blakeley. Click below to watch. The other videos are also available by clicking 'read more'. Continue reading

PAUP meeting coverage

Our meeting was a huge success. Over 230 Aucklanders  came to hear our guest speakers, share their views and put the hard questions to the Council’s representatives. We received favourable coverage from One News, which included some insightful comments from a representative of Ngati Whatua. To view the video on demand click here (or the image below). Continue reading

Democracy Action public meeting

Democracy Action will be holding a public meeting on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan on Saturday 18 October.To register your interest in the meeting and view further details, please visit the RSVP page here.