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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.

Human Rights Commissioner letter

Below is a response from Franks Ogilvie to the letter they received from the Human Rights Commission regarding the Mana Whenua provisions.The letter to the Race Relations Commissioner from Franks Ogilvie can be found here, with the Human Rights Commission's response here. A PDF version of the response from Franks Ogilvie (below) can be downloaded here.  Continue reading

Response from Human Rights Commission to Franks Ogilvie on PAUP

On 30 July Franks Ogilvie submitted a letter to Dame Susan Devoy, Race Relations Commissioner, in order to highlight how the PAUP breaches New Zealand's domestic and international human rights and anti-racial discrimination obligations. Continue reading

Prof. Ken Palmer - sites and places of value to mana whenua

Associate Professor Kenneth Palmer is an Auckland University expert in RMA law. He has provided us with an insightful and authoritative summary of the PAUP legal issues. Continue reading

The Herald on PAUP meeting

The NZ Herald has just published a story on our Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan campaign: Group opposes iwi approval rule for consents An organisation has been launched to oppose a new Auckland Council rule requiring owners to seek iwi approval for work on their land. Continue reading

Democracy Action submission to the PAUP

Click here to read the original submission made by Lee Short on behalf of Democracy Action on the PAUP. It reads: The purpose of the Resource Management Act (RMA), which the Auckland Unitary Plan is prepared under, is ‘to promote the sustainable management of natural and physical resources’. However, there are passages within the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan which go far beyond what is the required to meet the terms of the RMA. We believe the Auckland Unitary Plan is being used as a vehicle to promote a political programme, which would result in significant constitutional change. This is most certainly neither the intent nor the purpose of the RMA. The plan speaks of partnership arrangements, the transfer of powers and/or establishment of joint management agreements with Mana Whenua. The management of Auckland’s natural and physical resources would be transferred, in part or even in some cases wholly, to one group of citizens, not answerable in any way to the general public or with any obligations to the public welfare. Accepting such provisions into the plan would have a serious impact, not only on the democratic rights of citizens who are not members of local iwi, but also on the council’s ability to act in the best interests of all Auckland citizens. Therefore, Democracy Action opposes all provisions in the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP) calling for partnership arrangements and agreements, the transfer of powers and/or establishment of joint management agreements.

PAUP campaign announcement

This evening we publicly launched a campaign to fight the Cultural Impact Assessments and the co-governance proposals in the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan. More information about the campaign is available here. We are inviting all interested Aucklanders to an information meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to exchange information on the Mana Whenua provisions, and to learn from experts hints on how to make an effective presentation to the Hearings Panel.  At the meeting we will hear from speakers with expert knowledge of the new cultural impact assessments, and the implications of the co-governance proposals, as well as information to help you make your presentation as effective as possible. WHEN: October 18, 2014 at 1pm - 4pm WHERE: Aotea Centre, 50 Mayoral Dr, Auckland 1010 To RSVP please click here.

A call to action

Democracy Action has today launched a campaign to overturn the anti-democratic Mana Whenua provisions that have been enshrined in the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP). We've issued a press release that states:  A group of New Zealanders have launched a campaign to maximise the impact of objections to anti-democratic privileges built into Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan (“PAUP”). Democracy Action has organised a meeting on 18 October for objectors to pool information and get better prepared to submit to the Hearing Panel. Democracy Action is a grass-roots association formed to stem the erosion of Aotearoa’s democratic inheritance. The meeting scheduled for the 18th has already attracted media interest, with Sir Bob Jones and constitutional lawyer, Stephen Franks, announced as speakers. Sir Bob recently wrote about his experiences with the PAUP, where Mana Whenua sought to charge him for a “Cultural Impact Assessment” in order to grant him permission to alter a window. The fee for this service was quoted at a rate of $90 per hour for six to eight hours of work, plus travel expenses. It sees the PAUP provisions, and the process under which they are in effect already, when many if not most Councillors do not even know how far they go, or what they mean, as the most pressing example of a loss of understanding of the principles of democracy and equality of citizenship in New Zealand. Prior to leaving the Labour Party, then-Maori Affairs spokesman, Shane Jones, denounced the PAUP provisions as costly and dangerous when they emerged. Since then there has been silence form all parties on this issue. This public meeting responds to the Auckland Council’s Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP). The PAUP ‘Mana Whenua’ provisions may require, for example, ‘cultural impact assessments’ for certain resource consents within 50 meters of what is currently thought to be around 3,600 sites in Auckland. The provisions also allow Mana Whenua access to private land, charge for Cultural Impact Assessments without control and gives them priority in water resource allocation. Despite being called a ‘proposed’ plan, the PAUP came into force the day it was notified. It’s disgraceful in a democracy by decree buy pretend that it’s only a proposal. We invite all interested members of the public to attend. MEETING DETAILS: When: October 18, 2014 at 1pm-4pmWhere: Aotea Centre, 50 Mayoral Drive, Auckland 1010, New Zealand The public are encouraged to RSVP here: http://www.democracyaction.org.nz/paup_meeting      

Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel

The schedule of hearings on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan is now on the Panel’s website http://www.aupihp.govt.nz/hearings/ If you have made a submission on the Mana Whenua provisions you may have been invited to hearings on 19 and 20 November 2014.

Bob Jones: Bureaucrats wallowing in cultural correctness

For we were then told that under the new Draft Unitary Plan, not yet enacted, our building being within 50 metres of a designated Maori heritage site, we needed RMA approval (for a new shop window, for God's sake), this instantly forthcoming at a cost of $4500 plus the approval of 13 iwi. Read more (NZ Herald)

Unitary Plan’s parallel iwi consent system causing dis-unity

As we know the Unitary Plan was rushed through the Council last year with extraordinary speed.   Little or no time was given to consider the huge amount of public feedback – nor did the Council officers allow discussion on the serious criticism of the draft plan by legal reviewers.  In fact they went to some lengths to conceal its existence absurdly claiming it to be ‘confidential to management.’ Read more (mikelee.co.nz)

Brian Rudman: Cultural-sites plan recipe for resentment

How can it be fair to single out 3600 sites across the city, the majority with no proven link to past Maori occupation, and require the property owner to go cap in hand to the local iwi for a CIA, as part of the resource consent process Auckland Council proposes for any new building or other earthworks on the site? Read more (NZ Herald).

Archaeologists oppose rule to consult iwi

The New Zealand Archaeological Association says the rule requiring owners to obtain a cultural impact assessment from iwi to work on their land will impose considerable costs and erode public support for archaeology. Read more (NZ Herald).

Iwi consent costly, dangerous says Shane Jones

Labour Maori Affairs spokesman Shane Jones has slammed a new rule requiring Auckland property owners to seek iwi approval to work on sites of cultural and heritage value to Maori, calling it dangerous and an extra compliance cost. Read more (NZ Herald)