Newsletters

August 2019

We wish to thank everyone who made a submission on the Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities Bill. Every submission helps, and we are grateful for the support. Last year the Government signalled what was called a significant reset of relations between the Crown and Māori, and has consequently adopted a policy of extending partnerships with Māori beyond the negotiation table. Indeed, the Government has gone so far as to instruct its agencies, in certain instances, to devolve decision making power to Māori – with the Crown implementing the decisions made by Māori. See: Crown engagement with Maori  When embarking on these partnership...
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July 2019

Do you remember back in 2013, when the government of the day undertook a constitutional review? This review featured the role of the Treaty of Waitangi, and Maori representation in Parliament and local government. Feedback from around the country was such that the Review Panel concluded there was no widespread support for constitutional change, and recommended that any significant steps in the constitutional journey be taken following appropriate public participation and deliberation. However, both local and central governments are disregarding this recommendation – the silent majority has become the irrelevant majority. Many Treaty of Waitangi settlements over the last 10...
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May 2019

Following last month’s newsletter, several supporters from around the country contacted us, some informing us of actions they have taken personally, and others saying they wish they could be of help. We are appreciative of the feedback, and are hugely thankful to all who make submissions, send letters to editors, contact politicians, post information on social media, talk to friends and family about the issues, etc. Keep up the good work. Every action we take as individuals counts towards the whole. As the old truism goes “there’s strength in numbers”. The value of making our concerns known to the powers-that-be...
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April 2019

Welcome to the April edition of our monthly update. Isn’t time flying by - who can believe Autumn has arrived? The issues we highlight each month are by no means the total sum of the persistent march of a political agenda incompatible with the principle of equality of citizens. We, as a nation, are constantly bombarded with a plethora of under-the-radar constitutional changes that undermine this principle, aided and abetted by both central and local body governments, our universities, iwi entities, and a compliant media. As a group of volunteers, we are overwhelmed by the magnitude of push for the...
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March 2019

Welcome to our monthly update. In this edition, among other items of interest, you’ll find information about: further developments in the advancement of the ‘partnership’ agenda, including proposals in Auckland Council’s discussion paper ‘a water strategy for the region’; updates on the Canterbury Regional Council (Ngāi Tahu Representation) Bill; and the HRC decision on race-based policy in Waikato Plan Change 1; the misgivings voiced by the Waikato Regional Council about the significant costs of implementing Treaty settlements. (Please note, WRC also reveals there are approximately 40-50 iwi authorities in their region that may initiate a request for a Mana Whakahono...
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February 2019

Happy New Year to you! I hope you have had the chance to rest, relax and enjoy the sun. We have several projects on the go as we head into 2019. At our first working group meeting of the year - to be held 11 February - we will be setting priorities for the year ahead. These will include issues relating to the upcoming local body elections, to be held on 12 October, and assisting with the campaign to counter the claims to the coast made under the Marine and Coastal Area Act. We acknowledge and very much appreciate the...
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December 2018

And just like that December is here and another year passes us by! We haven't taken our foot off the pedal just yet – here’s another newsletter updating the issues, with suggestions of actions you can take to help. This includes a reminder of the fast approaching deadline to make a submission on the bill to entrench the Maori seats – Friday 14th December. Please see below for more information. Since the public is largely unaware that their local beaches have been claimed, in some cases several times over, it would be of great value if you would help to...
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November 2018

We were very pleased to host Auckland Councillor Mike Lee at a Democracy Action meeting on Sunday, 8th October. Mike’s talked about the power play currently underway for the control of the Hauraki Gulf. With his ‘behind the scenes’ information, Mike was able to confirm the conclusions our group has come to, i.e. forces, both inside and outside central and local government, are pressuring the government to replace representative democracy with a ‘co governance’ model. “But, what can we do?” Mike was asked by more than one member of the audience. He urged us to contact our MPs. As Amy...
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October 2018

Welcome to our monthly update. We begin this month with some good news. After seeing off an attempt by their council to introduce race-based wards earlier this year, the citizens of the Western Bay of Plenty challenged a proposal put forward by the Western Bay of Plenty District Council to scrap its democratically elected community boards and replace them with community committees, to be made up of council-appointed members. And they won! The Maketu community alone made 300 public submissions – overwhelmingly in favour of the democratically elected boards. The council had no option but to listen to their citizens,...
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September 2018

No doubt you have seen the recent news reports about surfers and boaties being shot at off Te Maika-Albatross Pt, south of Kawhia Harbour. The danger is that this behaviour could well become more prevalent throughout the country should claims to customary marine title under the Marine and Coastal Area Act succeed. The Marine and Coastal Area Act is turning out to be a debacle of monumental proportions - it needs to be repealed, and Crown ownership of the foreshore and seabed restored. As the claims are proceeding through the court process, a growing number of claimants are even questioning...
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August 2018

Do you remember back in May, when the citizens of Western Bay of Plenty, Whakatane, Palmerston North, Manawatu and Kaikoura voted to reject the creation of Maori ward seats? The people spoke clearly, but it now appears local bodies are choosing not to listen. A number of councils are looking at ways to circumvent the constitutional right of their citizens to vote on whether they support a racially based political system, or not. Instead, councils are stealthily introducing race-based seats at the decision-making table, as Hamilton City Council did on 2 August when it voted 6-4 to appoint five Māori...
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June 2018

Many thanks to all of you who answered our call to send submissions to the Maori Affairs select committee on the on Ngā Rohe Moana o Ngā Hapū o Ngāti Porou Bill - a settlement which will give Ngāti Porou customary title over significant parts of the East Coast coastline.  And thank you too, to all who contacted Auckland councillors about the anti-democratic provisions in the Auckland Plan 2050.  It is disappointing to see the council has adopted this plan, with only four councillors voting against. Liane Ngamane of the Independent Maori Statutory Board expressed a great deal of satisfaction,...
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May 2018

As mentioned in last month’s update, by promoting further co-governance arrangements for Auckland, and requiring the recognition of ‘mana whenua’ as rangatira, the draft Auckland Plan undermines the fundamental principles of democracy. This month, as an example of such ‘Treaty partnership’ arrangements, we take a look at the Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Authority co-governance entity, to see how this is working for the citizens of Auckland. Many Aucklanders are unhappy about the actions of the Maunga Authority. The people of Devonport-Takapuna have taken exception to the Authority’s “authoritarian manner”, and have organised a petition, to provide a gauge of...
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April 2018

It has been another busy month for the Democracy Action working group. Auckland Council gave its citizens just 28 days to read, research and respond to the draft Auckland Plan 2050 – very little time, and so much to do!  Many of us are very alarmed by what we read in the plan. Please see the update below for more details. Even though the deadline has passed for officially providing the council with feedback on the Plan, this does not prevent us from letting our representatives know what we think about the proposals. Please take the time to do so....
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March 2018

The month of February brought more good news for democracy. Thanks to the commitment and hard work of a number of people, the citizens of Western Bay of Plenty, Manawatu, Palmerston North, Whakatane and Kaikoura will get to vote on Māori wards in May. Congratulations to all concerned! However, the forces which seek to overturn the democratic right of citizens to petition for a poll on Māori wards are stepping up their fight. See the newsletter below for more details. Democracy Action has been very busy over the past couple of months working to inform the public about the huge...
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February 2018

Happy New Year to you! I hope you have had the chance to rest, relax and enjoy the sun. With two important deadlines looming this month, we have had to hit the ground running... They are: petitions to force a public poll on Maori wards must be received by February 21st; and the 26th February deadline for registering as an interested party in the claims made in the High Court under the Marine and Coastal Area Act. (Details on how to go about doing this are available in the newsletter below). The year has begun with some good news for...
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December 2017

Thank you so much for your interest and support over the year. However, with two deadlines looming, the issues are keeping us busy right up to the end of the year, with which you may be able to assist. If you or your organisation are considering registering as an interested party in the claims made in the High Court under the Marine and Coastal Area Act, a reminder that time is rapidly running out to do so. Details on how to go about finding who is claiming what are available in the newsletter below. Help is also being sought to...
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