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November 2022

We want to thank the thousands of people who heeded our call and sent a submission on the Department of Conservation’s Hauraki Gulf marine protection proposals. Taking such action is so important, as the powers-that-be are likely to take silence as consent. The Minister for Oceans and Fisheries and the Minister of Conservation say they will consider our feedback before making final decisions and progressing with the Hauraki Gulf Marine Protection Bill. See Marine Protection Secondary to ‘Customary Rights’ below for more information, including our reasons for concern.

While Rebecca Kitteridge, the head of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service, is exhorting the public to look for extremists under the bed, an indulgent eye is turned away from those who make no bones about their campaign to overturn our democracy, our government, our way of life. Dr Claire Charters, an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Auckland, specialising in Indigenous Peoples’ rights, urges a radical change to the nature of government and society in her recently released commentary 'The myth of sovereignty'. Charters says constitutional reform “requires more than a tweaking of the Westminster legal system, more than a Treaty claims settlement process, more than a Waitangi Tribunal, and more than incremental judicial incorporation of tikanga Māori — because all of these structures are premised on the mythical legal claim by the Crown to sovereignty”.

Dr Charters is a lead organiser of an upcoming conference proposing the transformation of New Zealand’s constitution, to be held at Auckland University from the 21 -23 November 2022. Organisers claim there is momentum for constitutional 'transformation’ and will be discussing how to enact it. Delegates will be coming from overseas as well as from around New Zealand.

You can register to attend here: 2022 Constitutional Kōrero. (If anyone is planning to go – please let me know at [email protected])

A ‘silent witness’ protest on the first day of the conference is being planned. If anyone would like to join, please register here. We plan to meet at 8 AM on 21 November outside the Owen Glenn Building, 12 Grafton Road, Auckland Central. Placards will be made available to all who register by 13 November.

The Government’s Review into the Future for Local Government draft report has landed in our inboxes with an almighty thud – squashing any hopes that the principles of democracy and equality of citizenship would be upheld in local government. What is notably different about this report compared to the others authored by the Labour Government’s hand-picked 'independent' working groups is they have not bothered to disguise their recommended full-frontal assault on democracy. You can read more about this in ‘A recipe for differentiated citizenship’ below. Your chance to provide feedback on the draft report is open until 28 February 2023.

Another issue examined this month is the suspicion that Local Government NZ has been hijacked. It appears LGNZ no longer advocates and lobbies for local government and local communities, but has become a propaganda arm for central government. See ‘LGNZ has lost the plot!

Recommended reading

To add to our knowledge of NZ history based on factual accounts, I recommend ‘NEW ZEALAND; THE FAIR COLONY’, a book by well-informed New Zealander, Bruce Moon. Made up of various essays, this easy-to-read book explains the true meaning of the Treaty of Waitangi, exposing the falsehoods around it today. Bruce also examines other ways in which racism and a reversion to tribalism are accelerating in New Zealand. To order, see HERE.

I also highly recommend a blogger I have recently become aware of - Peter Winsley. Peter’s thoughtful and well-researched commentaries are well worth a read. Two great examples are:

Please share Peter’s blog site with all your contacts.

Another must-read is Bowalley Road Chris Trotter's article ‘David Parker Rejects Co-Governance’, which examines the aftermath of David Parker’s rejection of a proposal to introduce 50/50 co-governance into the new resource management legislation. Some people are not happy!

If you have not already done so, you may also be interested in taking a look at the Act Party's paper Democracy or Co-Government, which sets out three steps that a future Government might take to step New Zealand back from the divisiveness of co-government, and promote New Zealand as a modern, multi-ethnic, liberal democracy. 

Last but not least, please remember to have your say on the Government's latest review of our electoral laws. Submissions on the proposals close in one week, on Monday, 14 November. See more at ‘Proposed changes to our electoral system’ below.

Thank you for your continued interest and support. If you have any suggestions you would like to offer, or if you need further information or help, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]

And please help spread the message by sharing our newsletters with anyone who may be interested. You can receive further updates by registering or joining us.

Kind regards,

Susan Short

[email protected]

LGNZ has lost the plot!

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ), an organisation that purportedly represents the interests of local authorities (and by extension local communities), appears to have changed its prime allegiance from local authorities to central government. Continue reading

A recipe for ‘differentiated citizenship’

The Government’s radical plan to impose co-governance over all aspects of the New Zealand government came a step closer with the release of the Review into the Future for Local Government draft report. Read the report here. Continue reading

Marine protection secondary to ‘customary rights’

Although all looks well on the surface, it is well documented that the Hauraki Gulf is under stress. Sedimentation, pollution, overfishing, and poor fishing practices are all taking their toll on these beautiful waters. Marine mammals, fish and seabird species are dwindling in numbers. So, not before time, plans are underway to reverse this decline and revitalise the Gulf. However, the plan comes with a few fish hooks of its own. Continue reading

Proposed changes to our electoral system

The Ministry of Justice is currently reviewing our electoral law. The government-appointed Independent Electoral Review panel is inviting feedback on the future of our electoral system. Continue reading