< All newsletters

September 2023

One thing we can be sure of about the Labour government is its dogged determination to pursue its “partnership” agenda — also known as “co-governance”. Right up to the end of this term the government continues to implement undemocratic arrangements, such as the recently released Hauraki Gulf Fisheries Plan. Under this Plan, Crown agencies are to manage the Hauraki Gulf fisheries in partnership with ‘tangata whenua.’ To read more on this issue, see the commentary below - ‘HAURAKI GULF FISHERIES UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT

Let’s make no bones about it, NZ’s democracy is teetering on the brink of an abyss. Given the rapid implementation of the current government’s radical co-governance agenda, three more years will suffice to fully execute the vision outlined in He Puapua – the blueprint to “break” New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements and establish a system of two race-based peoples in an unequal partnership.

To raise public awareness of the alarming challenges to our democracy, we recently launched a short video, ‘If I wanted New Zealand to fail’. This video highlights just some of the issues we are facing. We suggest sharing this among your friends, family, and colleagues.

To view this on our YouTube channel, click HERE.

Fortunately, while we still have a democracy, we have a chance to choose better in the upcoming election

Now is the time for action! Please join us – and other groups - in our determination to make democracy and its nemesis co-governance an election issue. Take every opportunity to raise this with the parties and candidates. Hobson’s Pledge and the Free Speech Union have lists of questions you may want to use if you're attending a campaign event, meeting with a candidate, or sending an email.

As well as questioning the parties and candidates about significant issues, there are other very useful actions you can take. Hobson’s Pledge has a comprehensive list of questions, suggestions, and other helpful tips at: Take Action: Election 2023. This includes an easy-to-use tool set up for you to reach your local candidates to tell them how you feel about co-governance.

FYI - Hobson’s Pledge and the Gulf Users’ Group have reviewed the main political parties’ stance on co-governance. Find out below at: 'WHERE THE PARTIES STAND ON CO-GOVERNANCE

You can compare the parties’ positions on other key issues at policy.nz

Before you cast your vote, we have a word of warning from retired Mayor and ex MP Sandra Goudie:

People dont seem to understand that even in protest, party voting for a minor party which is clearly not going to win a seat and get anyone into parliament, just means giving your party vote away.

The unsuccessful party vote is apportioned on a pro rata basis to the successful parties. This meant in the last election Labour scored an extra 5 seats from the party votes cast for all the minor parties. National scored an extra 3 seats from those same party votes cast.

Read more at Sandra Goudie: Giveaway Votes

Also explained by the editorial 'Don't waste your vote', September issue of elocal magazine, available by clicking HERE.

Farmers are hitting the streets again in protest!

We cant take three more years of Labour  is the catch cry of the Groundswell movement. To raise public awareness of the unworkable regulations causing distress in the rural sector, Groundswell co-founders Bryce McKenzie and Laurie Paterson are undertaking a countrywide Drive 4 Change Tour, taking their tractors from Invercargill all the way to Auckland where they will have a ‘policy bonfire’ at Bombay on 30 September, followed by a public event at the Ellerslie Racecourse on Sunday 1 October.

Bryce and Laurie invite everyone to join in: Whether you can join the whole trek or just for a short time, we hope to see you in your tractor, ute, truck, car, pushbike or horse.  

To find out when they are coming to a town near you, view the ‘Drive 4 Change’ itinerary on the Groundswell website www.groundswellnz.co.nz

Aucklanders, have your say on Māori seats for the council

Meanwhile, here in Auckland, we are encouraging everyone to have a say on whether you support the introduction of Māori seats on Auckland Council – or not. We have until 24 September to make our voices heard.  For more information see the article below 'MĀORI SEATS FOR AUCKLAND COUNCIL: YES/NO? HAVE YOUR SAY'

For additional information read the Democracy Action article in the elocal magazine (by clicking HERE), and also our August newsletter - 'AUCKLANDERS' VIEWS TO BE SOUGHT ON MĀORI WARD SEATS.’ These two commentaries outline ways Auckland Council already ensures Māori influence policy and participate in the decision-making process.

The Council’s feedback questionnaire on Māori seats is available HERE

As part of the Council's public engagement, the public have been invited to present in person on the afternoon of Thursday 14 September, between 1pm – 5pm. If you would like to take this opportunity, register by email at [email protected].

Democracy Action Chair, Lee Short, will be presenting our case to the Auckland Council Governing Body at 10:30 am on Monday 2 October. Please come along in support. This is to be held in the Reception Lounge, Level 2, Auckland Town Hall.

Julian Batchelor’s Stop Co-Governance Tour still going strong

We understand that the ‘Stop Co-Governance Tour’ is going from strength to strength. Events are being held, books delivered, and billboards erected around the country. Please see below for the dates of upcoming events you may be interested in supporting.

Public marches are also planned by Stop Co-Governance in three city centres later this month - Christchurch on Saturday 16 September, Auckland on Saturday 23 September, and Wellington on 30 September. Additionally, a fourth Stop Co-Governance public march is planned, this time with the Freedom & Rights Coalition - to be held in Wellington on Thursday 28 September.

For details of these events see: Stop Co-Governance Street Marches

This month’s recommended reading list can be found at the website Democracy Documents. The site includes links to a selection of documents related to democracy, the law, and ethnic relations in New Zealand. They are just a sample of what can be found on the web, but not in the mainstream media. This is a valuable resource, especially for those who are new to these issues.

Dates for your diary

  • 10 September - Stop Co- Governance Tour event, 7 pm at Destiny Church, Wiri, Auckland
  • 13 September – Free Speech Union Debate, 7 pm, the Atrium, Hamilton. Book HERE
  • 16 September – Stop Co-Governance Tour public march Christchurch. Click HERE for details
  • 22 September – Groundswell “Drive 4 Change” tour begins in Invercargill
  • 23 September - Stop Co-Governance Tour public march, Auckland. Click HERE for details
  • 24 September - Last day for Aucklanders to have a say on Māori seats for Auckland Council
  • 30 September – Groundswell ‘policy bonfire’ event, 1799 Great South Road, Ramarama
  • 30 September - Stop Co-Governance Tour public march, Wellington. Click HERE for details
  • 1 October – Groundswell “Drive 4 Change” tour final rally – 1 pm, Ellerslie Racecourse
  • 2 October – Democracy Action presentation to Auckland Council on Māori seats.
  • 2 October – Early voting for general election opens
  • 14 October – Election Day

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]

Hauraki Gulf fisheries under new management

The Hauraki Gulf Fisheries Plan (the Plan) has recently been approved by the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries and is now being implemented. Under this plan the control of the fisheries has been taken out of the hands of democratically accountable representatives, now to be managed in a co-governance arrangement between Māori and Crown agencies. Continue reading

Māori seats for Auckland Council: Yes/No? Have your say

Citizens of Auckland - please take this opportunity to say whether you want the council to introduce Māori seats. Consultation closes at 11:59pm on Sunday 24 September 2023.  Auckland Council is currently seeking feedback on their proposal to introduce up to three dedicated Māori seats. Continue reading

Where the parties stand on co-governance

Many of us are opposed to co-governance and believe that decision-making must be fair, transparent, and democratic, with all decision-makers accountable to the citizens. This being so, we have reviewed the main political parties to find out their stance on co-governance - both in general and specific to the Hauraki Gulf. The parties appear in alphabetical order. Continue reading