< February 2021 newsletter


Step by step, the undermining of democracy continues……….

Maori wards are not the only avenue for separate local government representation for Māori.

A push by iwi interests for a voice around Council tables has certainly come to the fore in recent years. The vast majority of councils have given in to these demands, appointing unelected iwi representatives, mostly with voting rights, to council committees. Some have even gone so far as to establish 50:50 power-sharing models, commonly committees dealing with resource management.

In a few cases arrangements have been established through legislation, but in other cases, they have been introduced by councillors working closely with local iwi, and without a mandate from the wider community.

When communities raise concerns about the impact this is having on our democracy, we are told that these arrangements are not undemocratic as committee decisions had to be ratified by the full council.

Not content with this policy, Francois Tumahai (Ngāti Waewae) is taking what he says is the next step - campaigning for a legal framework to allow these unelected iwi representatives to have full voting rights, not just on council committees, but also on the Governing Bodies.

Media coverage

Stuff: The mana of Ngāti Waewae: Gaining representation for Māori

Go back to the February 2021 newsletter


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No respect for democracy - Government to muzzle citizens

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More councils adopt racially-selected appointees

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Yahoo! A double win for democracy

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Local Body Elections 2019

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‘Partnership’ - a way of heading off costly litigation?

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Implementation of Treaty settlements creating significant cost pressures

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Hastings District Council joins the Hall of Shame

A big thank you to those who contacted Hasting District councillors to encourage them to vote against the proposal to enable four members of the Maori Joint Committee to sit and vote on the council’s four standing committees. Unfortunately, enough councillors (10-4) felt able to turn their back on democracy by appointing unelected Maori to all committees.  Continue reading

Good News - designated seats for Ngāi Tahu voted down

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The Waikato District Council Blueprint Project

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Time to Vote - Local Body Elections 2019

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Vote for me! Local body elections 2019

The upcoming election gives us the opportunity to voice our opinions, to hold elected representatives to account, and to vote for what we believe in. So please take all opportunities to question those standing for office. You could also identify those candidates you can support and offer your help as they campaign. We at Democracy Action believe our representatives should be voted on merit, not race. As Gisborne Herald columnist, farmer, community worker, and heritage consultant Mr Clive Bibby writes in his article 'Diversity best achieved naturally'  “The majority of people do not judge by colour, religion, age, sex or disability. They judge you by what you believe in, what you hope to do, what you bring to the table, whether you will work hard for them and represent their voices at the council or health board table.”     Continue reading