Government legislates away a democratic right
“Labour will ensure that major decisions about local democracy involve full participation of the local population from the outset.” So pledged the Labour Party during the 2020 election campaign. Just four months later they have broken this promise in spectacular fashion, passing under urgency the Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Act - thereby abolishing the right of local communities to petition for a referendum on Maori wards or constituencies.Read more
No respect for democracy - Government to muzzle citizens
In a shock announcement, the Government reveals it intends to use the extraordinary powers reserved for use when the nation is under threat to get rid of legislation that enables referenda on Māori wards.Read more
Step by step, the undermining of democracy continues……….
Maori wards are not the only avenue for separate local government representation for Māori.Read more
We want a vote on Māori wards!
The Local Electoral Act’s binding poll system is a form of direct democracy that enables local electors to choose for themselves by simple majority vote whether or not they support race-based council representation. However, to trigger a poll 5 percent of electors must support a petition to hold the referendum. Campaigns to do so have already started in several regions.
Please offer your support and encouragement to those who are standing up for the right to have a say on whether we support designated race-based seats at the council table.Read more
Mayors seek law change to thwart citizens’ right to have a say on Māori wards
Every six years local bodies are obliged to review the ward system. We have seen a flurry of such activity over the past few months, with both New Plymouth and Tauranga acting to establish Māori wards, and others considering whether to follow suit.Read more
Yahoo! A double win for democracy
We end the year with the welcome news that the bill making it harder to remove the Māori seats from Parliament has been voted down at the second reading, with New Zealand First opposing the change. Only Labour and the Green Party supported the legislation. The bill cleared its first hurdle in Parliament last year with the unlikely support of New Zealand First, which opposes the Māori seats. The party wanted to use the bill as a vehicle to hold a two-part referendum on the seats, asking whether they should be entrenched or done away with altogether. But no referendum was added after the select committee stage.Read more
More councils adopt racially-selected appointees
Despite constituents strongly opposing separate race-based representation, as shown in referenda held in 2018, the number of councils across New Zealand which have appointed unelected members with voting rights to council committees has grown exponentially over the last couple of years.
The following are examples (by no means the total number) of councils who have recently taken the obligation to consult with Māori to an undemocratic level:Read more
Local Body Elections 2019
The Democracy Action working group is preparing a set of questions to ask candidates. Please take the opportunity to call radio shows with guest candidates, and attend public meetings, to ask a question or two.Read more
The undermining of our democracy continues apace
Please see below some examples from around the country:
Earlier this year the Minister of Conservation signed a partnership agreement between the ministry, DOC and Auckland iwi Ngai Tai ki Tamaki, to share in the management of natural resources, and cultural and historical heritage. Ngai Tai ki Tamaki’s role is that of guardians and stewards. They are seeking to establish an ‘iwi conservancy’ over land and taonga species. They are based at Umupuia, just south of Maraetai, on the shores of the Hauraki Gulf. Yet they claim an area of interest, and therefore influence, that stretches from north of Auckland, down to Tauranga, including the whole of the Coromandel Peninsula; much of the Manukau Harbour in the west, and out past Gt. Barrier Island in the east, as shown below.Read more
The Waikato District Council Blueprint Project
It appears every act of special entitlement is simply used as a stepping stone to further power. We see an example of this in the Waikato District Council’s Blueprint project, with its pitch to build on the Joint Management Agreements and other agreements with iwi, and the proposal to appoint a ‘Maori Partnership Manager’ “to sit with the CE group, which will, appropriately, facilitate a “chief to chief” relationship” – with the assistance of an operational support person. There are only a few days left to have provide feedback. Go online to have your say by 5pm Monday 8 April.Read more