< May 2018 newsletter

LGNZ's Campaign to Abolish the Poll Provision

Local Government NZ (LGNZ) is campaigning vigorously to abolish the sections the Local Electoral Act 2001 which relate to the rules for binding citizens initiated polls concerning the establishment of Maori wards. The members of National Council of LGNZ want its members to be able to impose Maori wards unchecked - thereby depriving members of local communities of an individual democratic right expressly written into law.

For a comprehensive and well researched essay on this issue, please click HERE. This essay, authored by Michael Coote - a freelance writer and financial journalist - was published on the NZCPR website on 22nd April. Michael explains what LGNZ is seeking, and the reasons why.

The Iwi Chairs’ Forum influence on LGNZ

It appears LGNZ is being heavily influenced by their association with the Iwi Chairs Forum, with which it signed a Memorandum of Understanding MOU in August 2015, committing to work closely together. 

The Iwi Chairs’ Forum (ICF) meet regularly “to discuss and enable Māori aspirations in the spheres of cultural, social, economic, environmental and political development.” One of its main policies is to seek Tino rangatiratanga, and a treaty-based relationship with the Crown.

In 2010 the ICF initiated a project - Matike Mai Aotearoa, the Independent Working Group on Constitutional Transformation - looking at the establishment of a new constitution. The Terms of Reference did not ask the working group to consider such questions as “How might the Treaty fit within the current Westminster constitutional system” but rather required it to advise on a different type of constitution based upon He Whakaputanga (Declaration of Independence of New Zealand), and Te Tiriti (Treaty of Waitangi). Their report, released early 2016, seeks a profound change to the existing political order. To fulfil the quest for an equal constitutional relationship with the Crown, it identifies six different models for constitutional transformation - see pages 104-111 of the Report of Matike Mai Aotearoa - The Independent Working Group on Constitutional Transformation HERE.
The report also recommends that “Iwi, Hapū, and lead Māori organisations initiate formal dialogue with the Crown and local authorities about the need for and possibilities of constitutional transformation.”
According to Michael, in its open letter to the three party leaders of the Ardern coalition government, it appears LGNZ is pandering to the ICF’s bidding. The letter calls for the sections relating to the rules for binding polls of electors regarding the establishment of Maori wards to be abolished. Click HERE for a copy of the LGNZ letter.
Countering the campaign to abolish the poll provision
The LGNZ campaign to deny citizens their democratic right to say whether they support race-based political representation is at odds with its stated commitment ‘to protect and enhance local democracy’, see HERE. It appears the members of LGNZ need to be reminded that democracy is government by the people, without hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges.

• Send messages of opposition to the president of Local Government New Zealand, Dave Cull Email: cull@dcc.govt.nz
• And to the other members of the National Council of Local Government NZ.
The members are listed here
• Contact MPs, especially NZ First, National and ACT. Ask them to stand firm against the proposal.
• Also send messages to:
Prime Minister jacinda.ardern@parliament.govt.nz
Deputy Prime Minister winston.peters@parliament.govt.nz
Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta nanaia.mahuta@parliament.govt.nz
The email addresses of MPs are available here.
One of our members has prepared a form letter to send to MPs.

You are welcome to use this, or adapt to suit. Click here to view.

Go back to the May 2018 newsletter


Compulsory Māori seats touted for Northland

Northland Māori are making a push for greater representation in local government, renewing calls for local Māori seats. Some say government intervention is necessary and that may include compulsory Māori seats. Pita Tipene of Ngāti Hine laments that local government legislation and processes are "shutting out our people". Continue reading

Maori wards supporters want to overturn the Māori ward poll law

In response to the binding poll in Palmerston North, a lobby group in the Palmerston North/Manawatu area has launched a campaign to promote the introduction of Maori wards, and to encourage voters to say "yes" to Māori wards in the upcoming referendums. A report on their campaign launch is available here. As well as campaigning to promote Māori wards, supporters want to overturn the law which enables voters to challenge any Māori ward decision through a binding poll. Continue reading

Citizens Get To Vote On Maori Wards - Congratulations To All Concerned!

Thanks to the hard work of locals, in some cases with the support of the people at Hobson’s Pledge, all five councils that voted to introduce Māori wards, (i.e. Manawatu, Whakatane, Western Bay of Plenty, Palmerston North and Kaikoura), will now be polling their citizens in a binding referendum as to whether they support Māori wards for their area. See Hobson’s Pledge media release here.

Countering The Campaign To Abolish The Poll Provision

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ), along with the Green Party and ex-New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd, are agitating to remove those sections of the Local Electoral Act 2001 that allow for electors to vote on whether or not a city, district or region can establish Māori wards. Continue reading

Maori wards for local authorities?

Four more councils have voted to foster racial division - councillors in Palmerston North, Manawatu, Whakatane and Western Bay of Plenty districts have voted to proceed with separate Maori wards, doing so without consulting their constituents. It is now over to locals to demand a vote. Help is being sought to collect signatures for petitions to spark polls in these areas. Continue reading

Labour’s policy on so-called ‘partnership’ between Crown and Maori

Despite NZ First scuppering the inclusion of the word "partnership" in the new Maori Crown agency's name – it is still used in the description of what the new agency will do. Crown-Maori Relations Minister Kelvin Davis said the new agency, Te Arawhiti, would help facilitate the next step in the Treaty relationship, moving beyond the settlement of Treaty grievances into "what it means to work together in partnerships". Continue reading