< October 2019 newsletter

Time to Vote - Local Body Elections 2019

Voting in local body elections is under way, with the poll closing noon 12 October. With the push for co-governance and partnership arrangements gathering speed, there’s a lot riding on our choices this election. The next three years will make a huge difference to our future.

You should have received your ballot papers by now. If you have not, click here to get enrolled before Friday 11 October.  For more information visit the Department of Internal Affairs website HERE. Additionally, the Auckland Council ‘Information for voters’ page is available HERE.

In last month’s Democracy Action Update we recommended some questions you could ask of the candidates before you cast your vote. Others are also available on the Hobson’s Pledge website - please click HERE.

In case it’s useful, Hobson’s Pledge has tried to determine where candidates stand on race-based policies/governance. Please click HERE for a link to the results of their questioning. You will notice that most have declined to answer. This is where you come in. Please approach those you are considering voting for and ask where they stand on race-based representation.

Auckland City Council candidates

Five Auckland Mayoralty candidates have come out as anti-separatism. They are:

COOTE Michael Independent [email protected]

Michael is standing on the platform of racial equality for all. His candidate profile is available HERE, and Facebook page HERE

JOHNSTON Ted [email protected]

KRUGER Susanna Justice for Families [email protected]

SNELGAR Glen Old Skool [email protected]

Hamilton City Council

The Waikato Times undertook a questionnaire for the West ward of the Hamilton City Council. One of the questions asked of the candidates was: “Should the city council have elected Māori seats?”

Please see their responses below:

YES: Rudi du Plooy, Melaina Huaki, Louise Hutt, Dave Macpherson, Shanti Ralm and Sarah Thomson.

NO: Chris Davis, Matthew Small, Geoff Taylor and Ewan Wilson

Those who do not support Maori wards but do support Māori appointments onto council committees: Peter Bos, Martin Gallagher and Angela O'Leary.

Councillors who did not respond to the call to take part in the survey were: Siggi Henry, Geoff Holt, Michelle Houghton, David McNab, Matt Shea, and Leo Tooman.

For detailed responses, please see Stuff article: How Hamilton West council candidates stand on issues impacting the city

Race-based policies are not racism, but equal treatment is?

One would think that any policy based on race would, by definition, be racist. But, as Hobson’s Pledge report in a recent article “In our Orwellian world, racism is not racism and equal treatment is”, this is not the case. See the article in full HERE.

Go back to the October 2019 newsletter


Government plans to seize ratepayers’ assets - without compensation

Local Government Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta has announced further details of the Government's regulatory and structural reform of water service delivery in New Zealand. The plan is for an unprecedented transfer of billions of dollars of ratepayer-funded assets from local bodies to four entities. Continue reading

Local Government update

Government plans a local government system that actively embodies the Treaty partnership. On 23 April 2021 the Minister of Local Government established a review into the future for Local Government:  “The overall purpose of the Review is, as a result of the cumulative changes being progressed as part of the Government’s reform agenda, to identify how our system of local democracy and governance needs to evolve over the next 30 years, to improve the wellbeing of New Zealand communities and the environment, and actively embody the Treaty partnership”. Continue reading

Tauranga citizens to be further disenfranchised

The anti-democratic madness continues apace in Tauranga. Following the Government-appointed Commissioners recent decision to establish a Māori ward, they have also agreed to a new committee – the Strategy, Finance and Risk Committee - which embodies the 'Treaty partnership', but goes further than that, effectively shutting out the wider community. Continue reading

Māori wards update - May

Even though time and time again referenda have shown that most New Zealanders are opposed to race-based voting systems, 24 local authorities have recently either made the decision to proceed with Māori wards or have indicated an intention to do so. In addition to those mentioned in the April edition of the Democracy Action newsletter, the following have voted to proceed down this path: Continue reading

The cost to ratepayers of implementing the partnership principle

Photo: Penny Smart, Chair of Northland Regional Council The partnership-with-iwi provisions are creating significant cost pressures for councils. This includes large and on-going costs associated with implementing and maintaining the variety of ways Iwi/Māori are involved in local government and contribute to council decision making. Continue reading

Further Councils Considering Establishing Māori Wards

Councils: Waipa, Hawke’s Bay, Horizons, Horowhenua, Hamilton As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, the new Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Act 2021 extended the deadline for councils to consider Māori wards for the 2022 triennial local government elections to 21 May 2021. This has brought forward a flurry of proposals and votes.  Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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

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

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. Continue reading

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.  Continue reading

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: Continue reading

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

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. Continue reading