< September 2019 newsletter

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.”



The final lists of candidates are now available from your local bodies. Click here for a list of Auckland candidates 2019

To help you ascertain candidates’ views on whether they support the discriminatory race-based seats at the council decision-making table, a member has prepared a set of questions to ask candidates – to see please click HERE.

Hobson's Pledge campaign - 'Councillors should be elected on merit'

Hobson's Pledge are mounting a vigorous campaign, ‘Vote 2019 - Councillors should be elected on merit’, distributing leaflets and using social media. Please click HERE and HERE for details. They have also collated a list of councillors who voted for separate Maori wards or Maori representatives with voting rights on Council Committees. It is available HERE.

In addition to this list, Hamilton City's Mayor and five councillors voted to introduce five race-based positions on council committees. See the following article, ‘Racism in action - Hamilton City's race-based positions on council committees’ for details.

Auckland Mayoral candidates have been sent the following questions:

  1. Do you support racial separatism in council policies and funding budgets?
  2. If elected, would you vote in favour of transferring or delegating RMA powers to local tribal trusts?
  3. If elected, would you vote in favour of Council taking action to defend public rights against tribal claims over local harbours, beaches and seabed?
  4. If elected, would you support an approach to government to abolish the Independent Maori Statutory Board?
  5. If elected, would you vote in favour of co-governance of  Hauraki Gulf marine areas as proposed by the Sea Change Marine Spatial Plan?

Their responses (or not) are available HERE

Going by feedback received so far, only two Auckland Mayoral candidates definitely do not support race-based representation. They are:

  • Susanna Kruger of Justice for Families, and
  • Michael Coote, an Independent.

Michael Coote (a former NBR columnist) is standing on the citizen equality issue at the level of Auckland mayoralty, the Waitākere ward, and the Henderson-Massey Local Board. Michael: “In each case I am running on a single issue so that there is no ambiguity about the meaning of any vote I receive”.  Please see below Michael’s campaign statement, which will be delivered with voting documents throughout Auckland:

“Multi-ethnic, multi-cultural Auckland City must be a society of strict racial equality for all. Auckland Council must respect this fundamental principle of modern liberal democratic civilisation. There is no justice in Auckland Council granting, enabling or facilitating special rights and privileges, or providing separatist treatment, for any part of Auckland's diverse community on the basis of racial or ethnic affiliation. For example, Auckland Council's plans, policies, procedures and structures should not discriminate in favour of Maori members of the community over any others, but should apply equal status, validity and opportunity to all Aucklanders as residents and ratepayers. Any aspect of Auckland Council which does not conform with racial egalitarianism should be abolished, as too should be entities such as the Independent Maori Statutory Board, which places voting members on Auckland Council committees who are unelected by the general public. If you agree, please vote for Michael Coote”.

Media coverage on Auckland Mayoral candidates:

Stuff: Meet the Candidates: 'Imperfect' Auckland mayoral hopeful John Tamihere on his fiery campaign

Stuff: Meet the Candidates: Mayoral hopeful Phil Goff 'not satisfied' with Auckland Transport, promises changes

Stuff: Meet the Candidates: 'Grassroots' Auckland mayoral hopeful Craig Lord attacks higher-profile rivals

Newsroom: Truth, fibs and stupidity: the Auckland mayoralty

WaateaNews: Tamihere wants Maori Statutory Board elections

Mr Tamihere spent two terms as an urban Māori representative on the board, which is chosen by a panel drawn from the super city's 19 mana whenua iwi and hapū. He supports the retention of the Independent Maori Statutory Board but wants to change the system by introducing an election for places on the board every three years for those on the Maori roll.

Voting concludes on October 12th

Voting starts 20 September with a postal vote, closing noon 12 October 2019. Your voting papers will be mailed to you around 20th September. If you have received your orange enrollment update pack in the mail at the end of June you are enrolled to vote, but of not click here to get enrolled before Friday 11 October.  For more information visit the Department of Internal Affairs website HERE.

Go back to the September 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

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. 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