Minister for the Environment Dr Nick Smith and the National - Maori Party Coalition are planning to push changes that will undermine democracy and the Rule of Law through Parliament this week (13 March 2017).
The Resource Legislation Amendment Bill will oblige all local body authorities to enter "iwi participation agreements" with one or more iwi and hapu in their area. These agreements will enable tribes to fast-track their plans to become resource consenting authorities for the management and control of fresh water and other natural resources in their area.
The majority of New Zealanders oppose legislation granting special rights to a race based elite.
Please help us by emailing National Party MPs to demand the deletion of sections 58K - 58P of the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill. Tell them that New Zealand First has agreed to support amendments to remove the iwi participation agreements and remind them that you will not support National in the forthcoming election if they ignore us.
Click here for our list of MP's email addresses: http://www.hobsonspledge.nz/mps_contact_details
Email Dr Nick Smith Nick.Smith@parliament.govt.nz
Email ACT MP David Seymour David.Seymour@parliament.govt.nz
Reasons to demand the removal of Iwi Participation Agreements from the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill:
- The iwi clauses would virtually entrench co-governance and partnership obligations with some Maori into local government, creating an under-the-radar constitutional change.
- These sections contravene basic principles of the rule of law, they conflict with our basic democratic principles, and they are inherently racist.
- These sections create legal uncertainty, and precursors of such arrangements linked to the Auckland Maori Statutory Board has led to conflict and litigation.
- The sections weaken individual property rights, as we have seen in Auckland with the requirement for "cultural impact assessments", and reduce the rights of councils in dealing with council property.
- With powerful and self-interested tribal bodies at the heart of resource management, as prescribed by the iwi participation arrangements, iwi would become one of the potentially venal interests that the system should guard against.
- The proposed sections would give tribal bodies critical advantages of exclusive prior notice, as well as direct input and discussion, while nothing is proposed to protect non-iwi citizens against the abuse of these privileges.
One of the key drivers to the review of the RMA was to deliver a reduction in the bureaucracy and costs associated with development of land and effective use of resources. Yet at a time where housing is such a critical issue for all New Zealanders, these clauses will achieve exactly the opposite of what was intended in RMA reform by slowing the process, complicating the decision making and increasing cost.
Your emails are already making a difference, as explained by Dr Muriel Newman, citing a leaked memo from Nick Smith with how to respond to claims "from Muriel Newman and the likes". However, As Dr Newman explains, the memo "is also a shocking revelation of the scale of the misrepresentation that a Minister is prepared to feed to his colleagues".
For further information:
1. "An Abomination of a Bill", by Muriel Newman
2."Resource Legislation Amendment Bill - Deceptive advice to National caucus", by Stephen Franks
3. "The Smith Reforms", by Michael Coote