We won! On Wednesday evening, in a surprise move, National, New Zealand First and ACT MPs defeated the Canterbury Regional Council (Ngai Tahu Representation) Bill, a Bill that would have granted un-elected members of Ngai Tahu the right to sit and vote on Canterbury Regional Council. In the wake of the Christchurch massacre this vote was symbolic of our need for unity. Unity, the sense that we are New Zealanders ahead of any particular "identity" can only be maintained if we share the same democratic rights.
Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene’s Electoral (Entrenchment of Māori Seats) Amendment Bill will, if passed, require a 75% majority in Parliament to disestablish the Maori seats.
Last year Councillors in Palmerston North, Kaikoura, Manawatu, Whakatane and Western Bay of Plenty districts decided that ratepayers on the Maori electoral roll would be forced to vote in separate Maori wards.
We challenged the Councillors and voters overwhelmingly voted "No" to separate Maori wards.
Our sincere thanks to the many volunteers who tirelessly worked on behalf of the cause.Read more
Attorney General Chris Finlayson and the courts are poised to grant a new property right known as customary marine title over vast swathes of New Zealand's coastline to applicant groups claiming some Maori ancestry. The Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 enables one of the biggest race-based claims in living memory.Read more
A report recommending co-governance of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park has been rejected,
thanks largely to the work of Auckland group Democracy Action.
However, the Hauraki Gulf Forum has yet to vote on the "Sea Change" Marine Spatial Plan (Tai Timu Tai Pari) which proposes the establishment of 'ahu-moana' zones around the entire Gulf coastline (including offshore islands) extending 1km out to sea. The Sea Change plan also proposes management by 50% tribal trust appointees and 50% community representatives, with no mention of how community representatives would be appointed. Under Sea Change, governing committees would have the power to prohibit recreational and commercial fishing wholly or partially over any area of "their" zone, and over any or all fish species, based on "cultural values" (with no need for scientific evidence).
As tribal groups tend to vote "en bloc" the introduction of the Sea Change plan will, in effect, amount to tribal rule of the entire Hauraki Gulf coastline.Read more