Submissions Closing Soon: Canterbury Regional Council (Ngāi Tahu Representation) Bill

Separatism is once again being forced upon New Zealanders through the second attempt to entrench unelected tribal appointees into local government.

The Canterbury Regional Council (Ngāi Tahu Representation) Bill will create two positions for representatives of Ngai Tahu without any requirement of a democratic process.

This Government previously succeeded in removing the opportunity for New Zealanders to challenge the establishment of separatist Maori Wards in local authorities. Building on this, the next phase, as demonstrated in this Bill, is to entrench tribalism in a way which directly undermines the democratic process.

The previous attempt to pass this legislation failed when, in 2019, National, New Zealand First and ACT MPs defeated the Bill. This time the Government has the numbers, so only people power will force Government MPs to do a U-turn.

This legislation will result in a system that:

  • is profoundly undemocratic
  • increases bureaucracy and cost
  • compromises environmental protections through conflicts of interest between Ngai Tahu business/property interests (as one of the largest business interests in the area) and the Regional Council

>>>Secure your democratic right to be heard 📣

We need you to make a submission on this Bill right now.  Because of the summer period, the Bill has gone largely unnoticed.  It is essential that there is a clear message sent to this Government.  Submissions close on 2 February.

Please copy (Ctrl+C) and paste (Ctrl+V) our suggested wording below.  The key thing is you act now before it is too late.

Email the suggested submission below to the Maori Affairs Select Comittee ( [email protected] ) - and it is important that you copy us in so we can keep print and hand-deliver your submission to Parliament. Our email is [email protected]bsonspledge.nz 

SUGGESTED SUBMISSION (Feel free to change or add to it):

Dear Committee,

I submit in opposition to the Canterbury Regional Council (Ngāi Tahu Representation) Bill.

The Bill undermines New Zealand’s democracy, and tradition that we are all equal in our democratic representation. Democratically elected authorities require representatives to be elected and accountable to their constituents.

On this basis:

  1. All members on the Canterbury Regional Council should be elected, and accountable at the ballot box.
  2. Any change to the make-up of the Council should be a decision arising from consultation with the community affected by this change, not dictated from on high
  3. With the significant business interests and assets controlled by Ngāi Tahu, environmental protections are at risk of being compromised - Ngāi Tahu have enormous conflicts of interest which are not adequately dealt with in the Bill
  4. The Treaty of Waitangi (Article III) guaranteed the same rights to all citizens. This legislation would afford greater rights to one group of citizens based upon race.

This Bill represents a significant constitutional change and should therefore require a supermajority in Parliament, or (at minimum) a referendum of the affected communities before it proceeds.