Co-governance fails at Auckland mountain authority

Dysfunctional co-governance arrangements at Auckland’s ancestor mountain authority show a practical failure of biculturalism.

Co-governance arrangements were embedded in many of the 40 or so treaty settlements that Chris Finlayson completed as Treaty Negotiations Minister in the National/Maori Party Government.

One such arrangement is the Tupuna Maunga Authority that was set up in 2014 to co-govern Auckland’s 14 volcanic cones after the Nga Mana Whenua o Tamaki Makaurau Collective Redress Deed passed into law.

Neighbours have witnessed a somewhat odd saga unfold with the authority installing steel barriers to keep cars out, removing cows, ripping out water troughs, painting over memorial plaques on seating, and felling exotic trees.

Locals were abused at a meeting of the authority in May when they presented a 4000-signature petition to ask the authority to restore the cross/star on Mount Roskill. At that meeting a woman and her young son asked for the felling of heritage trees on Mangere mountain to cease.

Both requests were rejected at the meeting and Maungakiekie-Tamaki Ward councillor Josephine Bartley told the woman who asked for the felling of heritage trees to cease that her views were disgusting.

The meeting was told that the authority was not there to consider the views of the broader community but was there to act in the interests of the “maunga” and Maori.

This apparent rush to decolonise looks like a culture war in which one side of this bicultural group is trying to erase the characteristics of the other side.

This strange group, Tupuna Maunga authority, which would translate as ancestor mountain authority, seems to be operating beyond any authority that could have reasonably been expected and without any controls or accountability.  

More reasons to sign our Cook ship petition

Activist Sina Brown Davis and the self-proclaimed “non-plastic Maori” Tina Ngata, in their futile bid to stop the visit of the Cook ship replica in October, are pushing a dodgy version of part of one side of the New Zealand story.

They don’t say anything about the murders and massacres of explorers, settlers and colonists during these turbulent times. It is this risk of misinformation and creation of resentment as a result that makes it so important that our true history is respected.

We need your support to protect the heritage of our nation.

In the past week we collected more than 2100 signatures but we need more so please sign our counter petition to welcome the Endeavour replica to New Zealand by going to

How did Treaty become part of trade talks?

The Treaty of Waitangi has become a “bottom line” in talks about a free trade deal with the United States, along with Pharmac and “our right to regulate”, according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in the New Zealand Herald today. How on earth is the Treaty of Waitangi relevant to a trade deal with the US? Have we all gone nuts? See PM spells out bottom lines for US deal. NZ Herald, July 22, 2019.

Submit on absurd plant varieties rights Treaty clause

For those concerned about the addition of an absurd Treaty of Waitangi clause in the Plant Varieties Rights Act, there is a two-day hui at the MBIE offices in Wellington starting August 5, and you have until September 9 to make a submission. Go to

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