Collectors still needed for Maori wards petitions

Signature collectors for petitions around the country for votes on proposed Maori wards are still needed in Taupo, Gisborne, South Taranaki, Northland, Whangarei, and Kaipara.

Maori wards appear to be an attempt to set up a copy of the separate Maori seats in Parliament but, oddly, do not require Maori ward council candidates to be Maori.

That means that an unemployed politician from Auckland could find work as a Maori roll councillor in Taumarunui and people living in Taumarunui have not been told that this could happen.

Also, Maori roll voters have not been told that they would only be able to vote for the Maori roll candidates and if they don’t like the limited choice they would have to wait until the next census to change to the general roll.

We sent out petition-form flyers in all those districts as well as to New Plymouth, Ruapehu, and Tauranga and signatures started trickling in via email and PO Box.

The flyers simply remind people that they have a choice. Either let the council decide on Maori wards, or let citizens and ratepayers decide. This is all about our democracy. Use it or lose it.

A surprising number of Maori New Zealanders have signed up for a vote saying “We are all the same. We want to have a say in this”.

For those considering collecting signatures, it is reassuring to know that it is a rewarding experience which is great for confidence, personal growth, and you talk to a lot of people.

The experience would make this summer memorable for you. You will be surprised at the support and the numbers of people who thank you for stepping up.

Go to [email protected] to volunteer.

Sign petition to require binding referenda before changes

Please sign Democracy Action’s petition calling for a law change to require binding referenda before any major change to constitutional arrangements in local government, such as the voting system and the creation of Māori wards.

Democracy Action founder Lee Short, who launched the petition, said that “it is vital to our democracy that any constitutional changes only be made with the approval of the people”.

“Therefore, we believe the only way to change our constitutional arrangements is by holding binding referenda.”

We endorse the commitment made in the Labour Party 2020 manifesto, which said: “Labour will ensure that major decisions about local democracy involve full participation of the local population from the outset.” 

To sign the petition, please go to

What sort of history?

Historian Michael Bassett, a Cabinet Minister in the Fourth Labour Government, sounded a warning on the sort of history that may be taught compulsorily in our schools.

Those who push the line that everything was lovely in New Zealand until the colonists arrived, and that they were responsible for depriving Maori of their livelihoods, are telling only bits of our story, he wrote.

If modern New Zealand history is to be taught to all students in schools as promised by Jacinda Ardern then the curriculum should not start in 1840. By then Maori had been 500 years in Aotearoa, the last 40 of them in a state of almost perpetual warfare, he wrote.

Bassett’s articles are on a new website (  that features his current writings, along with those of Hobson’s Pledge spokesman Don Brash and former ACT Party leader Rodney Hide.


Tauranga public meeting

Hobson’s Pledge spokespersons Don Brash and Casey Costello, as well as former Conservative Party leader Elliott Ikilei, will speak at the Tauranga Yacht Club at 2pm on Friday, January 29. The topic is “The PM says we are one people. Then why does she want to separate us?”

Our coastal petition is growing

Our petition which asks Parliament to amend the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 to restore public ownership of the coastal area, put all claims through the High Court, and repeal customary marine title, while affirming customary rights has picked up 26,528 signatures. We need your support. The petition may be signed at

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