Defend Local Democracy

Less than three weeks ago, Hobson’s Pledge publicised the new standing order guide from Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ).

Standing Orders are the procedures that your council uses to conduct their meetings and the way they debate. Their purpose is to enable local authorities to exercise their decision making responsibilities in a transparent, inclusive, and lawful manner.

LGNZ send a guide to these standing orders, along with a template to use, to councils at the start of each term and they have made significant changes to this year’s guide from the last version in 2019, without announcement, fanfare, or scrutiny from the media.

These guidelines assert a new special status in decision making for Maori and iwi that will limit the democratic authority of those who were elected by the voters at large (which included Maori).

Tell your Mayor (and the Chair of your regional council, if you have one) to reject these radical and undemocratic changes at

The new guidelines claim that iwi and hapu “have a mandate based on their role as the indigenous governors of the land”.

LGNZ does not explain how they came to these conclusions and, without a fundamental change in our constitutional law in the last three years, there is no legal basis for inserting this new status for iwi, even though they try to make it sound like councils have to comply.

You can read the guidelines here: StandingOrder_16_09_22.pdf (

Councils will be bureaucratically crippled in their decision-making by the cultural minefield that these recommended standing orders require.

Should your council adopt these guidelines there will be:

  1. Different rights based for some based upon ancestry
  2. More bureaucracy
  3. Delays in decision making
  4. Increased costs
  5. Less accountability

As the newly elected mayors and councillors begin their work serving your community, it is essential that they are reminded of their responsibility to be representative of all their constituents.

Send a message at our easy to use tool and demand that everyone have an equal say in your community. We make it simple to find your mayor with just your postcode.

Our communities need to be inclusive and representative of all New Zealanders, regardless of their ancestry. Do not allow this radical manifesto to differentiate one group of New Zealanders ahead of the rest. We must not be divided against ourselves and this wedge of bureaucracy will do just that.  

Hobson’s Pledge is continuing to push back against racism and will continue demanding that all New Zealanders are treated equally before the law.