Flyers and signs prompt complaints

A number of the 1.6 million flyers we delivered nationwide last week prompted complaints to the Human Rights Commission alleging racism. See


One of the numerous signs at Hamilton.

The commission said it was unlikely to be able to investigate because pamphlets were not covered by its legislation.

Our co-spokesman Don Brash said anyone who said the flyer was racist was misguided because it “is simply saying, in recent years the National government, which had promised equal citizenship loudly from opposition, has been betraying that position."

A billboard and a proliferation of “use your vote” signs in Hamilton, pictured, prompted the Waikato Times to publish “Hobson's Pledge targets Waikato voters with “anti-separatist” message”. See

One academic detractor quoted in the story encouraged people who come across our material to "ignore the hype, drill down deeper".

We encourage everyone to do the same by visiting


One of the thousands of flyers distributed at Fieldays, near Hamilton.

Former ‘Urewera Four’ member on council

The appointment of former “Urewera Four” member Emily Bailey to a Taranaki Regional Council standing committee should be a wake-up call for all who think tribal appointees on local government committees is a good idea. See

Bailey is one of three iwi appointees, with Mitchell Ritai​ and John Hooker, chosen by an appointments panel made up of Taranaki iwi members, to sit on the council’s policy and planning committee.

Three other iwi appointees, Fay Mulligan, Keith Holswich​, and Hoani Eriwata​, were selected by the same panel to sit on the council's consents and regulatory committee.

Bailey, along with partner Urs Signer, Tame Iti and Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara​ was arrested during a series of armed police raids conducted on Monday, October 15, 2007, in response to the discovery of an alleged paramilitary training camp in the Urewera mountain range near Ruatoki.

Bailey was eventually found guilty of five charges of unlawful possession of firearms and one charge of unlawful possession of a restricted weapon, Molotov cocktails, and sentenced to nine months' home detention.

Iwi appointees for New Plymouth council

Further iwi appointees to another Taranaki council were announced this week when the New Plymouth District Council created a 10-member Te Huinga Taumatua Committee which includes five iwi appointees. See

The committee will offer recommendations to the council and will be able to make final decisions on naming of roads and reserves, determining marae grant applications over $10,000, and any other matter referred to them for a final decision.

The New Plymouth District Council had a referendum in April 2015 on whether or not to proceed with having Maori Wards, and 83 percent voted against it.

Former mayor Andrew Judd objected to the outcome and took a one-signature petition to Parliament to get rid of the requirement for a referendum on any Maori ward proposal.

Local Government Act says ‘Maori’, not ‘iwi’

Councillor Gordon Brown of the New Plymouth District Council attempted to justify the iwi appointees, mentioned above, by saying that “under the Local Government Act the council was obliged to have iwi input into decision making at a governance level”.

However, Cr Brown should read the Local Government Act 2002 which specifies “Maori” not “iwi”.

The Treaty clause in that Act says “in order to recognise and respect the Crown’s responsibility to take appropriate account of the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and to maintain and improve opportunities for Maori to contribute to local government decision-making processes, Parts 2 and 6 provide principles and requirements for local authorities that are intended to facilitate participation by Maori in local authority decision-making processes”.

The presence of mayors and councillors with Maori ancestry on local bodies throughout New Zealand shows there is no impediment to anyone in getting elected.

One could argue that local governance without all the added-on Maori committees would in fact satisfy the requirements of the Local Government Act.

Adventures by muddle-headed councillors in efforts to implement what they imagine to be in the Local Government Act should be seen as what they are – muddle-headed adventures.

All those of you who oppose such adventures should write to the New Plymouth District Council, to your MP, and to your newspaper.

Maori economy article ignores tax exemption

Projections for the fast-growing Maori economy omitted to mention the fact that many Maori businesses pay no income tax, therefore have a distinct cash advantage over similar businesses that do contribute to wider society by paying income tax, charities expert Dr Michael Gousmett wrote this week.

Responding to an article in the Christchurch newspaper, The Press, on June 19, Dr Gousmett said some Maori businesses do pay income tax, albeit at a much lower rate than the company rate of 28 per cent, by paying tax at the Maori Authority rate of 17.5 per cent which is based on the marginal tax rate of Maori.

He noted that some tax-paying Maori Authority businesses operate in the same sectors as non-tax-paying tribal businesses and are therefore at a fiscal disadvantage.

Dr Gousmett wrote that given that the Government is looking into tax issues generally, is it not time that these fiscal issues were also revisited?

Hobson’s Pledge agrees.


An excellent meme doing the rounds on Facebook says it all.

Meet Don and Casey

For those in the Rotorua area, Don Brash and Casey Costello will at 7pm TONIGHT, June 26, in the function room at Hennessys Irish Bar, 1200 Tutanekai St, Rotorua.

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Authorised by C. Costello, Hobson's Pledge Trust, Suite 311, 184 Symonds Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand.