May the 4th

You may remember that last year, on May the 4th, we published this advert in the New Zealand Herald.


The advert played with the famous line from the Star Wars movie “May the Force be with you”, emphasising that our democracy was under attack.

Predictably we received advertising complaints and were accused of scaremongering, but the advert was hard to miss, with even left-leaning media unable to ignore the democratic issue.

I am asking for your help to reinforce the message that our democracy is not a tradeable commodity for political gain. It is only through spreading the word to other Kiwis that we will be able to combat this attack on the foundations of our constitution. 

You will recall that our concerns about democracy were scoffed at by our then Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, when she stated that the one person, one vote was “overly simplistic”.

Now, Minister of Local Government Kieran McAnulty has confirmed the Government’s continued contempt for democracy when he said:

“There are provisions that we have in this country that wouldn’t stand up to a purely academic democratic framework but that’s not how we work in New Zealand.”


Democracy is the foundation of that equal consideration – one person, one vote. However, our elected representatives apparently have no understanding of this democratic principle.

We have one of the proudest democratic credentials in the world, with every person having voting rights as early as 1893. We can no longer take our democracy for granted, so we need to engage with a much broader audience before this year’s election.

To launch this discussion, we want to revisit our May the Fourth advertising as the first stage in a series of actions defending our democracy and equality before the law.

Can you help us spread this message? Commit to telling 3 friends or family members this weekend about what is going on. 

Since we last highlighted that our democracy was under attack New Zealand has seen, to highlight a few issues:

  1. Legislated unelected representation by Ngai Tahu onto the Canterbury Regional Council
  2. Segregated of our health system by race
  3. Over 80,000 submissions about 3 Waters dismissed by the Local Government Minister because they largely said the “same thing”
  4. Unelected 50% governance arrangements in the control of water despite extensive opposition
  5. Closed select committee submissions, excluding public engagement, about the renaming of New Zealand to Aotearoa

It is only through democracy that we can hold our elected representatives to account. When power and authority get handed to those who carry no cost for decisions, it's too late.