This is what I said in my submission

I have received several emails asking what Elliot and I wrote on behalf of Hobson's Pledge in our submission on the Fast Track Approvals Bill. I thought you might be interested too!

It is short and to the point and we will elaborate when we get a chance to speak to the select committee.

Submission on the Fast-track Approvals Bill by the Hobson’s Pledge Trust

  • The Hobson’s Pledge Trust was founded in 2016 to promote the fundamental principle that all New Zealanders have equal political rights, as acknowledged in Article III of the Treaty of Waitangi. We named the organisation after Governor Hobson, who is understood to have said, as each chief signed the Treaty, “He iwi tahi tatou” (“We are now one people”).  We are convinced that acknowledging that equality of rights is the only way forward for a peaceful and harmonious New Zealand.

  • From small beginnings, Hobson’s Pledge has grown to the point where some 130,000 people receive our regular emails.

  • As an organisation, we take no position on the need for the Fast-track Approvals Bill. There is no doubt a wide range of strongly felt views on the Bill among our supporters.

  • We respect the effort which the Bill makes to ensure that property rights are respected.

  • But we are dismayed that the Bill gives a much greater priority to the rights of iwi than to the rights of other New Zealanders. The word “iwi” appears 56 times in the Bill, and the proposed four-person panels by which projects are to be evaluated are to include one person nominated by the relevant local authority and one person nominated by the relevant iwi. This apparent equivalence between local authorities and iwi authorities seems to us totally inappropriate, and is likely to result in the concerns of Maori New Zealanders being given much greater weight than the concerns of other New Zealanders.

  • This not only causes us dismay: it also causes us surprise. During the election campaign, both the ACT Party and the New Zealand First Party made much of their commitment to equal citizenship.  In the coalition agreements which both parties signed with the National Party in the process of forming a Government, there were numerous quite specific promises to eliminate the racial preferences which have crept into New Zealand law in recent years.  The National Party’s constitution includes a specific commitment to “equal citizenship”, and of course it too was a party to the two coalition agreements which enabled the formation of the new Government.

  • Clearly, in approving any new investment project under this Fast-track Approvals Bill Ministers must be mindful of the property rights of those New Zealanders who could be affected by the new project. But this principle should surely apply to all New Zealanders, whatever their ethnicity.  As drafted, the Bill fails to acknowledge that principle.

  • We wish to appear before the Committee to present this submission.

I urge you to take a few minutes to send in your thoughts on the Fast Track Approvals Bill. You don't need to address every aspect of the Bill - if you're like me you may be in favour of it overall. Just make it clear that special powers and representation for iwi will slow approvals down and do not reflect the mandate given to the Government at the election to end race-based law and policy.


You only have until Friday the 19th April 2024 to submit! Don't miss out!