As we await the final count of special votes for the Parliamentary election, our focus remains on local government.
Legislation relating to Three Waters and resource management reform has a significant impact on councils that are grappling with a myriad of obligations and duties including co-governance.
Councillors who recognise that differentiating rights based solely on race is unjust face criticism and even personal attacks for defending the principles of a fair and democratic process.
It is important that these councillors are supported, and that all councillorscontinue to be made aware that they are accountable to ALL ratepayers.
This is why, in our previous email, we urged you to contact councillors directly as they deliberate on the establishment of Maori Wards for Auckland Council at their upcoming meeting this Thursday, October 26th.
The meeting will convene at 10:00 am in the Reception Lounge of the Auckland Town Hall. If you are in the Auckland area, we encourage you to attend and stand in solidarity with those councillors who are opposing further race-based representation.
The 195-page report summarising the outcomes of the consultation process is an interesting read.
68% of respondents expressed opposition to the introduction of Maori seats. The report also highlights specific consultations with Maori communities, showing 772 submissions in support and 609 in opposition.
The following text is excerpted from page 19 of the report:
"Of the 11,732 individual responses,68 per cent do not support introducing Maori seats for the 2025 local elections, 30 per cent did support it, and two per cent provided another response.
Of the 40 organisation responses, 53 per cent do not support introducing Maori seats, 45 per cent did support it, and three per cent provided another response.
Of the 15 Maori entity responses, 13 support introducing Maori seats, one does not support it, and one provided another response."
It is important to remain vigilant in matters concerning local government.
Last week, we became aware of an initiative by Waikato Regional Council to establish a joint Iwi and Council representative body that would operate similarly to the proposed Three Waters "entity" structure.
The initial proposal was "to enable the Waikato to speak with one voice and articulate the preferred position of the Waikato representatives (council and iwi)."
The likely repeal of Three Waters legislation after the recent general election would remove the co-governance structure, but it appears that there are individuals who wish to continue pursuing similar arrangements directly through local councils.
Hobson’s Pledge will continue to monitor these types of proposals and recommendations from Councils and encourage you to engage with your local council and be vigilant in the protection of our democracy.
Thank you for continuing to engage in the protection of our democracy and equality before the law.