Category: Constitutional Reform

Anthony Willy

Binding referenda - should we allow them

The New Zealand First Party has promised that if it is invited into a coalition government following the general election on the 23 September one of it's not negotiable policies will be to require the prospective coalition partner to agree to two binding referenda: One asking whether to retain the Maori seats, the other whether the number of Members of Parliament should be reduced to 100.


Dr Muriel Newman

Democracy Under Attack

Democracy has been described as a ‘fragile flower’. Indeed it is, and it's something we take for granted because our relatively young society has not yet experienced its collapse.


Anthony Willy

The State of Democracy in New Zealand

Until the passing of the Resource Management Amendment Act 2017 the business of territorial local authorities was conducted by the elected representatives of the citizens living in the particular area. That is no longer the case.


Michael Coote

Politics, Property and the RMA

New Zealand First looks like the only stabilizing element in coalition governments that would otherwise fall under the extremist sway of either or both the Greens and the Maori Party.


Dr Muriel Newman

Claims Tsunami Hits Foreshore and Seabed 

A review of tribal claims reveals the biggest resource grab in the country’s history, and the largest ever exploitation of New Zealand's conservation estate. Some are planning on “taking” “dolphins, whales, penguins, and seals”. Many intend ‘taking’ “seabirds” – and their eggs...


Dr Hugh Barr

Will the 2011 MACA Act now start stealing our beaches?

It is now over six years since the racist Marine and Coastal Area (MACA for short) Act came into force. So far.it has proved very difficult for Maori tribal groups to obtain ownership of the foreshore and seabed, with only one highly unusual case qualifying so far.


Dr Muriel Newman

National’s RMA Changes - a major constitutional victory for Iwi Leaders

I have sent a letter to the Prime Minister appealing to him to stop the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill. We feel so strongly about this, that we are publishing the letter in the Sunday Newspapers - so the public can better understand what’s going on and add their voice to our appeal to the PM to stop the Bill.


Rodney Hide

State subsidies worsen tribal favouritism

The approach by successive governments to Maori economic development is a triumph of hope over understanding and experience. More darkly, it’s the triumph of politics over what is good and just.


Stephen Franks

Resource Legislation Amendment Bill: Mana Whakahono a Rohe

The new Mana Whakahono a Rohe provisions in the 2nd reading version of the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill could result in iwi decision-making and enforcement powers on resource consent applications.


Dr Muriel Newman

An Abomination of a Bill

Last week I received an anonymous copy of a Memo the Environment Minister Nick Smith had written to his caucus colleagues on 26 January this year, defending his Resource Management Act reforms. It advised National Party MPs on how to respond to concerns raised by the New Zealand Centre for Political Research.