Category: Constitutional Reform

Dr Muriel Newman

Local Democracy Undermined

Last month Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull, the President of Local Government New Zealand wrote to the coalition Government calling for the removal of the petition rights that allow local residents and ratepayers to demand a poll if their Council unilaterally decides to establish Maori wards.


Mike Lally

Ratepayers Fight Council Racism

The Western Bay of Plenty District Council is divided into three wards for electoral purposes. However, in November 2017, Councillors voted - with nine votes in favour and three opposed - to establish additional race-based wards, which would guarantee seats for Maori.


Dr Muriel Newman

A New Era of Politics

The recent volatility in sharemarkets around the world should serve as a warning to our new Government about the fragility of financial markets and the crucial importance of having a strong balance sheet as a buffer against future economic shocks.


Michael Coote

On the Money: Has MMP produced a new era of FPP elections?

With the Jacinda Ardern-led tripartite coalition government passing its hundred day milestone in the 52nd New Zealand Parliament,  Labour and National are now running neck-and-neck in public opinion polls.  Either could potentially win the next general election in 2020 outright. 


Dr Muriel Newman

Defend Your Beach

As you and your family head off to the coast this summer, you might want to consider how long it will be before Maori tribal groups are dictating access rights to your favourite beach. Few holidaymakers will realise that ownership of the beach they are visiting is under claim.


Dr Hugh Barr

A Violation of the Marine and Coastal Area Act

The Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of New Zealand (CORANZ) objected to the claim by Ngati Pahauwera, for a Customary Marine Title over the coast between the Waikare River mouth and the Waihua River mouth, in northern Hawke’s Bay.


Professor James Allan

The Wonders of MMP

I spent 11 wonderful years living and working in New Zealand, from 1993 to 2004. During that whole time one of my pet peeves was the MMP voting system, one of the world’s most proportional systems and the one the Americans imposed on the Germans after World War II.


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.