Category: Constitutional Reform

Dr Muriel Newman

Race-Based Democracy Opposed

Last week the final referendum results for the five councils that had decided to introduce Maori wards against the wishes of their local electors were released. In each case, the public voted against their decision. The message from the results is that most New Zealanders do not want local government defined by race.


Michael Coote

Maori Myths & Legends: Local electors deliver stinging rebuke

Over recent years the people of New Zealand have repeatedly spoken through binding polls held under the auspices of the Local Electoral Act concerning establishment of separate Maori  representation in their local governments.  As of May 19, five binding polls decisively vetoed Maori wards that elected representatives on their local councils tried to foist upon them.


Dr Muriel Newman

Defending Democracy

People need to take action to defend a community’s democratic right to call a referendum if their local council decides to establish a Maori ward, since Local Government New Zealand is attempting to have this important public power abolished.


Michael Coote

Maori Myths & Legends: LGNZ conspiracy against local democracy

LGNZ is engaged in a power grab.  It wants to ensure its members are not subject to public polls concerning Maori wards/constituencies.  The reason for this is that LGNZ supports race-based Maori wards/constituencies and wants its members to be able to impose them unchecked


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.