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Dr Muriel Newman

Local Democracy Undermined

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Last month Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull, the President of Local Government New Zealand – the union that represents the country’s 78 local authorities – wrote an open letter 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.

Under section 19ZD of the Local Electoral Act 2001 a councils can elect to hold a public referendum in order to decide whether or not to establish Maori wards. This reflects the fact that such a change fundamentally alters the democratic makeup of a council and by convention, changes of a constitutional nature in New Zealand can only be undertaken with the express approval of voters.

If a council however, chooses to introduce a Maori ward unilaterally, their decision can be challenged through section 19ZB of the Act, which gives residents and ratepayers the right to force a referendum – if 5 percent of voters sign their petition.

Referenda decisions are binding on councils for the following two elections.

The Maori wards provisions in the Act mirror those for changing the voting system, which is the other major constitutional change provided for in the legislation. Under Sections 27 to 34, councils can change between First Past the Post and Single Transferable Voting through a public referendum process. But if the decision is made by the Council alone, it can be challenged if 5 percent of local electors support a petition for a referendum.

So while LGNZ wants to retain the right of locals to demand a poll to challenge council decisions on the constitutional matter of changing the voting system, it wants to abolish their right to demand a poll to challenge council decisions on the constitutional matter of establishing Maori wards.

In his letter to the government Dave Cull ignores this glaring inconsistency, and instead tries to argue that establishing Maori wards is no different from altering ward boundaries, to take account of population changes. He says, “either the poll provisions should apply to all wards or they should apply to none.”

Fine – if that’s the game they want to play, let’s support polling provisions for all boundary changes!

Dave Cull tries to justify LGNZ’s attempt to remove the public’s democratic right to have the final say on Maori wards by claiming it’s all about increasing Maori representation. What he fails to acknowledge is that the “principle of equal treatment enshrined in the Treaty of Waitangi” runs two ways – all New Zealanders should be treated the same and have the same rights to representation.

But Maori do not need reserved seats on local councils to increase representation, as it is already growing steadily – from 4 percent in 2004 to 10 percent in 2016. If it follows the trend in Parliamentary representation, where 18 percent of elected MPs are now Maori (24 percent if the seven reserved Maori seats are included) – up from 12.5 percent in 2005 – by the next local body elections, the number of Maori represented in local government is likely to be close to proportionate.

The reality is that New Zealanders do not want to be defined by race – not even those of Maori descent. As LGNZ notes, “a number of councils have sought the views of hapu and Iwi about whether or not Maori wards should be established in their district only to be strongly advised that any such wards would not have the support of mana whenua.”

It appears that the only people, who want to divide the country by race, through Maori wards, are a small but vocal minority of tribal elitists and their supporters like LGNZ – and the former New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd.

Andrew Judd started his battle over Maori representation on the New Plymouth District Council in 2014. He had been approached by local iwi demanding a greater say in council decision-making, but since the Council rejected his plan to appoint iwi representatives onto council committees with full voting rights, he proposed Maori wards instead.

This was challenged by local resident Hugh Johnson, a retired engineer and former Lower Hutt councillor, who collected signatures from more than 5 percent of voters to force a referendum. The Maori ward was rejected by 83 percent of local electors.

Mr Johnson explained that he called for a referendum because he believed voters should have a say in a change as fundamental as the establishment of Maori wards: “I believe we are one country, one lot of people, not divided. The Maori seats in Parliament separates the Parliament and we don’t need to spread it out into local government. It’s as simple as that. If you want to get voted on council, you go through one voting system.”

In response to the defeat, Mayor Judd called the citizens of New Plymouth racists, and vowed to fight to remove the right of local electors to call for a poll on Maori wards. He also called for 50 percent of all councillors to be Maori.

The public response to Andrew Judd’s divisive proposals was outrage. As broadcaster Mike Hosking said at the time, “Is it a pre-requisite to be an idiot to run for local body politics? New Plymouth’s Mayor Andrew Judd has dreamed up the idea that the law should be changed so that half of all councillors are Maori. He’s already wanting to create a Maori ward. He bases all of this on the Treaty – yes, the same Treaty the Tribunal suggested hadn’t ceded authority to the British. Top tip for the Andrews of this world: firstly, councils are in the business of mowing lawns, collecting rubbish, not for social and historic engineering; secondly, no country’s future is based on segregation – or giving one race a false hope, or false start, or false advantage based on nothing more than skin colour. This is a recipe for disaster and acrimony, and New Plymouth – not to mention the rest of the country – deserves a hell of a lot better.”

Andrew Judd did not stand for re-election in 2016, but was instead heralded as a leader for the Maori sovereignty cause. Supported by the Maori Party, he presented a petition to Parliament asking that “the House of Representatives consider a law change to make the establishment of Maori wards on district councils follow the same legal framework as establishing other wards on district councils”.

Using the erroneous and dishonest argument that establishing Maori wards is essentially no different to changing ward boundaries, he claimed that the right to call for a public poll on the creation of Maori wards is discriminatory and racist and should be abolished.

The petition – signed by him alone – was sent to the Local Government Select Committee. Unbeknown to most New Zealanders, the Select Committee called for submissions on the petition last year. But they didn’t do it openly – so Andrew Judd’s attempt to undermine local government democracy could be widely challenged – instead, they combined it with their review of the 2016 Local Body Elections. As a result, there were only a handful of submissions.

The submission from LGNZ supported the petition, recommending, “That the petition of Andrew Judd, to remove the poll provisions applying to Maori wards is supported by the Select Committee.”

In spite of almost all council attempts to create Maori wards being defeated over the years – clearly showing that New Zealanders do not want their local authorities divided by race – LGNZ’s National Council promoted the removal of polling rights as a policy recommendation for the 2017 General Election: “The ability to demand a poll to overturn a council decision to create a Maori ward or constituency is anomalous and discriminatory and should be removed.”

The National Council members, who approved this policy, are the LGNZ President Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull and Vice President Bay of Plenty Regional Councillor Stuart Crosby, along with Auckland Mayor Phil Goff,  Wellington Mayor Justin Lester, Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel, Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chair Doug Leeder, Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese, Matamata-Piako Mayor Jan Barnes, Waitomo Mayor Brian Hanna, Far North Mayor John Carter, Auckland Councillor Penny Hulse, Ruapehu Mayor Don Cameron, Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy, Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne, and Gore Mayor Tracy Hicks.

It’s not clear whether these fifteen National Council members voted unanimously to remove the Maori ward poll provisions, or indeed whether they sought the views of the 78 local authorities that they claim to represent.

But what we do know, is that the President’s letter to the leaders of Labour, New Zealand First, and the Greens, calls for the governing coalition “to remove those sections 19ZA to 19ZG of the Local Electoral Act 2001 that allow for polls of electors on whether or not a city, district or region can establish Maori wards.”

Taking away the rights of residents and ratepayers to oppose the formation of Maori wards is, of course, the first step towards Andrew Judd’s goal of 50 percent Maori representation on local authorities. Once councils are free to unilaterally introduce Maori wards without any consultation with locals, there is nothing to stop them increasing the number to 50:50 Maori to non-Maori representation.

If the new Government agrees with LGNZ and removes the polling provisions, then the country will indeed be on a slippery slope to 50:50 race based governance.

What are the chances of Government support? Since Labour and the Greens supported a Private Members Bill by Green MP Marama Davidson to abolish local body Maori ward petition rights last year, they will likely be in favour. But the passage through Parliament of such a law change would require the support of NZ First. They could therefore block such a move – if they so wished – although there’s always a danger that they may horse-trade their support for other policy concessions.

Late last year, five councils – the Western Bay of Plenty District Council, the Kaikoura District Council, the Manawatu District Council, the Whakatane District Council and the Palmerston North City Council – all voted unilaterally to establish Maori wards. In every case, local residents collected sufficient signatures to force referenda. Voting papers will be delivered later this month, with decisions expected in mid-May.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator is Western Bay of Plenty Councillor Mike Lally, who voted against his council’s decision to establish Maori wards:

“In November 2017, Councillors voted to establish race-based wards, which would guarantee seats for Maori. Fortunately, the law currently allows such decisions to be put to a referendum if 5 percent of eligible voters sign a petition.

“Concerned ratepayers quickly joined forces gathering signatures. We were inundated with people wanting to sign and we collected significantly more than required to force the Council to listen to the people. It is noteworthy that supporters included Maori residents who also had no desire for such racist policies.

“It was heartening for me to see democracy at work. Most New Zealanders undoubtedly want a level playing field with one set of rules for everyone, regardless of who our ancestors were.”

While all five councils may find their attempts to ‘patronise’ Maori by creating special race-based seats will be rejected by their local communities, unless the wider public steps up and takes action, we may find that LGNZ succeeds in convincing the Government to abolish these crucial petition rights. If you want to help prevent this, here are five things you can do.

Firstly, contact LGNZ’s National Council members and ask why they voted to abolish Maori ward petition rights.

Secondly, contact your local councillors and ask whether they support LGNZ’s attempt to undermine local government democracy by abolishing the Maori ward petition rights. And if they don’t, ask what they and their council intend doing about it.

Thirdly, contact MPs and ask where they stand – do they believe in undermining local government democracy by abolishing Maori ward petition rights, or will they join the fight to retain them.

Fourthly, contact your local newspapers to raise public awareness of what’s going on.

And finally, share this information as widely as you can to help send a message that if New Zealanders care about democracy they must join this fight against those seeking to undermine our local democratic rights.


Do you agree with LGNZ that the public’s right to call for a binding referendum on Council proposals to establish Maori wards should be abolished? 


*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.

Click to view x 120


Democracy in New Zealand – a fading memory! Selwyn
End apartheid in NZ please. zoran
Those council members and mayors who feel this way need not put themselves up for election again. What could move these nitwits to work so blindly against the principles of democracy? Rob
Any special privileges for Maori is a form of political racial cancer. Surely Mayor Dave Cull knows that anything done by race, is racism. If he does not know this, then he is either very ignorant, or he is actually a racist. Marshall
The council is only here to be a representative of the majority in agreement Ian
Totally undemocratic and makes LGNZ a puppet of Government! Nev
What will it take Before New Zealanders wake up and realise democracy is a sham. Maori already control the government and councils. Separatism is well entrenched. Sam
a number of councils have sought the views of hapu and Iwi about whether or not Maori wards should be established in their district only to be strongly advised that any such wards would not have the support of mana whenua.- The we just want to be NZrs option has been wiped out by bicultural policy John
This constituional change should never proceed without a binding referendum from the people of that district. Racism in reverse creeping in here. Diana
How should these apartheid supporters, like Cull and Judd, be labelled. Are they serial apologists with a belief that they can fix the cleverly crafted victimhood, that dogs our society, by creating a huge lack of balance in democracy? It appears to be that they are of the mentality that a Nigeria scammer could cultivate. Ross
We are supposed to be people of equal opportunities , but the current idiots who have the press by the ……, are trying to rule the roost. NZ ears are a people of good character but are continually being advised that we are not capable of making a sane decision. The current government are looking more like a COMMUNIST organisation trying to take down the country. NZ First thought that they would be able to rule the country by over ruling the fascist Labour mob, but have found that Winny has lost his mojo and is now awaiting his demise from M NZ politics. What a mess this unruly mob of polotitions are creating. They are the laughing stock of the world. Allan
LGNZ should be de-established – it is not democracy at work – never has been – never will be. Russell
see my article on 1law4all website. Democracy is a more advanced concept and was never part of stone age tribal society. Donald
Of course not, it’s in contravention of the provisions of the (real) Treaty of Waitangi Terry
This would be the single biggest nail in the coffin of democracy in NZ while our system of APARTHEID continues unabated. Geoff
National created most of the problem in this area over the years; all for a handful of votes. Labour no doubt wants to harvest the same votes. Beware! Hugh
This is a national referendum question and definitely not for the local councils. John
I believe in One Treaty, One Nation for New Zealand. This means that separate wards for any group, no matter who they are, must NEVER be allowed. Ernest
It’s racism Alan
Why should the colour of skin determine whether or not councillors automatically be elected. Jon
My impression is that the people advocating that agenda are nothing else but agents of the tribal elite to push this country towards a race based totalitarian state. These agents have been bought with handsome backhanders and have been promised cushy jobs under the new regime.Nobody with only a smidgen of morality or ethics would promote such an idea to destroy our democracy. Michael
Any legislation that attempts to erode democracy must be stamped on and those pushing it equally so. If they are that stupid not to see what they are doing, they are not fit to be in a governing situation. charles
I’ve had enough of the whole situation. If I were young enough I would migrate out of here. Now I am a super annuitant, what options do I have? Gerard
What the hell is going on in New Zealand Jeff
Further down the road to perdition we go. Where will it stop? At total Maori sovereignty and supremacy, and an apartheid, racist state. Joyce
Lefty totalitarian Dave Cull has obviously been blinded by greedy maori activists Ngai Tahu wanting to finance projects in Dunedin – perhaps he will go blind! Monica
Public referendums must be continued to be allowed and the results adhered to and binding. Ted
Absolutely not. Here is another example of why Binding Referendum should be the law of the country both nationally and in local government. If we don’t press for this these goody two shoes types wil continue to take us down the slippery slope to to full Marxism. Mike Hoskings is right on…….”do you have to be an idiot to be in local government”? It sure looks like it. I am attempting to deal with the Christchurch City Council over this crazy decision to put chlorine in our lovely drinking water. I have attempted to get the CCC to look at an alternative that is used extensively in the U.S.A and is non toxic (that means it doesn’t cause cancer like chlorine and its nasty by-products does.) Can’t even get an answer out of them. Am doing a gradual mail drop to inform the ratepayers how the CCC has mislead them. Ronmac
Unbelievable!!! Chris
How unbelievably ignorant are Judd/ Cull & co! Grant
A very slippery slope Laurie
Definitely not! This ridiculous idea is an undemocratic and shortsighted abomination. As a person of mixed race (and THAT shouldn’t make the slightest difference in NZ where we are supposedly all equal) I genuinely fear for the future of my grandchildren. This sort of racial bullshit should be stamped out before it goes any further! Les
Another subversion of NZ democracy Mike
No! This is another gimme, gimme, gimme from Maoris. It is not democratic and has already been rejected by local bodies. They want to control (which means place charges) on water, beaches, minerals and anything else which is a natural resource so the rest of us have to pay to access or use the resource. Allow them a majority voting ticket on local bodies and they will have the ability to charge us what they like for any item they can think of. It is bad enough the ‘ Topping Up’ recently which has seen millions of dollars donated to the tribes which have had full and final Treaty Settlements to ensure that they don’t fall behind what is still to be paid out after they were paid a couple of decades ago and have now become the wealthiest business groups in NZ helped along by their tax free charity status. Chris
Its appalling that it has even been considered – we don’t live in a dictatorship. Glenn
Hell no, what is happening to our democracy? Fraser
Absolutely not. Racial privilege is already rife in this country. We need to get back to basic democratic rights for all NZ citizens. Norm
Too many people don’t realise what is happening in this country too much secrecy involved James
Same rules for all new zealanders Alan
To take away that right is to take away democracy.it is also an insult to Maori by saying they are not capable of gaining representation without being given special help. Bryan
What next wards for Chinese or Tongans Philip
Absolutely not, these racist idiots need to be told they work for the rate payers, not maori. StevoC
How can a democracy operate when the right to question is removed? Leon
Certainly not David
I do not agree with any race based policies Tim
Most definitely no Alistair
Democracy under threat, it should be on merit! Ed
Our democratic rights are constantly being threatened and this is another attack. I’m totally against it for too many reasons to state here. Brenda
Maori are more equal than the rest Mervyn
I protested against apartheid in the 70s. I do not want it in 2018. Huria
It is apartheid Christopher
Definitely not. Nzers should be one people with the same rights for all Sue
What are they afraid of, I wonder?. I say cull Mr Cull and all who think like him. It is way past time to keep on about these separatist ideas Derek
Tell these left wing progressives to go to hell. What do they want from this country, open revolution ? Sam
Preposterous. What is wrong with these idiots? Jim
I live in Dunedin and Dave Cull is a prize idiot he has grandiose ideas to spend millions of dollars around the Harbour basin while Mosgiel residents a rapidly growing southern suburb of Dunedin have to raise $7.5 Million dollars to pay for half of the new swimming pool. His council also spent $5 million on and old run down theatre that was only fit for the bulldozer to demolish I am sick to death of Maori wanting more say in the way the Country is run. The greedy sods in parliament screwed the rest of us while propping up the National government and now. Now they want to dictate what our councils want to do. The ordinary Maori are fine but their blasted iwi and their clowns on the left in parliament should be made to pull their heads in Colin
Definitely and absolutely NO NO NO! Martin
No I do not. Not even the drunken dwarf would support such a proposal. Peter
As Winston Peters has lost all his intestinal fortitude, Labour will support it’s Maori seats and together with the Greens will carry the day, regardless of the damage to the democratic future of NZ. Richard
We have enough of this growing Maori influence and preferential treatment already. We need a fair and equal relationship between all nationalities living in our country. Hugh
Dave Cull is a left wing idiot. Murray
Pure racism. Based on colour. What utter rot!! Darryl
The Treaty was officially condemned as “a simple nullity” by Chief Justice Prendergast in New Zealand’s Supreme Court in 1877, a ruling which still stands. Our true founding documents being the Royal Charter of 25-08-1839, which extended the boundaries of New South Wales to encompass “all of the islands of New Zealand” and the one which separated us from New South Wales, the Royal Charter of 16-11-1840, ratified on -3-05-1841 (the day New Zealand was born). George
What is happening to our country? The lies that have come through from Finlayson, the deliberate bastardisation of the Treaty of Waitangi. Government has deliberately ignored the final draft in English and has upheld a version not in existence on 6 February 1840. Now the public are starting to believe the bilge being fed to us . Surely it is time for the voters to stand up to these twits in the Councils ?? Surely ? mike
Never should have been allowed in the first place. John
Absolutely not! Barry
One would expect that this was more than just mere regulation to be changed at the whim of a few List Members One would expect this “Right” is enshrined in legislation and required a Constitutional Legislative bill to be changed. Hopefully the Sensible will be supported by the Patriotic to oppose any change that would undermine true democracy giving authority to race dictated allocation. Richard
Everyone can stand for council all have the same chance so why would you nead to legeslate for the Maori to have an advantage over any other race surely we are all N Z ers Peter
Ridculous David
Every one has the right to vote not just the Maori’s Cherryl
No support for racism. The people have the The say in NZ (supposedly) not self absorbed politicians Keith
No Way! The right to ask for a referendum must be retained at all cost. Alan
Definitely not. Just another step in the effort to gain advantage for maori over other New Zealanders Tony
of course not. Anthony
Absolutely not Craig
Judd’s ousting says it all. No separatism in NZ. Peter
The World would be a better place if we treated one another as individuals and not as members of groups like the Nazis did. K M
Perhaps if Maori obtain the 50/50 share of representation some of their largely fair skinned brethren are seeking, they will be required to contributed 50% of the moneys they spend, i.e., the rates! Alan
Definitely NO ! The reality of a Maori Ward: It will be a place on the council that is reserved for those who identify as “Maori” – even though they might be only one thirty-second Maori (like Hannah O’Regan). It means that the councillors elected by Maoris to this (these) wards would be put there by a separate roll and no matter how bad they are, or how many millions they demand for their race based constituency, they can never be voted off the council except by those Maoris who are on the separate electoral roll whereas to-day everyone is on the same roll and so there is accountable democracy in that the whole public have the power to elect those on council and to overthrow any councillor who makes demands that put up the rates. In Auckland they got a “Maori Advisory Council” and they turned up with demands for $215 million for projects that were exclusive to Maori, e.g. haka trips, new canoes, special Maori housing – all paid for by the general rate payers. Ratepayers anywhere need a Maori ward like they need a hole in the head. Don
Democracy trumps racism absolutely Ken
Goodness what will they think of next Richard
Apartheid, to think we pay them for this type of B/S Barry
Where’s democracy in this country going? The PC Brigade are undermining our traditional Kiwi way of life. Tony
NO it is a subversive and divisive plan to further weaken our tenuous hold on democracy in New Zealand. Gordon
Maori are already achieving their place in society, we don’t need to patronize them any more Athol
Where does this w**king Cull come from and why does he have so much influence .The way things are shaping at present this coalition is in for a rough ride and Robertson is facing a fiscal dilemma. Ken
This is beyond ridiculous and as I have said before this is one country where all are equal and elections are carried out in a democratic manner , not racist Tom
Another racist ploy Laurie
I am starting to despair that my country will ever be united by equality of rights free from any racial preference. I am also afraid that if this is not achieved it will ultimately result in civil war. So much for a “treaty” that proclaimed “we are one”. What is the motivation of the LGNZ to try and remove democratic rights from the citizens of New Zealand? What a crock that elected representatives can attempt to take an action that would remove democratic rights from those who elected them. Adolf Hitler, Hendrik Verwoerd and B. J. Vorster would all be proud of the actions and beliefs – I am not! Michael
Referenda are a legitimate tool in assessing public opinion on specific issues. Why should they not be held on this issue if it is the wish of the community?? I feel sure they will be held on less contentious matters than ensuring our local representatives are elected by a general franchise, not appointed, nor gerrymandered by some ethnic selective franchise. Smacks of Big Brother groupthink in my view Andrew
One country, one people! Mark
Any separation should be a abolished Mike
I am ashamed to claim I come from Dunedin Geoff
Democracy must not be diminished. Ross
Encouraging racism again! Diane
It was bad enough seeing the National Govt introduce race-based rights with respect to RMA consents without allowing local govt proponents to introduce more race-based representation without the ratepayers’ consent! Bernard
Definitely not. Insulting to insinuate that people with Maori heritage cannot get voted on. Of course they can and they have. We have a lot of Maori MPs too. Sue
Never, never, Never!!! Jim
Racist shite John
I’m of Irish heritage and Maori are not indigenous to New Zealand so have no more rights than me. Max
Again its one way traffic for one race and forget about the many other races whom make up NZ Society. A three ring circus would not be big enough for some of these elected clueless individuals when it comes to having one NZ for all races of this country. Kevin
Surely the Dave Culls and Andrew Judds of nz can find better things to do to get the notoriety they crave than this sort of stupidity. Brian
I am appalled that local government have the power to create race based legislation of any sort. If I was to promote the right to establish white wards, Chinese wards, indian wards, I wonder what the response might be. Maori Representatives of the People signed an agreement 150 odd years ago giving them equal protection under British Law. As far as I know there has not been any alteration to this agreement, so they are entitled to participate in democratic elections in whatever capacity they choose, with total 100% equality. To suggest otherwise is grossly insulting to everybody. Dianna
No bloody way, mate ! That is not a fair go for all us Kiwis. James
Disgusting racist move! David
no race based laws please,,these are just apartheid in reverse. Only people with racist double standards could ort it. Norman
In New Plymouth the council response following Judd’s defeat was to set up a committee of Maori who would be advisors to the Council Brian
I bet we won’t get Pakeha seats on iwi boards. Murray
Bloody STUPID Gary
The Maori seats in Parliament should go as well as per Winston’s pre election promise Eddie
Such a move is a threat to our democracy. Local councillors are elected by the people, and it should stay that way. There should be no race-based laws that give advantage to one group over another at Council tables. Laurence
Where is DEMOCRACY. Are some ELECTED councillors blind or just DUMB.Hope everyone contacts council & show their opposition. Cindy
Councils are the racists, everyone else wants one country one people Graeme
We are one Nation and all cultures and Nationalities represent New Zealand, Not just an elitist tribal group. Wayne
Just another effort to take power away from the general public and shift it to the left. These people are incredibly devious! Paul
There is no restriction on the number of Maori candidates that can stand for any local council, so let them get on with it. Providing special wards or rights for Maori is both patronising and insulting. Frank
We must have people elected only by Elections not by race. Is very racial. A definite no way. Ian
I’m sick to my gut with Maoris being given special treatment over ALL other NZ,s. They’re not special ( in fact they cause more trouble than they,re worth ) and DO NOT deserve ANY special treatment. There should be NO Maori wards, and NO unelected Maoris in Councils. Des
When is common sense and one vote,same law for all, going to come into New Zealand political thinking and action? The stupid talk that NZ is racist because Maori words are not being properly pronounce is the sure way to false racism. There are many English words mispronounced; so what? Graeme
It is every New Zealanders right to express their opinions and vote in polls. Losing this right is losing democracy. Dennis
Councils should never have the power to establish, unilaterally, race based seats on Councils. Alan
We all have to speak up and sign up Alan
We should preserve the right to hold binding referendums, especially in the case of Maori Wards. All councilors should be voted onto councils according to their merits, not skin color. John
People in high places with a different “agenda” are pushing this. They’re not being honest with themselves or the people they were voted in by, who they are bound to represent. Andrew
Either we live in a democracy or we do not- Apartheid should be dead and buried – this attempt to reintroduce it into NZ law is nothing but evil! Rob
Wev’e got enough Reverse Racism in the country already. Maori This and Maori That When will it end. One Nation- One people. Urban
PC racists should be banned from government both local and national Terry
We are all one Nation. Enough of this PC nonsense trying to divide the country for the Elites benefit Frank
Maori wards should be abolished and also the Maori electoral roll. These separatist ideals cause nothing but division in a country which should be celebrating one people, one law. Mary
How do these weirdos get to become mayors etc. All intent on upsetting democracy? Warren
The public right to petition local govern.ent on any matter must be preserved at all costs. It is at the core of democracy and is then only real means to inform local councillors – our employees – of their views. Alan
If we can longer challenge councils decisions, we don’t have a democracy, we are heading towards dictatorships. Steve
Most local Government’s can’t even balance their books. What makes them think they are qualified to even propose this rubbish. Colin
time to stop the gravy train if it was stoped there would not be a need for an increase in the tax on petrol Bruce
A good example of politicians believing they are the rulers and all others are the serfs. Rex
People need to be elected based on their skills NOT on colour/race/gender. This is another racist policy against the average New Zealander. Trish
He iwi tahi tatou! Don
I find race-based politics repugnant, along with the patronising thinking that seems to enable it. Colin
Nonsensical Michael
Time for citizens to join a ‘rates revolt’ movement that would swiftly pull these fascists back into the realm of the democratic social contract that NZ used to have. Paul
Cull should indeed be culled along with the rest of the cretins who support racism. Chris
When will we become ONE –I say NEVER as more and more we see a great percentage of our Maori Race not wanting to become ONE people (like we were I thought becoming a number of years back) Once it became using Maori Language (which is NOT used by all as there are several variations) It cannot be used anywhere else and I am becoming increasingly concerned at the way we are getting more and more of their ways pushed onto us….. they cannot speak the English language properly and as they get more of their own way we will be pushed to accept same —New Zealand has changed dramatically in the past 20 years when we all got on together nicely marylin
It will widen the growing racial divide. John
the maoris are not the original natives of NZ and are trying to be by ” just doing it” We must prevent this. ronald
Why not have Pacifica , Chinese, Immigrant Native Pakeha wards too? Bruce
I do not understand why there is a concerted attempt by a small group of local government council/ors to change our constitution away from the original Treaty of Waitangi provision that New Zealanders are all equal in the eyes of (British) law. I strongly oppose any change on this matter. John
This is madness. What are LGNZ trying to do? Incite a civil war? I will stand against this. Neil
Reverse democracy Warren
Any Maori can stand for any ward seat now and win it on their own merit, not racial preference. Why have race based seats? It is Maori that are pushing for separatism, an inverse aparthied, not Pakeha. Ted
In fact the ability for ratepayers to challenge major council decisions should be extended and not curtailed. We must keep insisting that democracy and democratic ideals prevail. Roger
We elect councils by members standing for election….and no other method. Who the hell do they think they are electing there membership without public say or approval. We are destroying our democracy and allowing councillors to establish their own little empires at our cost. That will end in revolt….mark my words. Steve
Quite ridiculous Barbara
Council members should be voted to the council by the Rate payers, & no group gets any special treatment, Let them stand on there own merit Geoff
no take away that right of referendum is a step backward. perhaps that cull guy would like to cull all other rights of democracy god forbid. What a traitor dealing with a load of drongos. James
We are meant to be ONE united people as uttered by Governor Hobson at the signing of the Treaty – the denial of any referendum concerning the absolutely RACIST establishment of Maori :local Body Wards is an outrage – Racism and Political Correctness gone mad. Hylton
This request is Racism at its worst. Again its a minority telling the majority what is best for them. Time this nonsense stopped, we are meant to be 1 people. Peter
hell no. Why should some be “elite” because of a few corpuscles Jeff
Reverse racisim in full cry. Sidney
One law and one vote for all. Kevin
The preferential treatment Maori should cease. No more Maori role, electorates etc. The truth is that this does not at all support Maori as a people. It is divisive and is designed to split the country. While the country discuss the entrenched racism the Advocates of Tribal Rule are inserting converts into various Government Institutions, securing “partnerships and veto rights to all decisions. They are covertly managing the country and very soon will exercise absolute Tribal rule. No Person, Maori or otherwise will benefit! Bruce
Te Tiriti did not establish a partnership. There were two parties to the Treaty: Maori and the Crown. The preamble to the Treaty makes this abundantly clear. And the acceptance of British sovereignty means there is one sovereign – Crown – and Maori have all the rights of British citizens (no more, no less than all other British citizens.). Why can’t people read? Kelvin
This would be another incursion into abolition of democracy. Brian
…Dave Cull the “southern turncoat” iwi controller….trust him with NOTHING..!! ChrisH
What the hell will be the next stunt they try and pull. Graeme
Isn’t our country supposed to be a democracy???? What a load of Bullsh. Denis
Just another cunning attempt for Maori and their sympathizers to TAKE OVER New Zealand Stuart
I find it hard to believe that our elected councillors would wish to force their patronising attitude to maori , most of whom have only a tenuous claim to tribal links, without the majority support of their electorate. Irvine
Enough is enough Graeme
We are one country, with equal rights for all Graeme
They presume that Polynesian Maori are the rightful owners of the Land. They are not the indigenous people. The Waitangi Treaty was signed between warring parties not the rightful owners. David
It is bizarre that so called democratic institutions should be calling for legislation banning the public’s – their employers, right to determine the manner in which they are to be represented on purely % racial grounds. Dick
Of course not. If democracy is the dictatorship of the majority, then political correctness is the dictatorship of the minority. Political correctness is actually a religion! It believes things which are not true and has complete intolerance of any contrary viewpoint. New Zealand is slowly but surely losing its democracy. We need to wake up and see the damage that political correctness causes everywhere! The answer is to challenge political correctness and show it up for what is: extremely harmfull bulls**t! Bill
Cull is a supreme egotist. He cares nothing for the consequences of his actions so long as his name is writ large in the history books. A deeply flawed personality! TOBY
About time… Ian
More racism Ian
For the life of me, I fail to understand the logic behind the promoters of such a move when it is categorically against the vast majority of New Zealanders wishes. Are they just plain ignorant or do they believe in creating a separatist society in NZ? Heaven help us all. Chris
It is more race based BS. Apartheid in disguise. Kevin
This would be a breach of the treaty, added to all the others to date, should see the END of the treaty as null and void. Lionel
More racism on the way Ian
I feel sorry for demented fools like the LGNZ members appear to be. Bruce
One NZ = One people Kabe
If this goes through, it removes another of people’s rights to a democratic, accountable form of government. Duncan
We are ONE nation. I am unable to comprehend why so many councils want to create racist and protectionist segregation of their council Michael
Democracy! Graham
More racism proposals. Do you have to be a complete idiot to be on councils Gareth
To agree is another step towards undermining our (shaky) democracy! Peter
The proposal would be a huge step backwards for democracy and serve only to divide the nation on a racial basis. Graham
Idiots like Cull and Judd are dangerous. Democracy is NOT racism and I, along with many other Taranaki residents were insulted when labels as racists by Judd. Stuart
It is another nail in the coffin of racial equality. Andrew
Certainly NOT!!!There is no social, racial, economic, or any other reason which would make the abolition of our right to oppose separate Maori wards democratic or fair. Frank
Totally undemocratic racist idea not wanted in NZ Alan
Down with Race based Politics JC
There should be NO race baced preference in any aspect of government Local or Central. Maori exsist in name only.there must be one rule for all . Don
When are we going to get some mainstream media to stop helping the West commit suicide. When are they going to get stuck into some professional “journalism” and expose this apartheid on a high profile and regular basis. What part of NO do these councillors not understand. Creed
Yet another step in the creeping apartheid policies of the looney left. Like other racist policies they must be stopped. Equality for all regardless of race is the only hope for New Zealand. The apartheid policies will eventually bring awful consequences for all New Zealanders. Frank
Definitely NO. Churchill wrote: “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” I believe many councils are under the illusion that Maori Treaty Settlements are going to benefit their local Communities where IMHO that is so far from the reality. Maori Treaty Settlements are for the benefit of Maori. Derrick
A basic principle of democracy is one person one vote. The best available citizen should be voted in based on policy, vision etc. not who your ancestors were. Henry
Makes you wonder if the councillors that want to abolish the referendum system are getting backhanders from the bunch of wealthy half cast natives that want it changed, and if NZF don’t vote against it that will be the end of them for good as they have backed down on the referendum on the maori party. Richard
Racial policies divide communities. Mark
It smells like a dog, it is a dog !! Pierre
Undemocratic It’s time for the apathetic ratepayers to wake up and stand up to this socialist racist bullshit Wake up Kiwis!!! Cutty
Totally undemocratic and unwanted by New Zealanders. We are one nation. Ian
Absolutely not. This is totally outrageous and Councils should oppose this totally. Our democracy is being slowly but surely eroded and people to need to wake up to this fact. Helen
Democracy has its pitfalls but a minority should not blatantly try to impose its views on a majority without hearing both sides of the debate. Neither should such things be done “secretly” but openly so that all interested parties can voice their opinion. Pieter
The ratepayers are the owners of Territorial Authorities, the elected representatives being the caretakers. it is exactly the same scenario with Central Government. Constitutional changes are a matter of national significance and the ratepayers/taxpayers must retain the right to be incorporated in the decision making process. John
Frankly its racist to have one race having any rights or privilages seperately from others . Secondly the best person for the job should get the job irrespective of race. Rob
I often ask but not often answered, What do you have to have to be called “Maori” The sooner that this country removes the separate on going reference to Maori, the better off we would all be, especially those of Maori decent, after all this is 2018, not 1840. I note that there is a strong move in the USA to have the term “African America” removed because of the adverse effect the term is having on that sector of the population. Barry
Another underhand attempt by people who should no better to take away another democratic right of the average New Zealander to cater to the PC Brigade. Digby
Absolutely not. William
It is frightening just how close to disaster we are when this sort of national sabotage has even the remotest possibility of succeeding. Geoffrey
Some in this country have totally lost the idea of democracy at every level. I fear for the future. Laurie
Unfortunately here in Dunedin we have to put up with Cull’s distorted visions. Here we have well under 10% of the population that have some Maori blood, so why he feels they need to have more say is unbelievable. Murray
There must be the same rules for everybody. No favourtism should be shown to any group especially based on race. Martin
More kowtowing to a minority that wants to rule the country. Keep NZ Independent and Democratic Ian
Representation should be on merit & not race Mike
If someone doesn’t want something to be Voted on, it usually means that most people will not agree with them. Geoff
What an absolute crock and idiots in LGNZ Rayward
Racist legislation Neil
Cull should be culled! Don
Definitely not John
Absolutely NO WAY, it would be well past the thin edge of the wedge to let this happen and set an irreversable and very dangerouse precident strongly favouring a tiny minority to dictate to all at will. Donald
Bbe voted on not a given right Jimmy
A country that does not accept and move on from the past, no matter how bad it was, then it is likely to replicate the same mistakes. With apologies to Nelson Mendella. Peter
Well overdue Kevin
This is an outrageous situation where the local government organisation is trying to eliminate local government democracy. Councils should distance themselves from this organisation that is now becoming a dictatorship.  Carol
New Zealand First must hold out on this one and oppose any government move to abolish our petition rights.  Geoffrey
Councils need to be held to account – do they support LGNZ on this? If not, they should resign from LGNZ in protest. Charles
Andrew Judd has proven to be a sore loser who is having a dangerous influence on NZ politics and democracy. Raymond
The plan to abolish our petition rights is outrageous. This is an outright attack on NZ democracy. Brian