On behalf of the New Zealand Centre for Political Research I would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!
I would also like to say a huge thank you for backing us over the last twelve months. None of what we achieve would be possible without the wonderful support of our readers. Through your kind generosity the NZCPR informs public opinion and influences decision-makers – together we are helping to shape the future direction of New Zealand.
In order to reach out to as many Kiwis as possible, the NZCPR has no paywalls or subscriptions. Instead, as a grassroots operation, we encourage free access to our newsletters, website, Facebook Group, and Breaking Views blog. But in return for the 12 months of information, insight, and engagement we provide, we hope you will consider a Christmas gift to help us keep running in 2024 – please click HERE for details.
As we reflect on 2023, the highlight was, of course, the change in Government.
It was the culmination of six years of hard work.
From the time Jacinda Ardern first became Prime Minister and started making her ideologically driven Captain’s Calls without official advice, public consultation, or even Cabinet approval, we realised she was going to be a disaster for New Zealand.
What we couldn’t have predicted was how bad it would get. That became clearer once we uncovered He Puapua, which was hidden from the public prior to the 2020 election. Essentially it was the road map for a tribal coup that had the objective of replacing democracy with Maori rule by 2040.
Nor could we have imagined Labour would deliberately bribe the media into endorsing their Treaty ‘partnership’ lie that underpins He Puapua, turning the Fourth Estate into a propaganda arm of the government.
Labour’s destructive authoritarian rule only ended in October because of a massive collaborative effort bypassing the mainstream media and reaching out to voters.
So well done for the part you played in helping to remove Labour from office.
But we mustn’t be complacent. The radical elements in Parliament are stronger and growing more extreme and the indications are that the “mainstream” media is becoming increasingly hostile to those who do not share their left-wing ideology.
As a result, it is clear that our real work is only just beginning!
What the last six years has taught us, however, is just how fragile democracy really is and how easily it is undermined. So, let’s examine its status as we head into 2024.
It’s the four pillars of a representative democracy – the Legislature, the Executive, the Judiciary, and the Media – that preserve our freedoms and democratic rights.
The ‘Legislature’ is our House of Representatives, and it is primarily responsible for law-making. Members of Parliament are elected under the Mixed Member Proportional voting system. MMP was, of course, recommended by the 1986 Royal Commission into the Electoral System – which also advised abolishing the Maori seats to avoid an over-representation of Maori in Parliament.
Accordingly, when the MMP legislation was first tabled in Parliament in the early nineties, there was no provision for Maori seats. But as a result of pressure from Maori leaders, weak politicians caved in and the Maori seats were retained.
Now, as predicted by the Royal Commission, while Maori make up only 13.7 percent of the voting-age population, they now hold a disproportionate 27 percent of the seats in Parliament.
This massive over-representation of Maori in Parliament discriminates against non-Maori and is in breach of the guarantee of freedom from discrimination in our Bill of Rights and the Human Rights Act.
The Maori seats are no longer required: They should be abolished.
The second ‘pillar’ of democracy, the ‘Executive’, consists of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet and the Departments and Ministries which run the country. The government’s policy agenda is presented to voters in the lead up to an election, and the public mandate they receive gives them the constitutional legitimacy to govern.
During the last Parliament, however, Labour kept their key He Puapua policy secret from voters. As a result, they had no mandate whatsoever to transfer power to iwi leaders.
The 50:50 ‘co-governance’ mechanism they used, which gives representatives of the 17 percent minority of the population who identify as Maori the same voting power as representatives of the 83 percent majority, undermines democracy as we know it.
By giving representatives of the tribal elite almost five times the voting power in democratic decision-making, as the representatives of the general public, co-governance is not only grossly discriminatory, but it erodes the one-person, one-vote foundation stone of our Westminster democratic system.
Furthermore, by giving Maori activists 50 percent of voting rights on decision-making boards, they gain the power of veto – effectively replacing democracy with tribal totalitarianism.
Co-governance is based on a fabricated reinterpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi as a ‘partnership’, in spite of the fact that it is constitutionally impossible for the Crown to enter into a partnership with subjects.
Not only were co-governance arrangements forced onto public sector organisations as part of the He Puapua rollout, but private sector groups that engage with the government through registration or funding – including charities, real estate firms, architects, engineers, and lawyers – were also targeted and required to promote co-governance and the fictional Treaty partnership.
These racist and discriminatory arrangements should be removed.
To help counter Labour’s Treaty partnership fabrication, the NZCPR launched a campaign to distribute a million copies of Sir Apirana Ngata’s explanation of the original meaning of the Maori version of the Treaty of Waitangi into New Zealand households.
The project was inspired by a government initiative in 1963, which held Sir Apirana’s explanation in such high regard that it was delivered to all Maori families.
Sir Apirana, who, of course, wrote his explanation in 1922, long before activists began reinterpreting the Treaty for political ends, clearly points out that Maori ceded sovereignty to the Crown, and that there was no Treaty partnership.
The first tranche of Sir Apirana’s explanation was delivered before the election as a quality insert in the nation’s newspaper network, and the balance will go out ahead of Waitangi Day.
The third pillar of a democratic government, the ‘Judiciary’, is not only responsible for the interpretation and application of the laws passed by Parliament, but they are also the gatekeepers of the ‘Rule of Law’ – ensuring the law is certain, foreseeable, easy to understand, and applies equally to everyone.
Recent moves to include ‘tikanga’ or Maori custom in the law, is however, undermining the Rule of Law and democracy itself.
The NZCPR’s long-running campaign to prevent a tribal takeover of New Zealand’s coastline clearly shows the danger.
When National repealed Crown ownership of the foreshore and seabed and opened the coast up for tribal claims in 2011, they promised no more than 10 percent would end up controlled by Maori.
But they included ‘tikanga’ in their new law: the Marine and Coastal Area Act (MACA) not only required claimants seeking a Customary Marine Title to have held their claimed area exclusively and continuously since 1840, but they also had to have held it according to tikanga.
When the first of almost 600 claims for the coast was heard in the High Court, the Judge focussed on tikanga instead of the property rights test, finding in favour of claimants and signalling that most claims were likely to succeed.
We appealed the case to the Court of Appeal in the hope that the Judges would reinforce Parliament’s intention. Instead, they expressly ignored it and focussed on tikanga, giving it status the legislation never intended, further lowering the bar to ensure that virtually the entire coast will end up in tribal hands.
The only positive from the decision is that it is now crystal clear to the Coalition Government that MACA needs to be fixed urgently. If it isn’t almost 100 percent of the coastline and Territorial Sea will end up in tribal hands, instead of the promised 10 percent – and hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars will be paid to the army of lawyers now feasting at this trough.
In a broader sense, what the case has also revealed is how tikanga fatally undermines the Rule of Law – which is a crucial component of a properly functioning democracy – by transforming the outcome from what Parliament intended to what iwi want.
The fourth democratic pillar is the ‘Media’ or Fourth Estate, which is meant to act as a watchdog for society, informing the public and holding the government to account.
Sadly, Labour essentially corrupted the media by establishing a $55 million Public Interest Journalism Fund that required recipients to not only promote their fabricated Treaty partnership agenda, but to embed a commitment to the Treaty and a Maori world view in their business operations.
Unless such mandated requirements are reversed, the media can never be neutral but will have been transformed into a propaganda arm for iwi leaders.
Fortunately, alternative media platforms have now been established and they are capturing the increasing numbers who are turning away from the blatant mainstream bias. What we are lacking, however, is New Zealand’s equivalent of Sky News Australia – or even Fox News USA.
Without a doubt, democracy in New Zealand has been seriously undermined and is now in a very vulnerable state.
But the NZCPR is not going to stand by and watch our democracy disintegrate.
Next year we will be working hard to strengthen Democracy and the Rule of Law. As part of that work programme, we will be calling for the abolition of the Maori seats, the removal of Maori privilege and ‘tikanga’ from legislation, and the winding up of the Waitangi Tribunal, which has been captured by Maori supremacists and now represents a serious threat to democracy.
Removing privilege in all of its forms is also a long-standing principle advocated by the ACT Party founder and former Labour Finance Minister Sir Roger Douglas.
He believes too many New Zealanders are far too dependent on the government for their wellbeing and he would like to see a comprehensive policy package developed that empowers New Zealanders to gain more control over their lives and build a more prosperous future.
Accordingly, we will be working with Sir Roger on this exciting project that has the potential to permanently transform New Zealand into a nation where no-one is left behind, and where everyone can look forward to a better future.
Another important project in the pipeline is restoring common sense to climate policy, with an initial focus on removing the extremist measures Labour introduced that are responsible for higher than necessary costs being forced onto New Zealanders, exacerbating the cost-of-living crisis.
We have many more plans in the pipeline, but our priority right now has to be ensuring we have the funding to keep operating for another year.
If you back us in 2024, the NZCPR will fight to strengthen democracy and our Kiwi way of life. Together we will make a difference – we will help build a better future.
To help keep the NZCPR running in 2024, please support this crucial end of year fundraiser with a Christmas gift by clicking HERE.
And if you don’t like website forms the direct donation details are Internet Banking: credit NZCPR ASB Bank 12-3099-0833814-00 and Credit Card: call 09 434 3836 to make a phone donation.
Thanks again for the wonderful contribution that you our readers have made over the last year not only by supporting us but by speaking out and inspiring others. And to the marvellous contributors, who have provided their brilliant articles for our NZCPR newsletter and Breaking Views blog, we are incredibly grateful for your wisdom and brilliant articles. And last, but certainly not least, we simply could not operate without our fantastic volunteers – especially those who help maintain our busy NZCPR Facebook Group and Breaking Views blog.
With our very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year – and here’s hoping we are back in 2024 ready for the challenges that lie ahead.
Dr Muriel Newman