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Dr Muriel Newman

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

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New Zealanders are inherently egalitarian – it’s part of who we are. It’s not surprising therefore, that we as a society believe in equality before the law. We do not want local government – nor the country – divided by race.

As a result, whenever communities are asked to vote on the introduction of Maori seats on their local councils, they have rejected it – in many cases overwhelmingly. Under the Local Electoral Act 2001, if a council decides to introduce Maori seats unilaterally, the decision can be challenged if five percent of local electors support the call for a referendum. That’s what occurred in New Plymouth in 2015, when locals rejected the District Council’s Maori Ward proposal by 83 percent.

In response Mayor Andrew Judd called his constituents ‘racists’ and proposed a law change to stop anyone else from holding a similar referendum in the future. With help from the Maori Party, he presented a petition (signed only by himself) to Parliament last May requesting 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”.

In effect, the petition – which is still in front of the Justice and Electoral Select Committee – would abolish the right of electors to challenge the introduction of Maori seats.

Andrew Judd, who clearly believes that when it comes to Maori representation, democracy has no place, says his petition is just the start – he wants a half of all local authority council representatives to be Maori.

As could be expected, Iwi leaders agree. With an ultimate goal of local authority co-governance, they want to be at council tables, but believe they “should not have to rely on voters’ whims to get there”. As a result, they are pursuing alternative means of gaining council representation, including through Treaty settlements, through pressuring local councils to appoint tribal delegates with voting rights, and, more insidiously, through the extortionary demands of the Maori Party, which threatens to withdraw Parliamentary support if they don’t get their way.

Some tribal leaders are now calling the principle that only elected representatives should have the right to vote on councils, “old world thinking”. They apparently believe that Treaty settlement money and resources gives them a privileged status and a right to rule. Like Mr Judd, they think that democracy has no place when it comes to things Maori. 

But we say it’s tribalism that’s “old world thinking”, not democracy.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator is former ACT Party Leader and political columnist Rodney Hide, who believes tribal organisations have no place in Western democracies:

“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. The policy is to pump tribalism as a viable form of economic organisation. The tribal structures themselves would hardly exist outside of state mandate and massive subsidy. The result is a long list of constitutional outrages and economic sabotage.

“The problem is straightforward: Tribalism is the worst form of economic organisation. It’s collectivist, it lacks incentive to perform, the principals can’t readily sack their agents and there’s invariably a complete lack of transparency and hence accountability. The structure works to the advantage of tribal bosses, not members. In modern society that shouldn’t matter but the state’s mandating and subsidising of tribes gives tribal bosses financial and political clout they otherwise would not enjoy.”

And that’s the problem. Under the National Government, the ‘political clout’ of Iwi Leaders has grown immeasurably. The revelation that there have been at least 44 meetings between Iwi Leaders and Ministers of the Crown, since National was first elected in 2008, bears testimony to that – as does the signed Protocol that the Iwi Leaders Group has with Cabinet to ensure their views “are represented in the policy development process”.

With Iwi Leaders prioritising the tribal co-governance of councils (no doubt so they can get their hands on the control of fresh water) by mid-2016 they were on track to gain the statutory powers they need: “The Iwi Leaders Group in partnership with the Maori Party is advocating for the changes in the RMA area to be consistent with the aspirations of Iwi Maori. Key areas of focus have been revised legislative drafting for Mana Whakahono a Rohe arrangements; ensuring that a higher benchmark is established for Iwi engagement with councils.

“For some Iwi co-governance and co-management arrangements have been negotiated through Treaty Settlements or through direct negotiation with regional and district councils. However for many Iwi, these co-governance and co-management arrangements do not exist and there is a clear lack of engagement from local councils on matters of decision making on resource management. The Iwi Leaders Group is working with the Maori Party to jointly advocate for our proposed amendments with direct discussions with Minister Smith.”

Minister Smith has more than complied – at significant cost to other New Zealanders, he has bent over backwards to make the Iwi Leaders’ goal of council representation without the need to be elected, a reality. What’s more, by including the radical new Mana Whakahono a Rohe agreements in the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill – after public consultation had ended – the Minister has introduced a major constitutional change to Local Government, with barely a ripple of public concern.

According to the Minister, the new powers for iwi and hapu will include “plan-making, consenting, appointment of committees, monitoring and enforcement, bylaws, regulations and other council statutory responsibilities” – including over fresh water. The Bill’s commentary explains that the Mana Whakahono a Rohe agreements “have a broader scope that includes consenting and monitoring”. Public law expert Stephen Franks explains that they could require iwi “to ‘participate’ in monitoring and resource consent activities as ‘partners’ with a local authority”, and notes that councils could be told “they must fund iwi participants with ratepayer money”.

By dictating that Maori tribes and family groups can sit at council tables, co-governing the district or region – without any public engagement whatsoever – National is depriving New Zealanders of the opportunity to participate in a nation-wide referendum process of the sort that usually accompanies major constitutional change of this magnitude.

Nor does it seem to matter to the Government that under the new arrangements, iwi and hapu will have a vested interest in the outcome of decision-making and could be hopelessly conflicted, or that the agreements will trample over local democracy and undermine the Rule of Law – they are simply turning a blind eye.

With the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill sitting on the Order Paper ready for the Committee Stages and Third Reading when Parliament resumes next week, the Maori Party and Iwi Leaders are already claiming victory. After all, who could possibly have imagined that a party that won just 1.3 percent of the party vote at the last election, could convince a ruling party founded on the principles of equality, democracy, and the rule of law, to impose the race-based co-governance of local authorities onto the country with no public mandate.

The Chair of the Freshwater and Natural Resources Iwi Leaders Group, Selwyn Parata says the inclusion of Mana Whakahono a Rohe agreements in the RMA is one of the most significant achievements for Maori since the Act was created in 1991 – especially by enabling hapu, as well as iwi, to sit at council tables making resource management decisions: “The Maori Party has negotiated significant concessions on the Resource Management Act… Mana Whakahono a Rohe agreements provide a new platform for iwi and hapu to engage with Councils… on balance this is a vast improvement… these changes put our people in a strong position to advocate for their own views around the council table.”

It bears repeating that the National Party has engineered these legislative changes in such a way as to deny public consultation. In other words, without any public engagement whatsoever, what Maoridom believes are the most powerful legislative changes over the last three decades – forcing Maori rights onto New Zealand’s local authorities –  are about to become law.

It’s not only undemocratic, it’s appalling.

I have sent a letter to the Prime Minister appealing to him to stop the 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. Stephen Franks is assisting with media inquiries.

Here is our letter:

Dear Prime Minister,

We respectfully ask you to govern for all New Zealanders – not just the Maori tribal elite – by stopping the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill as currently drafted.

We are referring to the concessions you have given to the Maori Party to allow iwi chiefs to sit alongside elected council members and officials and co-govern the private property of others.

Various deals have been done but the most damaging are the sweeping new ‘Mana Whakahono a Rohe’ agreements that will permanently force councils to kowtow to iwi – and hapu.

Your Minister for the Environment Nick Smith says their new powers will include, “plan-making, consenting, appointment of committees, monitoring and enforcement, bylaws, regulations and other council statutory responsibilities”.

That also includes fresh water according to your Minister.

These agreements with Iwi Leaders were imposed on the country behind closed doors. The secret deals were shaped with no consultation, no publicity, no warning, and no published minutes or agendas. By giving iwi seats at the council table you will embed the Maori world view and spiritualism into the heart of local government. This is not what most New Zealanders want.

What is most galling is that you have not even asked the community what it thinks about the Mana Whakahono a Rohe agreements. The reality is there is no community demand for Iwi Leaders to co-govern local authorities, but once the agreements are in place they will be there forever – nothing can change or remove them unless iwi agree. Councillors and the community will have no right to end them – even if 90 percent of voters decide they are not working. The fundamental protections of democracy and the rule of law will be forever lost.

The respected constitutional lawyer Stephen Franks says, “The Bill entrenches permanent race privilege and corruption… The provisions are a major constitutional change. They subordinate powers entrusted to elected local governments, in deliberately obscure words, to racially inherited power, beyond the reach of electoral recall.”

Prime Minister, where is your mandate for these radical changes? You did not campaign on them at the last election. For major constitutional change such as this, surely there should be a public referendum process. If you pass this Bill you will be betraying National Party founding principles – and letting down those who voted for you in 2014.

We understand that these agreements were planned before you became Prime Minister. We say it’s now time for you to step up and show that you intend to govern for all New Zealanders, not just the 1.3 percent that supported the Maori Party.

They are holding you to ransom because you want to keep power. But in serving Iwi Leaders, you are paying for their demands with our rights, our properties, and, no doubt, our cost.

Please stop this Resource Legislation Amendment Bill now – for the sake of all New Zealanders.

Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to anyone concerned about the proposed law change and urge them to contact Bill English. If you would like to support the work of the NZCPR, we would be very grateful – the link is HERE.


Should the introduction of the Maori co-governance of local authorities be conditional upon the approval of a majority of New Zealanders through a binding public referendum process?

Vote x 120

*Poll comments are posted below.


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

Click to view x 120


Absolutely essential!!!! David
7th April, Too late it has been passed, What a gutless lot, Every body that I have spoken about this, say they will NEVER vote National again. Athol
Local Body elections are pointless if unelected persons can have representation. It also leaves Local government wide open to doing whatever to accommodate these unelected members. Maureen
A relatively small uncollected group should not be given such power over the rest of population. gaire
The New Zealand voter should have their say on this most important subject. John
The Governments proposal is plain racist. This proposal must be passed only with a public referendum agreeing to it. Phill
About time? Robert
Voted yes – but it shouldn’t exist even as an option. Mark
The proposed bill is totally un democratic and if it goes through I will no longer vote National despite being a National voter all my voting life. Jeni
There should be no race based decision making in local government. Stephen
Absolutely Fiona
Absolutely. I think that the most worrying aspect of this is that, should it go through, it is not reversible !! Appalling, as you say in your newsletter. Laurie
National has definitely lost my vote. Graham
We are either a democratic nation or not! Maria
Yes Yes Yes ! Keith
Absolutely opposed to this Bill, if National carry on with this then they will not be in government next election, they seem hellbent on creating civil war. where is our “Trump” to clean these clowns out. Robert
If this goes through National will be losing my vote. Theresa
So over the separatism creeping into every facet of life in NZ. Not just Maori, but Muslim “rights” and gender creativity. Priscilla
As a long term National supporter this is likely to impact who I vote for if it goes through in its current form or even at all! Neil
Who are these so called Maoris? How about starting an Irish or Scottish Party Food for thought!!! Jack
Democracy and NOT race, should always be first. Gary
It shouldn’t even be considered. Terry
One Country ,One people,One set of rules for everybody.EQUALITY. Roger
There is no justification for ANY departure from ONE vote for all. This is the road to “apartheid”. Cyril
This RLA Bill proposal is “Tribalism” at best, and racist at worst. Can the National Party not adhere to the principles of democracy that have guided this country reasonably successfully for many years. Doug
We need to live in a democracy. Kevin
But there should be no need for any such referendum. Does the govt wish to start hatred between races in NZ. Allan
But it shouldn’t even be necessary! Janet
If this bill passes this is the end of Democracy and the Nat government. NZ is supposed to be a democracy not run by a dictatorship. It is almost unbelievable this bill could get to this point. Derek
Of course it should, But it shouldn’t come up in the first place anyway. Bill’s government like John’s is continuing with blatant racist policies. Will we ever get a government that treats us all as equals together? Eric
I agree with your article. Rochelle
This legislation is fast taking us down the road to dictatorship. Robert
The last thing we need in New Zealand is preferential treatment and privilege based on race. This pandering to vested interest and activist groups must stop. It’s all the more disconcerting that this is even being considered by what is supposed to be a non left wing government. So I say to National politicians, “Have you learned nothing from Brexit, the election of Donald Trump and the rise of One Nation in the Australian political scene? If you don’t get it now you soon will. Voters will abandon you if they see that you, the political class, are treating their values and concerns with indifference or contempt.” I suggest that readers who are opposed to this new concept of co-governance send a courteous but strong message to their local MP that they strongly reject racial privilege and that they expect the MP to represent the non Maori citizens (that is, most of us) on this matter. Denis
I’m confident that NZ Citizens will overwhelmingly reject Maori separatism within this country. If I am wrong then it demonstrates that we reject the principle of the Treaty of Waitangi where Governer William Hobson stated, “He iwi tahi taou ; We are now one people”. My major concern is that the consequences of separatism will be Civil War for our children and grand-children. Martin
I vote for non-racist decisions, to benefit all New Zealand peoples. Ross
If this bill is passed…….it will mean war I think! Brian
This is very bad legislation and must be stopped. Bernard
Under the terms of the original treaty Maori were given equal rights of citizen ship with europeans, this was reaffirmed at the Kohimarama conference 20 years later. Under these proposals all non maori would eventually become second class citizens. Douglas
National the party I vote for have lurched so far left that they have taken labour party policy, so Labour have joined with the greens to be even worse. Joint Management is political speek for joint sovereignty, which is what maor has been working towards, behind the smoke screen of Management. Ultimately 50% of the Tax take.i . Dene
It is after all a democratic decision; not a political one. Secondly it is only an elite of Maoris who benefit from this. Peter
No one owns the water, If Maori/Iwi’s get control of water God help us. There will be civil war. Wayne
If this goes through, it will be my last vote for National. Mike
In fact the maori should have no say about anything to do with the governance of our country. William
I just can’t believe what is happening in NZ and the deafening silence of the 4th estate, except Leyton Smith. Robert
Yes of corse. That is called DEMOCRACY! Robin
This is the worst piece of legistation I have ever seen RLAB Please stop This terrible Bill from becoming Law. Ian
Go back to square one ; there should not even be any such thing as maori co governance , no one should go down the track of even entertaining the thought that any such conn of a concept should exist . we are supposed to be all for one , not entertaining the concept of a separate entity…. Roy
There is an informational crisis in this country, journalism is dead as the mainstream media never deal with racist Maori/iwi issues. Monica
I think this is just another ploy to keep the nats in power.it is another way to keep the maorii party on side and hand over extra money .this will also in crease the cost of any devolpment including affordable housing but that doesn’t matter as long as we stay in power and line certain pockets mainly not so poor maori lawyers. Bill
This bill must not pass. Keith
This bill should not be past. Keith
We have been National supporters since 1950 and are extremely disappointed in the direction this government is diverging from democratic principles. Stuart
What are we coming to when ordinary New Zealander’s are denied their voting rights in these hugely undemocratic changes to be Implimented without a binding referendum? Over my dead body! Mel
Appalled that the Government is proposing to sign up future generations to legislation that can never be repealed. Adele
New Zealanders don’t like racists or racism. The Government can prove this for itself by putting this legislation ip for endorsement. If it chooses not to do so, the electorate will probably draw the obvious conclusion. Mike
Has the National Party gone MAD? How can it be allowing this legislation to happen? Sylvia
Like that’ll happen. Mark
Racist Greg
I have always been a National voter, but If this goes through without a binding referendum, I will be voting NZ First in future. Mark
Never Rex
Should not Brexit and the Trump triumph ring any bells in this Government’s deaf ears. I cannot believe the National Party is considering pressing the self-destruct button on itself but more importantly on this country. Stuart
Get rid of Nick Smith and his race based policies. I think Bill English is behind this also. Always voted national but if this goes through its the last straw for me. Bolger was bad enough. Morrie
Maori are under the misapprehension that because they arrived in New Zealand as strangers and therefor the fist immigrants that they have rights over the people who came after and educated them and treated them with a fairness that at the time was unprecedented in the world. I say take your place in this country as the minority that you are, start contributing, paying your way and be grateful. Max
Get rid of MMP and the underhand coalition with the Maori Party. Maoris do not have the right to unequal representation on local body councils. Stop this gimme, gimme, gimme. Chris
Nick Smith is one of the most incompetant ministers we have ever had devious and not up front with anything he does. over this he should resign. John
Time to alter course, muddy water ahead, slow down and take stock if you still wish to remain at the helm. Jim
All New Zealanders, of whatever ethnicity, should be equal before the law. Bruce
Significant constitutional change, thus referendum indicated. Mike
Definitely, but who is going to honour the ‘binding’ tag; the Government did NOT with the MMP/FPP binding referendum Alan
If it represents Constitutional Change, of course it should. John
Apparently apartheid knows no bounds in New Zealand. How dangerous and despicable. Catherine
Once again National seems hellbent on handing over complete control to Maori. It looks like time to leave NZ and go and live somewhere else. Fraser
Those Maori profiteers should have to prove by blood test that they have at least 50% Maori blood. If less keep your mouth shut. All MP’s should volunteer to be part of a scheme so they can by fired if they do not do their work properly like that Smith fellow. Johan
It seems that many years ago we were classed as “ONE PEOPLE'” we all got on together though over the past 15 or so years we have become segregated and it is now that 15% of our population now RULES and the other 85% are ignored… It is often the more they want the more they get until they will not be satisfied until they own US as well. WAKE UP they are NOT INDIGENOUS to New Zealand their forebears came here originally from another Country. WAKE UP if they do not take all we have bought legally then that other Country is out to do it and we have a very WEAK GOVERNMENT John Key made a BOLD announcement not all that long ago “That he would hate to see us wake up one morning and find we were owned by another Country (or people) well WAKE UP its happening with this Government and they cannot see as they are BLIND. Marylin
The iwis have the National party right where they want them. Just lost my vote. Barbara
Yes it should, are we loosing our freedom of speech? Theo
This is democracy and should be the case in all important legislation. Doris
This is democracy not racism. Elizabeth
One nation, one people, one law for all. Tony
Nick Smith has passed his ‘Best Before’ date and should step down from caucus! Vic
The end of democracy in NZ if this Bill is passed. Laura
What this Amendment Bill is proposing is removing my democratic right to be represented by a person who is elected elected to a position where I will be represented by an elected member and a person who shares governance by appointment by virtue of of their race. A change which is this fundamental MUST SURELY be subject to a national and binding referendum. I am not prepared to relinquish my constitutional rights by a Bill which has not been subject in its entirety to public scrutiny. I am tired of being told I do not fully understand the beneficial changes this will introduce by a minister I believe is bordering on treason . Michael
I am sick and tired of this consistent push by Maori elite to take over the country. It started after the first Fijian Take over by their army and has not let up. Time to stop. Wayne
Yes! – lets see if the NZ public really wants race based favouritism. Leon
This is by government by stealth and empowers the views of a small number of NZers on ALL NZers! Robert
All New Zealanders must have the right to vote on such major changes if one ethnic group is to have significant control on the governance of local authorities. Keith
Inch by inch and step by step decisions are made and rules and regulations implemented that go way beyond the mandate that politicians have. And if that’s not enough, they even legislate democracy away, inch by inch and mile by mile as it looks to be the case now with this bill. Well, enough is enough and in this case too much. This behavior must stop immediately. This sort of legislation is enough to oust a government. If not now, ten next elections, that is if we even get permission to vote. Gerard
Like hell national, 2017 your last year as my government. Simon
I will not vote for a party that supports this racist legislation. Dale
If this goes through National will lose the next election. I have always voted National in the past. Des
If ever we needed full referendum it is for this. Carolyn
They should be voted, it’s not a right just being Maori. Astrid
What the National Party is doing here is not the party I have voted for over the past 40 years and will not being voting for them again if this continues. Peter
This behaviour is an attack on the democratic process. Chris
One Country One People Equal voting rights for all. Elected council representatives only. Margaret
We don’t want Government to give away control of resource management to a minority group even if the objective is to buy votes. Jim
Democratic practice would insist on it. Jim
If nothing else you are commiting political suicide and endangering the National Party. Michael
Maori now running country. Edward
Of course it should, if not we will see 10%? of the population eg part maori running the show then god help us all…. James
This is another case of retaining the political power at any costs. Some months ago, I asked my elected member of parliament if discussions with the iwi leaders regarding fresh water control would be made public. The answer I received was that the initial outcome of the discussions would be made public through meeting with iwi/hapu and others throughout the country at a later date.I’m still waiting, or have these meetings been held with little or no notification.? Barry
The voice of reason has long gone. Where is New Zealand’s Donald Trump badly needed to drain our socialist and very treacherous political establishment swamp ?!?! We The People must revolt ! Don
Thinly veiled comments by some senior iwi leaders that civil unrest by their people will be the result if maori tribes in NZ don’t get what they demand, may well back fire when NZ’s majority population says “enough is enough”. We will demand that “The Treaty of Waitangi” becomes null and void and all peoples of New Zealand are treated as one under all our laws. Darryl
I have a meeting this month with my local M P and i will be havinga discusson on this topic with her as i am very pissed of with what is happening. Ken
Where is the race relations commissioner, this must be racist if anything is. listen to the electorate. Robert
One Country, One Vote. Mark
I feel this is totally racialist.. It is tactical of this government. Anything for votes. They do not give a damn about the normal multi culture people of this country. Marion
I’m a National Voter. But will change to Winston Peters if this go’s through as is. Robert
In my humble opinion the local council should only consist of elected members. There should not be a Government Directive that local council must have local iwi representatives on the local council. This is in my understanding is not Democracy but heading towards Communism. The Rate Payers of each local council should be able to through a Binding Referendum decide to what participation the iwi have. For me it would be as an adviser with no voting rights. Derrick
Whoever in National propose and support these provisions is a traitor to NZ Democracy. John
Over the last few years we have become more and more separated, we are all one people not maori and pakeha, one law for all, water control has to belong to us all and not become privatised, we cannot go back in time so lets move on and stop the division. Carolyn
Am absolutely opposed to this and for the first time will not be supporting National at next election. Jim
The Maori race is history. New Zealanders (the people who rightfully live here) should not be governed a minority. MURRAY
Can’t believe Dr Smith believes he can get away with constitutional changes after public submissions have closed. Its the “we know best attitude” that cost labour the leadership and will ultimately loose national the leadership too. Any party that continues to let the tail wag the dog, is going to fall foul of public view. Steve
Absolutely – YES Leonard
If the National Party goes ahead with this racist proposal, the I for one will be voting for a different party this coming election. Furthermore I would encourage others to do the same. Neville
National is weak and should dismiss this Maori rubbish. Our family will be voting for Winston (reluctantly) this year. It is tribalism and look where that has got the African nations! Murray
Pleased you are acting. Thankyou Jennifer
As Muriel says “This is appalling.” Maurice
This is a matter that concerns all NZ and can not be left to a few political activists to. If we are going to survive then we need to become one people all New Zealanders. John
Once again we are all at the mercy of the Maori Party and the rights they claim soley in an effort to have more power and the chance to make even more money at the expense of the rest of the New Zealand public. This must be stopped. Digby
This is racism of the extreme order…where is public consultation ? Ngaire
If Maori want a seat at the local authority table then let them stand and be voted on like everyone else, not given a seat based on ethnic grounds. Kevin
I heard English interviewed by Duncan Garner this morning – what a weak leader National has. And Garner did not even question him re this piece of obnoxious RMA proposed legislation. Easy to see why John Key skedaddled rather than face the non Maori population. I will (and my extended family) will NEVER vote For this Govt again. They support rascist big time., all for a couple of rascist party votes, from a rascist pair of MPs. All this Maori favouritism MUST be stopped. And Nick Smith (english’s best mate) must go in August. Get rid of him Nelson.. Carolyn
This is a racist and separatist Agenda. Not worthy of a democratic society. John
Tribalism has no place in this day and age Democracy is about peoples choice. A minor race has no mandate to demand inclusion in government by race alone thereby taking the democratic right away from the majority population to choose who gets to govern. Garry
Unconditionally, this is what Democarcy is supposed to be about. Steve
Absolutely. It’s called democracy. Politicians are supposed to be elected to do the will of the people not to decide for themselves. Elaine
Absolutely! The public MUST address this urgently. Hilary
Is that not called democracy? John
YES!!! Not only on this particular issue which is nothing but another nail into the coffin of NZs’ democracy. All major political issues have to be decided on by referendum. The Swiss have demonstrated for the past 600 years that governing by referenda are sound and applicable.We instead are going backwards and our appeasing politicians have sold us out and established Apartheid in this country.The general public will wake up and start bitching when it is too late and realize that they have been transformed into second class citizens in their own country. What comes next will not be pretty! Michael
This is an appalling and blatant push by the National Government to trample on the rights the majority of New Zealanders for their own political gain. But hey, the power now given to minority groups through a farcical MMP system MUST be what dumbocracy is really about … right? Bryan
Isn’t that a yes for democracy, rant we a democratic country. Of course it should be voted on and the outcome as wanted by the people of New Zealand. But, I bet it won’t be, we won’t win this one, the politicians want to keep their jobs and governing by any means will do that for them. I hope I am wrong, but have lost many hopeful battles of this and the previous governments, so I won’t hold my breath. Audrey
This is an abomination. Winston needs to get on the case. If this goes through I’ll never vote for national again and will actively work for its downfall by calling on all my like-minded friends and family to do likewise. This is a travesty,a tragedy for democracy. Gordon
A BINDING public referendum would be welcome taste of democracy in N Z’s present system of political party dictatorship depending on coalition party coercion and political blackmail. Selwyn
Again I say we are all New Zealanders and should all have the same rights and privilages instead of the Government riding roughshod over those rights and privalages without consultation with all. Laurel
These plans are disgusting and dangerous. These matters were finalised on the 6th February 1840 and over the months that followed for the purpose of taking the Treaty of Waitangi nation wide. Robert
I am extremely disappointed in the National government forcing NZ to be racially split. If this stupid bill goes through I and many of my friends will never vote for the Nats ever again. Your govt have introduced too many race based laws that I think you can never be trusted to be on the govt benches ever again. Derek
Their should never be race based governance…..ever. Marc
Get your family and friends to write/email the Prime Minister and tell him that if the National Government pass this Bill they will not vote for the National Party. The public at large seem to be absolutely ignorant of what this government is trying to foist upon them. Muriel’s letter in the Sunday papers is a great start to waking the public up. Ernest
“The enemy within “. Our own government ! Colleen
I am in favour of binding referenda for all significant matters, we could easily have 4 in a year. To achieve this we need online voting, including for this years election. We must use technology more than we do. David
Voluntary introduction of reverse apartheid. Why? What possible good can emanate from this short sighted populist- led attempt at vote gathering? That is not rhetoric, I would love to know, but no explanation is forthcoming from our elected ‘leaders’. Tony
The present administration is attempting to stay in office with the help of a racist party and not by the votes of ALL New Zealanders. By giving iwi privileges they are not entitled to they hope to keep enough seats to remain in power over a racially divided country. I will not vote for them as they conduct their stinking business behind closed doors. Graeme
Damn right it should: it should: it must Geoffrey
Stop this race based madness. Kevin
Agreed Jim
If National proceeds with this Bill they will certainly lose my vote and the election. Selwyn
TO dissolve the democracy of New Zealand in such an off hand way is intolerable. Lionel
This is not good your racist ambush and treating caucus with contempt silly man. Jack
I won’t be voting for National if they go ahead with their apartheid policies. Alan
As proposed the legislation is totally undemocratic. Its potential is such that it should be subject to a referendum. Philip
There must be something radically wrong wiith our system of government if a governing party can vote in legislation that cannot be reversed. In the long run kowtowing to minority parties just to remain on the treasury benches will only bring agitation and disharmony amongst citizens and conflict between different cultures. I for one do not want this to happen and I am sure others feel the same. Dennis
This legislation is huge, and changes everything about the future direction New Zealand will be pursuing. It must only be enacted by a mandate form All the People of New Zealand. To quote Te Tiriti o Waitangi, “Nga tangata katoa o Nu Tirani”. Michelle
We are all equal, there should never be race based favour ever between New Zealand citizens. Deborah
It is appalling that this government has seen fit to continue with what can only be described as probably the most undemocratic piece of legislation this country has witnessed. It has been conducted in complete denial of the vast majority of all other citizens democratic rights which has been so much admired by other counties. It lacks total common sense which will have a serious impact for generations to come. If Maori wish to be involved in politics/administration, let them get elected like all else, not by default through a shameful piece of legislation. A message to the Prime Minister – please step up and protect our (all citizens) democratic rights and beliefs. Chris
No NZ citizen should be advantaged above another on the basis of ethnicity. We are ALL IMMIGRANTS – i.e., everyone hascome from another land or our ancestors have. We are ALL tangata o te whenua -i.e.,we are ALL PEOPLE OF THE LAND! Isabel
This bill will definitely take my vote from national. Les
It is undemocratic to allow non-=elected representatives to vote. Janie
Why should 12% of the population decied what we want its time this nonsense was stopped. Peter
Why, for generations, have the voting public so blindly voted National or Labour,? when people of Rodney Hide’s callibre have put their names forward & offered their services to the people through Parliament, yet only gained 6 or 7 per-cent of the population vote. No wonder N.Z. has become no more than an experimental launching platform for the Global Government. Catch phrase coming from the hard-core National supporters now is; ‘you’d be far worse off under a Labour-Green government. And that is proving to be the only thing they have to offer. A.G.R.
This is a step too far. Neither Nick Smith or PM Bill English have mandate to introduce this racial measure by stealth or any other means. Norman
Govt is pushing through to much against the wishes of the people. Russell
Stop this racist nonsense! One country, one people!! Andrew
We have to put a stop to this lurch towards apartheid in our Country. Jim
The decision must be taken away from the politicians. Democracy must prevail. Albie
No other way. I can’t believe all this tribal stuff is going through. There is going to be real friction when the people see the results of this PC. Anthony
Better change the name for the Leader of the current Govt.to President Herr English ! Joan
Emphatically yes. Walter
Sick of this, as I’ve said in previous comments the government needs to grow set and stand up to the theiving, lazy b***. Simon
One people, one Country. Mike
There should, in fact be NO Maori co-governance of local authorities. Ken
This is not democracy. Could put my vote in jeopardy come September. Brian
Do not pander to any tribe (iwi). David
Obviously the MP’s have lost sight of which Democracy means so we will have to teach them at the Ballot box as well as sending them lots of mail. John
Talk about the Kremlin, this parliament way better than what they`ve got. The Maori language has not only taken over legislation but acts as well and including the “Press”. Enough is enough, bring back provincial government, if not home rule for the south. Remember the South Island, known at the time the “Middle Island” was claimed in the name of the Governor of NSW and not party to the treaty. Just dumped on us. What about setting up a fund to take the Govt., to Privy Council. I’m a starter. Robert
There should never be Maori co-governance of local authorities in the first place! What is National doing? Winifred
This is just absurd /- 15% of the population dictating to the remainder – sounds and looks like reverse racism to me! if there is such a thing. Andrew
Absolutely. It is time that Politicians took their heads out of the election sand and voted for what is best for ALL New Zealanders. William
The distraction of democracy. John
HT to all those here doing their best to slow up another National party sabotage initiative involving nonsensical part Maori patronisation. (Being a conspiracy theorist) The way I come to terms with this political behaviour is to believe there are greater forces at work here. There must be, why would intelligent people in very responsible positions risk so much. Here goes: New Zealand depends so much on exporting and have along the track somewhere been blackmailed into conforming with contributions to the agenda of the ‘The Elite’ towards their eventual ‘New World Order’. This is where the obviously unjust and unfathomable reason our Govt. manoeuvring for the upsetting Maori advantage comes into play. They are NZ’s refugee crisis contribution to the Celites Hegelian Dialectic plan. The affable nice man, Johns Key was the recently indoctrinated one (plant) to set up the country… OK settle down. Think about it, He served his time on Wall St with Goldman Sachs. Count up how many influential people around the World came from that same bankster company and empire building country. Key%u2019s genetic credentials? Apart from being on the inside being golfing buddies with Obama it was when he mentioned in a funny story in his valedictory speech about British Prime minister Cameron making contact with him while landing a big fish on a boat. Key mentioned Cameron was phoning him about Libya. Ah huh by extension privy to crim Hillary etc. Some obvious joint decision NZ was a small part of (the gang) involving one of recent history’s despicable in-the plan wars. Yes, there is the 15 years of Afghanistan and how could you forget Key’s/National party dramatic defensive debate about sending 100 troops recently to Iraq. What for? All-part-of-it. Good luck. Life is good at the moment, but we all have to work hard in our own way to keep it that way or at least postpone the inevitable scorched earth answer to bring back – take your pick. Peter
The same Rights and Privileges for all peoples. That is called DEMOCRACY !!! George
Keep to the Democratic process !! Lynn
We need to ask people who think. All who are legal naturalised residents, not just some. Ray
It, quite simply cannot be allowed and must be stopped. Tom
Definitely. Doug
I can’t believe how quiet the media has been about this issue – not a word on the news. And taking of the public’s vote away from the people of NZ smakes of becoming the property of China. where one has no vote. John
Absolutely – it’s called democracy even though we have had government by Treasury fronted think tanks for longer than I can remember. David
Do we live in a democracy, or not? Graham
It should not be conditional on any majority decision it should just never happen fullstop -because it is race based and antidemocratic and this racist nonsense has no place in this country at all for any reason. Rob
This blatant by-passing of democracy has to be stopped or NZ is doomed. Stuart
What. in legal terms, constitutes a Maori? If this cannot be defined within law how can binding rulings possibly be facilitated favouring a legally undefined body of people over regular New Zealanders? John
If a referendum process is not carried out, and the Maoti co-governance increases, we are further increasing an apartheid approach in NZ. Peter
I have written ,some months ago, to all nat MP’s, telling them that my whole family, (4 generations) no longer supports them and will no longer vote for them. This made no difference and apart from a couple of wishy washy answers, 90% made not reply. Power they may want to retain ,however, with this Bill going through, we will never trust them again. Kiss your Ass goodbye Prime Minister and don’t be surprised to land in the Opposition Benches. Mike
We have to end this move towards racial segregation. That it is being sponsored by a National govt is absolutely outrageous. John
That would be democratic now wouldn’t it… Maddi
To be democratic it should be put to a referendum. Maurice
There should be no co governance perahat they could contribute o governance any way other than their own selfish self interests. This country is becoming corrupt . Winstone is my last hope this elections!! Thomas
Yes – providing any referendum is, in fact, binding on the Govt. I have stated on a number of occasions, that we need to remove all reference to race, colour or creed from our Laws and Statutes – we then all become equal under the Law. This should do away with all race-based bias and privilege in one fell swoop. Maori never “owned” land anyway – they merely occupied it until pushed off it by a stronger group. The concept of land ownership as we know it today came with the European and the iwi groups are milking it for all they are worth. Scott.
The usual topic, this govenrment fails to listen to the people of this country,this arrogance will put eggs on their faces on the next election, I hope. Frank
Fundamentally undermining democracy and it embeds racial divide into our society. Why do we not see that equality should be the way forward. Not the increasing reverse discrimination in favor of Maori! Stewart
If he and his no b—-s party let this go though they won’t get my vote, it will be the last straw. John
Maori having the final say on RMA matters is a recipe for corruption, that is a certainty. John
What kind of democracy is it where Ministers of the Crown, bearing the trust of all electors, engage in dirty secret deals with a group of racial elitists to change the law of the land? They didn’t have the courage to put such drastic changes to the Resource Management Act to the public. Apartheid by stealth! Rob
Even then it would need to be more than a 50% plus plus to pass it would need to be 75% in favour to become law. Arthur
It’s about time NATIONAL was stopped &govt. for ALL PEOPLE NOT JUST MAORI. Cindy
PLEASE can we New Zealanders BE ONE people and not ruled by 1.3%, Just for the sake of staying in POWER. Keep going down this bad road,and my vote and others want follow!!! Phil
If this bill is passed I will not vote Natioal after a lifetime of support for the party. Peter
Will the Labour/Greens revoke this appalling legislation when they are elected as a result of this loathesome effort by Nick Smith who is desperate to pass any legislation ??? Anthony
I am a descendant of a Maori chief and support initiatives to support Maori aspirations but this is a step too far. To say that I am appalled at this amendment is an understatement. Lynne
Slippery slope to most nz having no say. Barry
There should never be any rights given to any entity unless it is done by public majority. Take for instance the Whanganui river debacle, I don’t know where Chris Finlayson gets all these crazy ideas. John
I am tired of the continuance of racism in a country we call democratic. Harvey
How dare they try to steal democracy!!!! Andy
Absolute no brainer. Constitutional change should always be subject to either a nation wide vote as part of an election, or by a public binding referendum. Where does Dr Smith believe he is taking New Zealand. I thought it was only African countries that were subjected to this form of so called democracy? Chris
So its not ram-roaded thru by Govt. Ian
Had no idea this was progressing this rapid, unbelievable theft of our democracy. Pete
They have no mandate to do this without a referendum. If they go ahead and pass it thet will have no chance of getting reelected. Bryan
As a democracy, a referendum is demanded on this. Where are our media ghouls on this? Not a word is heard from them! Are they just a gutless as our government? Before a referendum, we should have a debate on TV as well. Both Labour and National have got us into this abyss, and will only get us deeper. What we need is a prime minister to day “We are now one people (now where have I heard that?) John Key saw the writing on the wall, so he deserted a sinking ship, yet he should not avoid part responsibility. A prediction – New Zealand’s future will be up in a Long White Cloud until this debacle is sorted out once and for all, by a leader with some guts! Kevan
The Prime Minister must stop this Resource Legislation Amendment Bill from proceeding any further!!! And dump the Minister Smith whom has cunningly tried to have this hugely Racist Bill made into Law!!! Minister Nick Smith has been a Huge disaster and must be removed from ever holding a position in Parliament! again. New Zealanders want one law for all !! Not this racist garbage from the likes of Minister Smith! Dismiss this idiot! Michael
The suggestion otherwise is Racist Policy in its worst form – further once Parliamentary approval is obtained it cam never be altered. The people as a whole must be asked for their opinion before this proposal takes another step. What on earth is the usually responsible National Government thinking about b. IT this Bill goes ahead National will pay a price at the next election. Prime Minister PLEASE see some sense. Hylton
Emphatically “Yes”; but before that the Government should be made to consult with the non-Maori sector of the population about this legislation, developed secretly in discussion with Iwi leaders. This would inevitably result in it never reaching this stage. Graham
Why are those we elect to serve so hell-bent on ignoring the majority for some perceived faux race based ‘commitments’? Burn the treaty…it was only ever ‘of the time’ and has no place now. Mike
If put ot a public referendum the result would be a resounding No.. There should be NO race policy . One law for all. Don
As a minority, the maoris should earn their place, not be gifted it. Maurice
This proposed law is total nonsense and must be stopped. Liz
All members voting at local body elections and local decision making regarding ratepayers’ money should be ELECTED members only. Lynette
It appears quite clearly that Democracy in this country under National is being eroded at an ever increasing rate. This latest adventure is to once again designed to appease the maoris and their obvious racist supporters. The majority of NZs population will condemn this if it should come to pass. If the maoris want to be on councils they should put their hands up like everyone else and get elected or not by the Democratic process. The growth of apartheid in NZ is being promoted by people who believe that the maoris are a special race that are entitled to privileges that the majority of the population are exempt. The National party politicians are entirely responsible for this state of affairs in their endeavors to remain in power by supporting the maori party. A referendum is the only democratic path for this to be settled. David
This legislation should be voted by all New Zealanders and not from a backdoor deal. David 
Let them stand by vote as all others do. Wayne
Referendum is a must for this to proceed. Mark
The poll question does not go far enough. A bare majority should not be enough to justify such a profound change. Trevor
Our local council has a very good relationship with iwi according to the Mayor after we wrote to him, so whatever that means reading between the lines. Wayne
This is an absolute rort and our media seen too gutless or PC to expose the facts to the public. If the present National Party had the balls they would expose the Maori party blackmail and go to the country. I would be sure the public mandate would be to scrap this race based legislation. Willy
WE are all NZers and should be all treated alike. There should be no advantages for Maori. What’s next – the Chinese Party?, the Pakeha Party? Wouldn’t that cause an uproar from minorities and remember Maori are a minority in this country. John
The majority should make the change stick. Ray
We are all New Zealanders, so we should all have an equal say. Keep in mind there is now not even one Full- blooded Maori! Ian
Absolutely. Terry
Yes! If we had a rational and genuinely democratic government this question simply wouldn’t arise. The tragedy is that the majority of the populace is sound asleep and couldn’t care less. If this incredibly misguided and racist amendment becomes law, it will be to the detriment of ALL New Zealanders and will move the country further down the road towards becoming an apartheid nation. I fear for our future. Martin
This MUST be stopped. Alan
Absolutely. Robyn
Vote national, like hell.avid supporter in the past. Chris
Its appalling that such a racist system is even being contemplated, I’m speechless! Chris
Bill should be cancelled. Colin
Please get rib of Nick Smith he is telling lies. Neil
Totally! Kerin
I am becoming absolutely sure it is a power grab by National trying to con us to close their problem . Lance
Sorry Bill, you will have to go. IAN
Who is leading the racial maori bullshit. David
My long term loyalty to the National Party is ended,not only if this bill is passed at its 3rd reading, but because it has been concocted behind closed doors. What ever other parties form the next governement, it cannot be mre devious and damaging to our future han the present National/Maori coalition. David
The inclusion of Maori by legislation and not by democratic process simply represents arrogant irresponsible governance for which this National Government has become. Real kiwis need to stand up and rid the country of this corrupt mob. Don
Absolutely yes, but with a small change – ‘a majority of NZ Electors’. Really the public should demand removal of the Bill unless and until a fully democratic process has been carried out. Graham
Racism at its worst. A Treasonous act on the part of the national party, not the national government. I would be quite happy to see the national party members tried and convicted of treason. Neil
National well never get my party vote again. Bruce and Trish
The hijacking of our constitutional Laws by successive Governments is treasonous. Helen Clark removed the Law pertaining to treason to clear the way for her to do what she liked against the wishes of the majority without recourse. She removed Knighthoods (since reinstated by John Key), and other significant constitutional changes and now this. When it comes to administrative matters, radical Maori make a damned nuisance of themselves wherever they can and giving them all this power will make our lives very expensive and stupifyingly frustrating, all for absolutely nothing except to pander to a racial minority who have nothing of specific value to offer. Any person can stand for office or apply for a job in the public sector, so why do we have to have a constitution favouring Maori. Such concepts sabotage New Zealands economic future. It’s already sabotaged by the RMA and any number of ridiculous administrative demands by OSH and a plethora of nonsensical rules laid down by Councils and pettifogging dogooders. However, none of these laws are abided by, by the lawless and if they are brown, bylaw infringements are hardly ever challenged, mostly because of threatening mobs. Dianna
Definitely not. Monty
I am appallled at this treachery by Government ministers The country is in danger of violent reactions if this ridiculous proposed legislation becomes policy. Gordon
My vote depends on it. David
It is about time our politicians got some b—s before we turn into a truly third world country because of this kowtowing to the maori who are only into anything that gives them personal gain. I have been a Police officer and am a Registered nurse and have seen so many racially based anomalies in both professions. The Govt it appears now have to do things secretly to further advance the maori, who incidentally are not the Tangata Whenua of this country, as they know that the majority of NZ’s would not agree with what they are proposing. Laura
Let’s have some actual democracy in this country. If this Bill is passed I will be voting for Winston! Terry
As they are nt the former owners of New Zealand. Maori came by boat like the rest of us. Dave
It won’t get past a public referendum. Andrew
Absolutely. Chris
Am totally against IWI, who are seconded to advisory committees, being given full council voting rights. What the Masterton council did some years ago was incorrect, and then last year there was an opportunity to rectify that mistake, but that was voted to remain as “YOU CAN’T GIVE SOMEBODY A LOLLY AND THEN TAKE IT AWAY” Well , how stupid can you be. Council voting rights belong to those elected by the local voters. Cornelis
English, Smith, & particularly Findlayson, are all traitors to New Zealand, the country I was also born in. I am therefore also indigenous. Democracy has departed the planet!! Denis
The National Party should stick to their values as published on their website. That is their mandate. Separatism is becoming more prevalent with the help of the National Party and MMP. A small percentage of the NZ population is now given preferential treatment in all areas called separatism. Now this Resource Legislation Amendment Bill, is another example of putting a small minority of the population, Maori, in a deciding position and governance that has not been given democratically. Stop this RLA bill going through right now and lets sack Nick Smith for incompetence while we’re at it. Judy
A message to all politicians: “You had better start listening to the people!” Mitch
We must not have unelected members making decisions which effect us all. JC
More RACIAL division? Some very sick, racial politicians in this country??? Ian
Better still, let’s adopt the “100 days” proposal, and make every bill liable to “veto” by a referendum, if enough voter demand one. Don
It has to be done fairly- not a gift to Maori. Chris
This proposal legalises racism. Terence
Democracy must be paramount. Seems National have forgotten this. Graeme
This is starting to become a shocking revelation of toadying by the National Party! I am dead against any change to the status quo! If National lets this go through they will never see a vote from me again! Ron
I voted yes but I could vote no as we should never need to have this referendum in the first place – we should never be put in the position where one section of our community is seen as privileged at the expense of the remainder of our citizens. This applies equally to the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill. No Racial bias should be line one of any constitution. Alastair
What ever happened to the declaration by John Key and subsequently by Bill English to abolish Maori seats and introduce ‘one law for all?’ APARTHEID is alive and well in NZ. Geoff
This is an abuse of democracy. Annette
The only way to understand the will of the people is to ask the people. Not make decisions for the people when there is no urgency or reason to do so. Vernon
Either we are a country founded upon democratic principles or we revert to that of an uneducated tribal elitist (power) system – I vote for freedom and democracy. Rob
I am not voting National at this stage unless Bill English changes his attitude towards co governance with the Maoris to be kept in power. We are one people we need a referendum to decide, and if I am wrong in my opinion then I will accept the majority decision. Roydon 
Absolutely. To do otherwise is tantamount to treason..! Peter
I hoped we would be an egalitarian society where all citizens are treated equally. This nonsense must stop. After all the average ‘interloper’ does not benefit one bit. Kim
I consistently voted National over the last forty years. I won’t be doing that this time around. Michael
My answer is YES. However, this is a question that should not even be being asked. A plebiscite in effect asking for whether we want a democracy is an affront to democracy itself. Peter
No room for racist based laws in NZ. Bryan
Disgusting, and racial. John
This Govt.,particularly Smith Finlayson have lost the plot and are setting the country up for racial disharmony, by pandering to Maori greed and political expediency . They are a bloody disgrace and hopefully will be thrown out at the next election if not sooner. Barrie
Deadly dangerous racism gone mad. Bruce
The government is over-riding the principles of democracy. Tony
But should never happen. We do not need race based rule as it only leads to civll war. Terry
Maori would have a 50% say when they do not represent 50% or more in most communities. In effect a minority would have power and sway over the majority. Gary
We must stop this so called co-governance idiocity before it gets fully into our laws. Norm
The Maori elite are getting far too much. The problem is National has to rely on Maori to get a number of bills passed and that is the problem. Back to first past the post and this would not happen! Frank
The only way to keep National in check regarding the preferential treatment of Maori is to vote for Winston Peters. John
If not it’s just corrupt, simple really. Bryon
Our country could be going down the tubes as far as democracy is concerned. Mark
Refer; New Zealand. Skeletons in the Cup Board. Episode one – Under the Carpet. Episode two. – Cousins across the Sea. Doco’s on You tube. Rodney
If this Racism goes through National will lose the election and destroy the reputation of NZ which was the example to the world of a country of many nationals and creeds living together peacefully. Baileyb
This is a democracy. Of course when the majority of people wholeheartedly disagree with a proposed law change the Government must act accordingly, or be prepared to loose their seats in the next government.. Robbie
Smith and National are betraying the whole country just to appease the demands of bullying tribal elites. This is treachery, unpatriotic, and racist. To not consult the public is cowardly, disgraceful and undemocratic. Ratepayers will be forced to pay for this , and many will struggle to do so . Appalling change of direction for our beautiful country. National are traitors to all non tribal elite NZ citizens. Julie
Race based policy. Craig
We are under a dictatorship. Dave
We are a democratic country, why would the nats think giving local goverment power over to non elected like this won’t destroy our harmonious country more.It will also be the death of the nats. Nigel
Yes,yes,yes,Yes,………… Cyril
NO to co-governance in any form. David 
Bill English thinks still as a Minister of Cabinet, not as PM. He fails to comprehend that ‘the buck stops’ with him. I wrote to him on this pernicious legislation and all he did was pass my letter on to Nick Smith. Alan
There is absolutely no benefit to the Country whatsoever from so called co-governance. Ken
The developing racism in NZ is evil. It must stop. Mary
….otherwise this nation will forever have ‘land wars’ and a continued unspoken hatred toward the shifty arrogant elite ‘iwi’ .. who take all and give nothing back..!!! cptH
It’s all about money. Maori want to claim everything and the politicians are pandering to their claims. Kevin
We are supposed to be a democratic country. Andrew
I’ve answered “yes”, although I don’t altogether agree with the wording of the question. I maintain that there should be NO co-governance of local authorities – period. What’s wrong with the established method of representation on the basis of free, fair, elections? This country needs, and deserves, political representation on the basis of merit, not race. Graham
Yes A vote of all NZers is the only way to go. Geoff
Give all New Zealanders a say.. Laurie
There goes any prospect of my next vote going to National. Treachery! Mike
N Z is being high jacked by Nick Smith and the National Party. P M English must stop this R L A Bill now. It is tantamount to treason and the most retrograde legislation for equal rights ever proposed in our country. Pete
There should be no co governance with maori or any other group, EVER. Don
No doubt about it! That is what a democratic country would do. Elizabeth
The government does not have the right to pass power and authority to one sector of the population like this! It is also the most racially damaging piece of legislation since the Waitangi Tribunal was set up. We cannot afford further recital division in our country! Do we want to be controlled by tribal groups, or keep the process of true democracy? In which the majority rules. Hugh
This is one clear reason why John Key decided to bail out, spot the other reasons as they unfold before D Day. Douglas
Absolutely. And we know it wouldn’t go through because most of us don’t want entrenched racism in our country. We want a true Democracy, where each citizen has one vote and majority rules. This deal is despicable. Joyce
We are supposed to be a democracy. Mike
Citizens of New Zealand are all KIwi and K comes before Iwi. Kelvin
Absolutely. Geoff
This govt action will lead to a big loss in the general election. Hamish
Emphatically! Errol
Absolutely. Alan
All citizens of New Zealand should have equal rights in electing local and national representatives regardless of their race. No specific race of people should have special privileges in this day and age as this leads inevitably to corruption and dictatorships. Margaret
Of course it should. Why do NZ’ers put up wit this rubbish??? John
It is hard to comprehend the treason to democratic principles this country has developed this proposal incorporates from the ‘National Party’ in the way they are currently promulgating it and if it should even be further considered a referendum is essential. Richard
Separatism and non elected decision makers on Councils is a recipe for disaster. David
Abso-bloody-lutely!! Get rid of all this part-Maori sponsored racial divisiveness. We’re now a MULTI racial society, so no more catering to the part Maori elite!! Tony
National never campaigned on this issue at the last election and they have no mandate to force through these unconstitutional changes without a referendum.. Colin
The issue of racial representation on local bodies should not be “hidden away” under resource management legislation. This is a huge issue requiring extensive public consultation. Neville
Absolute bloody lunacy. National stop prostituting yourself to Maori. The 2017 election is yours to lose! David
I cannot but wonder what the national Govt is on, it has to be a mind bending drug. Colin
Get rid of this recipe for apartheid that is gaining momentum to favour the minority over the majority. Ross
Subjected to the yoke of Tribalism. Jack
Absolutely. Andrew
National on this issue alone deserve to lose the election in a landslide. On such a major issue there should be a binding referendum held. Tom
Under our form of democracy the citizenry as per the registered voters have a inalienable right to consent to any process that materially impacts or undermines the democracy. In fact it shouldn’t be necessary as wise elected Representatives should have binned this Apartheid reason before it started, but the ineptitude of MMP politicians has brought us to this stage so it requires the citizenry to vote its correction. However what we must be aware of is that the Organization known as United Nations has migrated from being a democratic organization to that of being a Communist power group. Agenda 2030 is being aggressively pushed on most all western nations in order to soften up their administration to the UN promoted New World Order. The Tribal Apartheid model is far closer to the Communist model than is the Magna Carta derived Democratic State, Hence the pressure from the socialist sector coupled with the Maori self interest groups to empower those self interest minorities with a complete controlling mechanism which is exercized by the Veto Vote that greatly applies to stall ALL practical development that is not in alignment with UN Communist policy. Thjis veto power is vastly greater than the minority representation it is backed by and has the potential to completely Stall and Crash our productive systems and grind down our whole social and community fabric. To effect a change of governing mechanism without the consent of the citizenry is pure Treason. Richard
What has got into National to try to pass such a disastrous law – oh yes, it’s ‘power’ and to hell with the country. Well, they need a binding referendum on this change to local government – then they might realise that they need to start listening to ‘the people’! James
National certainly won’t be getting my vote at the election if they go ahead with their apartheid policies. Roger
The Bill and the process is an outrage. Of course there should be a binding referendum. I have written to Bill English to tell him that. I hope everyone else does too. Lisa
Yes, Yes, Yes to a referendum. But nothing will change the bigger issue is the fact that MMP is corrupting all parties. New Zealand is governed by compromise. What hope is there for the future – unless MMP is replaced by First Past the Post.  Andrew
National – or rather Nick Smith – has really lost the plot on this one. It’s hard to fathom how they can possibly justify imposing Maori co-rule onto local government by dictatorial decree. Have they forgotten that we live in a democracy, or don’t they care anymore.  Mike