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Dr Muriel Newman

Nemo Judex in Causa Sua

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There is growing concern about the Government’s plan to give iwi a direct role in local authority decision making, and where this will lead. A radical proposal by the Whangarei District Council to pass its authority to process development plans for Maori land on to iwi, shows only too clearly why this approach is a form of racial privilege that should be opposed – but more on that later.

A matter that should be at the forefront of any discussion about iwi involvement in governance is the issue of ‘conflict of interest’.

A conflict of interest occurs when any decision made by a person in the discharge of official duties, materially affects their financial interests – or those of their family members, or any business with which they are associated – in a manner that is different from the way it affects other members of the public.

In a democracy, preventing the conflict of interest within the public sector is central to maintaining public confidence in the Rule of Law and the administration of justice.

The principle that nothing should create even a suspicion that there has been any improper interference with the course of justice, underpins our legal system. In Latin it is stated as nemo judex in causa sua – ‘no-one should be a judge in his own cause’. Essentially this means that in the interests of natural justice, and to avoid the creation of any possible perception of bias, no-one involved in a judicial decision can have an interest in the case.

In their 2007 report, Managing conflicts of interest: Guidance for public entities, the Auditor General explains that there is a common law requirement for public decision-making to be procedurally fair and without bias. They outline the judicial test for bias: “Is there a real danger of bias on the part of a member of the decision-making body, in the sense that they might unfairly regard with favour (or disfavour) the case of a party to the issue under consideration?”

They stress that under common law, any person who has a fiduciary obligation is not permitted to put themselves in a position where their official role conflicts with their personal interests.

The report outlines the statutory provisions that exist in a number of Acts of Parliament.

The Crown Entities Act 2004 requires that any member of a board, who is “interested in a matter” relating to the entity they are involved with, must not only disclose the details, but must also, “not vote or take part in any discussion or decision of the board or any committee relating to the matter, nor otherwise participate in an activity of the entity that relates to the matter, nor sign related documents”.

The Local Authorities (Members’ Interests) Act 1968 covers those involved in governing city councils, district councils, regional councils, and community boards. It requires that members of a local authority or community board – or the members of the committees of those bodies – “must not vote on, or take part in the discussion of, a matter before the authority in which they have a pecuniary interest (other than an interest in common with the public).”

When such a matter is raised at a meeting, “the member must declare that they have a pecuniary interest in it, and the minutes must record the fact of the disclosure and abstention”.

The Auditor General provides a number of case studies, including a local government scenario, in which they stress that since members of local authorities are required to act judicially, strict standards apply. They explain that when councils are acting in a regulatory capacity, granting resource consent holders a legal right, they needs to follow a fair process and make decisions on lawful grounds that comply with the Resource Management Act 1991, since such decisions could be appealed to the Environment Court or be subject to judicial review by the High Court.

This issue goes to the heart of the question of whether iwi should have a role in local government judicial processes involving the management and control of natural resources in their tribal area. In other words, should they have the power to determine resource consents in areas where they have a direct interest – when the potential for bias is undeniable?

These concerns are what make the Government’s plan to introduce Iwi Participation Agreements into the Resource Management Act (RMA) so unacceptable. These iwi agreements were inserted into the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill at the request of the Maori Party on behalf of Iwi Leaders. They would require councils to establish formal consultation processes with all iwi in their area – to seek approval for all planning matters, policy development and to address “resource management issues of concern to them”. The Bill stipulates that councils must have “particular regard to any advice received” from iwi.

But these Agreements will not only be used by iwi to control councils, they will also provide a mechanism to fast-track their ambition to become resource consenting authorities for fresh water and other natural resources in their tribal areas.

Under the RMA’s section 33 “Transfer of Power” provision, which was designed in the late eighties by the Lange Labour Government’s Environment Minister Geoffrey Palmer, any local authority can transfer resource consenting powers to iwi authorities.

However, by 2005, since these provisions had never been used, the Clark Labour Government introduced Section 36B, giving councils the power to establish ‘joint management agreements’ in order to share resource consenting powers with local iwi. These joint agreements are less onerous and are seen by iwi as a first step towards becoming full Section 33 resource consenting authorities.

To date, the only Joint Management Agreement to be established under Section 36B of the RMA was signed last year between Ngati Porou and the Gisborne District Council, as part of their 2012 Treaty settlement. While the Agreement gives Ngati Porou joint control over fresh water in the Waiapu Catchment, their plan is to become a Section 33 consenting authority over the entire Gisborne region within 5 years, with full powers over all resource consents in the area.

However, transferring judicial powers to vested interests with strong family ties to the groups involved in the ventures that are the subject of resource consent applications, raises insurmountable conflict of interest concerns – especially over the principle that “no one should be a judge in his own cause”.

Central to this problem is the fact that iwi authorities are private bodies, while all of the other groups identified as being suitable recipients of council powers under Section 33 and 36B of the RMA are public bodies such as local authorities, government departments, statutory authorities, joint committees, and local boards.

That’s possibly why there has been such a widespread reluctance to use these powers in the past – the opportunity for corruption is just too overwhelming.

The reality is that if the Government goes ahead and passes control of fresh water to iwi – since it is through these Section 33 and 36B powers that resource consents and allocation permits for water in tribal areas will be determined – these problems will escalate.

To understand just how unfair and biased this could all become, let’s now look at a situation that is developing in Whangarei. While it involves land, the principles are the same.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator former Councillor Frank Newman explains:

“The Whangarei District Council is going to make it easier for some landowners to develop their land. The Papakainga Plan Change (94B) has been released for public consultation. According to the Council, ‘The purpose of PC94B is to provide opportunities for Maori land owners to develop and live on their ancestral land and to develop guidelines and standards for the papakainga development plan process.’

“The plan change is significant because there are 868 parcels of Maori land in the Whangarei district, representing about 5% of the land area – much of it on the coast. There are some very large blocks but many small lots (the median size is 1.56 hectares). Based on current rules housing would most likely be limited to one dwelling per parcel.

“The underlying planning (zoning) rules for the land will not apply to Papakainga land. Housing on Maori freehold land would become a permitted activity. No resource consent would be required and the normal district plan provisions would not apply. Multiple housing units could be built on the land, without any control on the effects.

“Potentially this may have significant effects on landowners adjoining Maori land. Under this arrangement they would have no say at all when it comes to the intensity of housing next door. Conceivably any number of dwellings could be built creating what in effect would be a camping ground on their doorstep.”

But that’s not all. While the “papakainga” concept originally referred to communal housing on ancestral Maori land, the Council is now proposing to broaden it to include not only housing, but commercial and industrial development as well.

This means that in areas rated with the highest amenity values, where the Council has imposed the most stringent of restrictions on general landowners, the owners of Maori ancestral land would not only be able to establish intensive housing developments, but they could also set up commercial and industrial ventures – as of right – without needing to obtain resource consents.

The only requirement on those Maori land owners would be the need to submit a ‘development plan’ outlining their scheme for assessment by the Council.

Since Maori land owners are keen to be able to assess such development plans themselves, the Council has obtained a legal opinion, which has found that the definition of an ‘iwi authority’ for a Section 33 Transfer of Power in the RMA is so broad, that a ‘hapu’ – or family group – may qualify.

Accordingly, if the plan change goes ahead, the Council is recommending that the owners of Maori ancestral land would be able to submit their papakainga development plans to a committee of their own relatives for approval.

This flies in the face of the common law requirement that public decision-making must be procedurally fair and without bias.

As Frank explains, “adjoining landowners may find their amenity values adversely affected but they would be denied any opportunity to be treated as an affected party. Not only would they have no opportunity to have a say on the intensity of housing, but nor would they have any right to object to any commercial or industrial activity for that matter.”

The fact that such a radical proposal has been approved by the Councillors of the Whangarei District Council and put out for public consultation means that any hope that democratically elected members of Local Authorities will protect citizens from the consequences of iwi conflicts of interest and the imposition of racial privilege is wishful thinking.

Submissions on Plan Change 94B close at 4pm on May 31. Anyone can make a submission. Full details can be found HERE.

The reality is that passing judicial powers onto private bodies is dangerous. It contravenes the common law requirement that public decision-making must be seen to be procedurally fair and without bias. It will not only dramatically increase the opportunity for corruption, but it will also encourage the incorporation of more spiritual mumbo jumbo into law making – how many taniwha will need appeasing through cash payments if iwi or hapu are in control of resource consents for fresh water and other developments?

The only sensible way forward for a democratic society that is being governed in the interests of all citizens is to rescind the right for iwi and hapu – or any other private group – to become resource consenting authorities under the RMA Transfer of Powers and Joint Management Plan provisions. That responsibility should be entrusted to public bodies only.


Should all provisions in law that enable iwi to become resource consenting authorities be removed?

Vote x 120

*Poll comments are posted below.


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

Click to view x 120


Like so many other New Zealanders, I have had an absolute guts full of Maori and their never ending demands. Gary
If its not one thing it another. We seem to find ourselves bombarded with race based bias at the moment. It really needs to be stopped once and for all. Trevor
Enough is enough of this nonsense. Kevin
Maori are unable to care for their own people so how can they expect to get anything else right? What happened top democracy? We cannot operate under two different laws! Judith
Without even blinking. These MOARI RACISTS have STOLEN enough already without us pandering further to their AVARICE. Mark
Any legislation based on race should be abolished immediately. MAURICE
Iwi = “I want it”. There’s no way they should get it. Derek
What a spineless bunch the councils have become, and as for National, they will be out of power for a very long time if they go ahead with giving Maori ANY power, it’s bad enough giving this no hopper lot so much of tax payers money. Athol
Of course why would it be a power on one race. Joan
And everything to do with Iwi we are all one people. Clark
What is the matter with these racist councils? This is NOT ‘we are one people.’ TV1 has its own ‘maori affairs’ reporter on the 6pm news – what racists! Monica
What a bizarre idea. Jon
I am completely opposed to Maori Apartheid. David
There should be 1 law for all in the country otherwise we are a divided nation. The National Govt is committing political suicide if it allows this divisive legislation. There must be 1 law for all or else we are not a united nation. Brian
Another example of racial bias in favour of Maori – ridiculous. David
No bloody way. Roll on the next elections. Donald
I can not understand why Government continue to go down the path the path of two Nations, different rights for different cultures. It is destructive to the Nation and is costing the tax payer millions of dollars. There is no end in sight. Maori want a permanent financial money stream and they are getting it through a National Government. It beggers belief. Dene
If colonialism of New Zealand had come 50 years later the Maoris Race would have been illuminated by the Musket Wars and there wouldn’t have been any left for a Treaty. So why are they punishing us now for their saviour, they should be reminded of this. Harley
Maoris never give up do they? They have leaders working full time to find ways to gratify the gimme attitude. If one scheme is knocked back another, approaching from a slightly different point takes its place. We must be on constant guard and keep declining each privilege as it rears its head. Only this way will democracy be maintained. Chris.
Maori were not original settlers, only immigrants of an earlier time and most of their claims for special consideration are false and some are illegal. Rodney
Sick to death of all this ongoing Part-Maori crap. What special qualifications do these people have? Suit them better if they sorted out their own problems, crime, housing, truancy, health etc and joined the 85 percent who live together as “one people”. All special legislation must be removed from our laws. Go Winston, you get my vote for the first time in 50 years. Carolyn
In a democracy this shouldn’t even be an issue – all are equal. Sheila
If democracy in this country is to survive , this sinister process of ad hoc law changes or blatant misinterpretation of laws has to end. But I fear that we have reached a point of no return. The news brought to us by NZCPR — which is sadly the only surviving source of in depth information we have regarding these matters— are frightening.If we had honest democratic leadership in NZ ,we would not have to be confronted with this political mess I refer to my last comment where I pointed out that only radical political change can stop this run away train. But alas– I fear that will never happen as long as NZ citizens are not forced to wake up to the facts. This covert shift of power into the hands of a few is costing the country dearly. Not only in money terms but also in losing our identity as a nation. A new normal has embedded itself deep into the fabric of our society.We have turned into the proverbial frog slowly being boiled to death without realizing what is going on. Michael
Racial based governance, vested interests, self serving, undemocratic… the list goes on. Henry
Obvious conflict of interest makes this a no brainer. The fact that so many maori [our neighbours] do not pay rates or need building consents or permits creates a financial and serious rift in our community. The water fiasco will definitely be the poisoned chalice to bring down the national govt. Are they really that stupid? Murray
It would be the last straw, and the sleeping giant of all non-Maori could awaken, with possibly disastrous results. Doug
More nonsense favouring part-maori. Graeme
All are equal under the law. No special privileges of any kind to any one group of people. Elsie
The thin edge of the wedge will become thicker. It may already be too late to srop the decline from our one-person, one-vote equality before the law society!! Bill
Another deal for Maori further eroding democracy and giving more power to an elite few and another form of race based privilege, Ken
National Party, Wake Up, or find yourselves with no feet. Sandy
I misunderstood the question so I’m changing my vote to NO. Alan
In a democratic country all citizens are supposed to have equal rights. No racial group should be given authority to impose restrictions on other citizens. Ernest
Equal rights please pertaining to the use of anybody’s’ land. What is good for the goose is good also for the gander. Marion
It is racist and undemocratic. Harvey
It’s just creeping apartheid and it’s out of control. There has to be a better way of addressing Maori concerns that is still democratic and sticks to the concept of one law for everyone. The much bigger issue in these situations is the number of people in elected positions who appear to have little idea about democracy and equality. Their inability to think clearly would suggest they are rather thick! Gary
This will end with big rifts between Maori and non-maori. No one in their right mind would agree to this. Peter
One Law for all. Pretty simple really! Albyn
All the same no favouritism. Colin
It is very wrong to give iwi powers that place them above the law to which all other citizens of NZ must comply. This racial advantage will unjustly disadvantage rate payers. Julie
It is beyond my comprehension why this nonsense is so relentlessly pursued. What can the councillors hope to gain? They surely do not all have a trace of maori blood coursing through their veins? Charles
NZ is heading down the road of sepratism and it will be disaster for us all. William
After what appeared to be a fine start, arrogance has set in. It’s time for the traditional response at the next election, throw them out. Peter
The scope for corruption is staggering. One Nation , One people. No special privileges for one race. This would divide this country considerably. Will theft by stealth ever stop. NEVILLE
Totally undemocratic and corrupt outcomes shall arise from such ill-thought-out new laws. Paul
I agree that we “must recind iwi and hapu rights to become sole resource authoritiy ” this must remain [country-wide] with the Public bodies. Elayne
The granting of the right to become resource consenters to any body other than councils sounds suspiciously like a step towards APARTHEID to me! No this must not proceed. Jim
All or nothing. Dianna
One people, one law for all. John
How bloody stupid. David
Absolutely not, we must protect all New Zealand citizens’ rights otherwise we have no full and honest democracy. Audrey
We are after all one people…New Zealanders. Therefore resource consenting authorities should be not be for one race. Raewyn
I am over IWI full stop and to me National are way out of line and I who voted for them will not be voting for that Party next time going on their racial and undemocratic policy. Roger
Your open letter written to Rangitira Key puts it as clear as could be expected. If there is anybody, of any standing, in our community, who has responsibility for these issues, can they not explain it to Tukes. I am a Maori, therefore I am. Pretty bloody simple really. Is this what 1981 was all about? We Maori stood unbending in our resistance to the white racist policies of South Africa along side our pakeha brothers and sisters. Who are these carpet baggers, with the benevolence of Finlayson largesse. They my friends are the modern day Dick Turpins. Thieves and financial highwaymen looking to enrich themselves at the cost of all others. We have a crisis of gigantic proportions regarding housing and its affordability for our own. Maori have no homes, they live in garages and parks. Tukes lives with the King. Why has not Tukes suggested opening up Marae for our homeless brothers and sisters. After all they are part of the settlement for grievances, and suffering caused by the invasion of Aotearoa by pakeha……are they not???? Feeding our people, homeless included, from the bounties of the settlement process. Start with Sanfords, after all they have more fish than they know what to do with, so they deep 6 it. We as people cant do it, because of the limits put on recreational fish catch. Come on Tinker Bell work your magic, bend your knee for all of us. They are working on the old favourite belief that a tax cut next year will do the trick. Waha nui Key should start taking a social interest in this country. English, man can do the rest. Wiremu
Most definitely YES ! To quote Don Brash from ONE TREATY, ONE NATION – “Those who have a greater loyalty to a political party than to their country are no better than traitors.” Don
If National do this, they are proving they are not a democratic government and the Key government will set in concrete their status in history as being responsible for the death of democracy in this nation. Unjust and deceitful law changes have the potential to cause an uprising, with civil wars a terrible possibility. Whangarei Council, get your thinking straight and look ahead. Where will this horrendous plan of yours lead the nation? THINK ABOUT IT, and be prepared to take the blame for what it will produce. Cecelia
All this ‘Two’ Peoples’ Nation has to start to stop, somewhere. Geoff
Definitely removed. These provisions promulgate separatism and racial elitism, increase costs unnecessarily and enable the growing racial tensions in NZ. Julie
Absolutely..Its extremely disturbing the direction our Country is heading. Derek
They should be classified as NZ citizens and have the same rights. IAN
We should not have any raced based laws or grant special powers to any special interest groups. Peter
There must be some independant oversight of development. Doug
All race based provisions or laws should be removed, along with this government. stevo
What a ridiculous situation. One law for New Zealanders & another for Iwi. Peter
They should have just the rights that the rest of New Zealanders have and nothing more. John
NO to separatism. We are one nation and one peoples. Paul
Unelected people must not be given consenting rites over issues that relate to the resources they claim to be their own. Bryan
YES> Very simple. All New Zealanders should have an EQUAL vote otherwise we have racism, which leads to radical racism. I’m becoming very suspicious of John Key’s motives. His pursuit of votes – at any long term cost – seems paramount to him. Beware! Stuart
I feel so sick and angered that we’re letting this happen. As someone wiser than me said ‘democratic apathy leads to a dictatorship’. Carol
Do you have a right to expect to be able to make decisions on property your forefathers sold 150 years ago. I don’t think so! Dennis
Enough already!! Peter
Iwi should not be treated differently to any New Zealand citizen. In this regard they should have to go through the resource consent process and pay all the associated fees. It is ludicrous for other rate payers to foot the bill for IWI exempt (free) resource consents. Roger
Most certainly. No room for any minority to have this authority. Jim
Another attack by maoris trying to get control of resources under the guise of “consulting”. All these attemps should be rejected by councils and central govt. The maoris will contnue in their activities to establish control until the people of NZ, eg, “the majority” are listened to by councils and govt and follow their wishes. Until this is undertaken by the politicians, the maoris will continue their onslaught agaist the majority of NZers. David
With the huge amount being paid out for treaty claims ..land grabs all over the country we are soon going to be peasants in our own country. Wake up NZ. Dianne
Public decisions should only be made by elected public servants. Allan
Never, never !!! Mark
If we do not follow our own laws democracy will be threatened. Andrea
That could be a very backward move. Iwi and hapu should have the same rights as all other New Zealanders – no more no less. Elizabeth
This is and has become so stupid that a little group of people think they can do as they please get real how long do we have to put up with this rot sadly we have a Govt that encourages it. Russell
Any resource consenting authority must be democratically elected and have no racial preferences as to membership. Keith
Where are the politicians with enough confidence to start taking a stand against Maori special privilege? John
NZers are being continually polarised by local & national government going out of their way to empower Maori at the cost of all other NZers. Isabel
Maori have no special rights or Partnership as claimed by rewriters of history. What they do have is tenancy in common as equal citizens in English law more recently muted into New Zealand Law. As such Maori have no legitimate claim to any position of authority as un-elected members in any local authority n or any national authority. Any such is a farce, an illegitimate corruption and any politician who enables such activity is guilty of deception and fraud upon the electorate.. Richard
Separatism has to stop. Mark
Certainly not. One country = One people. Why do we keep listening to this clap trap continually pushed by an already over-compensated sector of our supposedly ‘equal’ society? Robyn
Will New Zealand ever be a democracy again? Selwyn
The situation regarding the arrogance of Maori is getting worse every day. Obviously it is being aided and abetted by stupid Government and local body politicians. The time must just about be here when someone can lead a revolt to stop a nasty racist situation destroying the democracy that we are just hanging onto. Mike
One rule for All New Zealanders, not special rules and priveliges for Maoris. The treaty of Waitangi is Not the founding document of New Zealand. Stop perpetuating this lie. Jonathan
There are very obviously ‘conflicts of interest’ in allowing this type of law change to be passed. In addition, once this is allowed in one instance, it will open the floodgates as every other claimant will be using the same avenue to fast-track his/her demands! John
If iwi get voted onto the council great. If not we do not want persons involved just because of race – this is racism. Ian
Racist. Greg
Another exercise in preposterous ignorance. Otherwise words fail me. Colin
Obviously racist and wrong, John Key I think is a good Prime Minister but his preference for every thing Maori puts me in Winston’s camp for the next elections. Eric
Does this surprise me, no, what’s next in line for Maori to get their hands on. Paul
It just goes on and on, doesn’t it? How stupid are we? How corrupt are our legislators? Let’s get back to one law for all and preserve our democracy. Joyce
All planning should be centrally government lead not by individual groups with personal agendas. JC
Never before in the history of human welfare distribution has so much been done by so many for so few, with such little gratitude on the part of the recipients. Bruce
Once more democracy is being eroded by the governments self serving vote chasing. Diane
This is another way of transferring sovereignty to Maoris, this would give them free gratis to do what they want while at the same time giving them the ability to exercise power over everyone else. No doubt this involves “conflict of interest” and is highly racist, boosting further apartheid in NZ. This all came about because NZers have had their history withheld, they have no idea what their true founding document is and are fed any corruption that suits the interest of politicians. How do I know? The Treaty of Waitangi was ratified by “the borders of New South Wales being extended to encompass all of the islands of New Zealand”, causing Maoris to become immediate British citizens ruled by English law only and English law has no racial rights. The Treaty jargon spoon fed the populace is saturated in lies, Maoris became British citizens within the level playing field of English law only. We were separated from NSW by Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter of 16-11-1840, ratified on 03-05-1841. This is our true founding document that gave us our first constitution, first Government, own Courts to oversee English law only, authorised Hobson’s promotion to be our own Governor and eventually or own flag which is older than Australia’s. This Royal Charter is available from Archives NZ. George
Democracy means no favoritism, no conflict of interests. Unelected Maori representation is undemocratic and smacks of reverse racialism. What is behind it though is global governance. Helen Clarke is right in the thick of it with her husband being a lecturer in social/medical engineering. The UN is intent on usurping all democracies by opening embassies in every country so that our legislation will be null and void. We will be turned into a vassal state under a Marxist global autocracy. Emanuel
Should unelected Maori be given a privilege? David
Nemo judex in causa sua – can’t think of a more blatant case of violation of this principle than the Waitangi Tribunal – little boys let loose in a lolly shop. Mitch
Unless we remove the need to have all these frivolous resource consents. One rule for all. Lachlan
Certainly not. What ever next!!!! Sue
What on earth is going on in this country!!! Simply put, I do not believe council has a mandate from their electorate to propose such a hair brain proposal. Chris
I am tired of people who are more white than brown saying they are tangatawhenuia or indiginous when all they did was arrive in NZ earlier than my ancestors. If National don’t stop the pandering I will definitely vote elsewhere. Peter
No no nannette, as I say again, give them nothing and take them nowhere. James
A public authority must have final say as to the public good or otherwise, of any proposal. Ross
Most certainly. Rob
And neither would any rational person. John
Certainly don’t want iwi to become resource concenters. Support removal of all legal provisions that enable iwi, or any other private organisation, becoming authorities for consenting, or any other “public” decision making. Only elected member of local and central Government are permitted to do so under New Zealand law. Neil
The lunacy continues. Ronmac
One law for ALL !! Andrew
The concept is indeed an abomination. I ponder regularly as to whether the incredible damage to Kiwi/Kiwi relations effected by the sheer grossness of Palmer’s inappropriate lawmaking can ever be undone. Jim
Most of the first world has long abolished race based laws and privileges. It’s about time NZ has done so too. Pavel
But don’t stop at ‘resource consents’, ALL race based proposals should be scraped forthwith. DEMOCRACY seems to be a dirty word these days. Graeme
It was the Brits that developed NZ with other Europeans, but Maori have profited from that. Edward
Ridiculous. Don
More racial claptrap, when will the condescending Govt. stop this discrimination?????? IAN
This is totally undemocratic and yet another step towards an apartheid regime.. It basically is not the Kiwi way of doing things. Allan
Have had a gutsful of the NP giving away our democratic rite to appease Maori If they do push this forward as part of their election platform I, and my family, (their decision) will not give them (the NP) our vote at the next election. Here in the Wairarapa the District Council’s decision to appoint two iwi to the Council looks as though now, after huge public disgust, they (the DC!) will withdraw (annul?) it. I don’t think any of the Councillors who voted for it would be voted back at the next election, including the Mayor Lyn Patterson! Albie
What the hell is the Govt doing, trying to stir up racial war or some other sinister plan.? David
NO BL**DY WAY .. more separatism! Maddi
What next? I am scared to think. Colin
These proposals for Maori to have such favoured status is outrageous. Russell
Definitely! It is time to tear up the “Treaty” and tell all racial groups that we are all New Zealanders. Bryan
I can’t believe that such things are being smuggled through. Not wanting to slag them off but there must be a bunch of spineless councillors with distorted thinking in Whangarei which isn’t unusual as something similar happened in New Plymouth. Why and how do these people get elected ?? Mike
The law should apply to all citizens, no preferences for Maoris or any other group. Gerard
Nepotism and graft are inherent in Maori culture because they have traditionally regarded such practices as being acceptable: it’s a reflection of tribal allegiance. Ours is not yet (and, hopefully, never will be) a country that replaces representative democracy with tribalism. The problem is that the thin end of the wedge has already been inserted into local governance by venal Maori, aided and abetted by naive non-Maori; our government stands by, to watch it happen, because John Key appears to be in thrall to the Maori Party. It’s potentially disastrous. Graham
No priorities given to any group! Mark
Just scrap the act for everybody. Chris
Just what did ‘Key’ & his half-cast mate ‘Sharples’ sign at the U.N. in the indigenous peoples agreement. All of this Council policy nonsense is being directed from central government. Socialist in disguise KEY, mainly behind it all.. Allan
Why should they become resource consenting authorities. Robert
Absolutely. They only want to get as much as they can from the long suffering public by clipping the ticker every time someone wants to do something. Colin
Is this National Party for real with their views of separatism of race in NZ. Apartheid New Zealand is well and growing here in NZ. Mark
Democracy in New Zealand is ebbing fast – haemorrhaging in fact. Sylvia
Is this National Party for real with their views of separatism of race in NZ. Apartheid New Zealand is well and growing here in NZ. Mark
Simple – it is against the law. Monty
Maybe Winston Peters will do a better job? Neville
Where has the one rule for all gone. Cherryl
How on earth can anyone make a comment on this Maori crap without outrage & blood pressue exceeding recommended UN levels. David
This is yet another move towards co-governance. When will New Zealand return to the democratic principal “equal rights for all”. No representative should be in office without a mandate from the electorate. No official should have the right to adjudicate on any matter in which they have a vested pecuniary interest. There are now a number of List MP that I do not care to have represent me particularly when they support such undemocratic laws – How do I lawfully move to rid parliament of them? Michael
All of this Council directive is coming from CENTRAL GOVERNMENT, only Judd has been bought to heel by the residents so far. Painfully slowly, voters are realizing that ‘National’ no longer represents democracy, & so some will swing to ‘NZ First’ after the Winston speech that indicated one law for all. But before you get too excited, could I suggest you read his election manifesto, all 79 pages if need be. The ACT party has the chance to hold the current seat, & gain much more than 5per-cent, if Mr. Seymour came out of the National Party shadows, & promoted their stated policy of interpreting the ‘Treaty of Waitangi’ accurately. The one law for all promoting Conservative Party, are still there, but are yet to elect a leader. And so with the in-built fear of the Looney Left, the voters will re-elect Key & the racial divide will continue at an even greater rate after the next election.. A.G.R.
Equality. Bill
They should never been given in the First Instance. One law for all New Zealander’s is all that is Necessary. Richard
Apartheid, nothing less. Nick
If “iwi” part-maori groups are enabled to become resource consenting groups then radial privilege will really have gone over the top and, brother, look out for corruption. It will be there in almost every case. Rob
I cannot believe that this situation has indeed arisen in this country. It must be challenged and thanks go to Frank Newman for taking this on. With the nature of the Press we now have, the fact that we are all underinformed about this situation is hardly surprising. This serious anomaly needs publicity, and plenty of it. Mabel
There appears no end to this sort of madness! It must stop!! National have served the country extremely badly in relation to most Maori issues! They are metaphorically thumbing their nose at the country as a whole, while allowing Maori special privileges, and payments which keep that brown gravy train running very strongly! Their arrogance is almost unbelievable., Frank
It’s a no brainer. Stuart
And Maori keep telling the rest of us that they do not have special priveleges. What a load of crap. NZ is becoming rapidly a totally racially divided country with 14.9% of the population having authority over the majority.. Rog
We are one. David
We should all work on a level playing field. Peter
Would you give the fox the key to the chicken coup? I think not. Rick
Developers were given the right to sign off their own developments, this lead to passing shoddy work, leaky buildings etc, so answer is NO WAY. Charles
National has long since lost the plot. They employ mixed member prostitution (MMP) to trawl for a few votes. Hugh
What we need to do is remove the disabling and costly regulations that make it so difficult for anyone to develop their land. If its good enough for iwi, it’s good enough for everyone. Dianna
Another racial demand. Lance
Not likely. John
Definitely not. Separatism is being caused by Maori and their quest to dominate all possible resources under their perceived notion, that they were the first race to inhabit NZ, forgetting of course, that they too came by boat to NZ. We have one law for all NZ residents, and it must stay that way. Jenny
With Government after Government not having the guts to bite the bullet and say no to all Maori demands I don’t have much hope for the future. Ido
The time is approaching when Joe Public does something serious to halt race based legislation becoming law. Ray
I believe we are New Zealanders and we should all be treated equal in very respect applying the law to all. Peter
It is not democracy. Douwe
lier than Europeans is irrelevant now. Ted
100% – YES. Bruce
If this happens, we will have 2 authorities for the same purpose, except of course Iwi will gradually obtain precedence over elected councils or government agencies. Ron
Absolutely. Water is a component of the world in which we live. It is free for the use of everyone like the air we breathe. Maori have been repaid many times over for any British indiscressions and it is high time this never ending manipulation of the Treaty’s intent is brought to an end. Peter
This is madness and racially derisive,. There must be one common rule for all New Zealanders! Fraser
Hell no ! What’s next – the other laws of NZ won’t apply to Maori. Do they also want to make us pay for the right to breathe the air ? John
All citizens and all ‘racial’ groups in this country should be regarded as equal in all respects – as one – as New Zealanders and nothing else . Such travesties as highlighted in this week’s commentary simply divide our nation even further – not acceptable in any way ! Hylton
What is going on with this Goverment, I have a feeling that they are becoming Dictators to us all. Geoff
It’s undemocratic. Neil
I am going to vote for 1law4all they are the only party that will get rid of all apartheid laws. Ian
If it goes through it will bite us all on the backside. Adrian
I can’t believe that the Nats remain silent on the water rights deal,although reelection with the support of the Maori party is deemed more important than the creeping influence of Maori in all of the nats deliberations ie the latest Budget!! Tony
That such provision is presently in place and/or proposed is nothing more that a cynical trade-of for the retention of political power. This concept has huge implication for future democratic process Geoffrey
We have elected representatives for this role. Iwi are far too involved with their own cause to be fair and just. Robbie
Who the hell do they think they are? Jim
Why is the government so intent on entrenching APARTHEID in NZ further? Instead they should be dismantling APARTHEID as fast as possible before the rest of the world cottons on to the fact that NZ is emulating the South Africa that was demonised for apartheid of yesteryear. Geoff
Where did democracy go??? Gareth
One Nation. Keith
This is another example of permitting erosion of the essence of democracy. Silence is consent so it is essential that those who oppose this trend need to express their views. The whisper of discontent must be replaced by the power of the written word via the various means available. Barry
Maybe someone should have a look at the councillors assets. Bill
No special deals for Maori. MAURICE
No single group, racially selected , white, brown yellow, green, Pakeha or Maori, whatever, should have special “rights” to dictate how things are to be done. Democracy is doomed if this separatism is enhanced by bad laws. Its bad enough that our central govt has perverted the ‘principles of democracy’, only to have our local authorities hijacked by un-elected racial minorities. Ced
This governments racist approach must be stopped. Barry
Let this lunacy end “RIGHT BLOODY NOW”. TERRY
Sorry , I mistakenly clicked on the wrong vote , of .. No .. that last post is now labeled as a yes ! Roy
Will this never end. Why must some people always want more than everyone else. Rob
Well , here we go again, promoting racism, with the intent of sucking up to maori because its easier to let them have their own way instead of making them comply to the same rules as every one else…further more, when there are many consequential negative issues, that arise from a childish decision such as this, …again , guess who is going to have to pay for the legal, drawn out rigmarole , to remedy the cock ups that most definitely will ensue ..? Roy
Here we go again. One rule for all _Please! Tim
We are all equal under the law and so iwi should have to abide by all the laws that everybody else has to. Graeme
This is out right racist. Lynne
Most definitely. Why do our national and local politicians allow time on this nonsense? Stop procrastinating John Key, and do what you said you were going to do – toss the Maori seats out of parliament, and never mind the “hikois from hell”. Kevan
NO NO NO. Trevor
We are all one people. Just another way for the money hungry Maori Iwi’s to extort more money. Enough is enough. Wayne
Too right. Sue
Keep up the good work NZCPR. Gary
Only elected representatives should make decisions on behalf of the community ! Alexandra
It’s totally racist and undemocratic for there to be any provisions in law that grant one racial group something not available to the rest of us. We should all be New Zealanders. Helen
The definition of apartheid refers to a political system where people are clearly divided based on race, gender, class or other such factors. Seems to fit? James
I thought it was made mandatory to get iwi consents on building works in the Auckland area with respect to sites of significance to Maori yet here it seems that they can do anything. Richard
Any race based legislation attacks the core of democracy, so my answer is a big fat no. Folkert
Stop Maori privilege. It’s obscene and divisive. Kevin
We need to be pulling together as New Zealanders, all with equal rights – not elected – your chance to be heard comes only at election time, same as everyone else. Sue
Enough already! Graham
It’s about time someone took a closer look at some of these Councils and their Agendas,I thought Resource consents etc should be a National issue not Local. Steve
Certainly not! Barry
Definitely!!! Noela
We are getting too close to apartheid. John
This is more reverse raciast palaver that we do not need. Digby
Without question! Andrew
Absolutely not. Lorna
Racism undemocratic. Donal
One rule should be for all – that is the basis of the treaty and this is not what is happening. Roger
I can’t believe its even up for consideration – we are supposed to be one nation – it doesn’t even do Maori any favours – they already play the victim card at every opportunity – time to step up and leave the past behind. Ann
What Key will do to retain power borders on treason! Alan
Absolutely – they should never have been given such powers in the first place. Bryan
Labour was misguided to have ever given iwi judicial powers. Paul
Yes but it should not stop with resource consents – all race-based provisions should be removed from all laws. Mary
It is ridiculous to give private people the power to grant resource consents. The potential for corruption is too great. Chris
The Whangarei Council proposals are outrageous. I will be putting in a submission. How come the Councillors approved these mad ideas. They all need voting out a new lot should be elected who protect locals from racist extremism! Hugh