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Dr Muriel Newman

Race-Based Democracy Opposed

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The recently released referendum results for the five councils that decided to introduce Maori wards against the wishes of their local electors showed, in each case, that the public is opposed to race- based democracy.

In Kaikoura 80 percent of voters opposed Maori wards, in the Western Bay of Plenty 78 percent were opposed, in Manawatu 77 percent, in Palmerston North 69 percent, and in Whakatane 56 percent of voters were opposed.

The over-riding message from these results – and from those of many other similar referenda that have taken place around the country over the years – is that most New Zealanders do not want local government defined by race.

Amongst those campaigning for the establishment of Maori wards are supporters of Maori sovereignty. Through their fraudulent claim of Treaty partnership with the Crown, they are pushing for the tribal co-governance of local authorities. 

Not content with accepting the voice of democracy, these radicals are now attempting to change the law. They want to prevent locals from having the right to call for a referendum to challenge the introduction of Maori wards by removing direct democracy petition rights from the Local Electoral Act.

The activists’ strategy has been to persuade people in influential positions to support their call for a law change.

Astonishingly, they have even managed to convince Local Government New Zealand – the body that represents the country’s 78 local authorities – to back their cause, even though LGNZ could be expected to be a stalwart in defending local democracy, not campaigning against it.

The former Mayor of New Plymouth, Andrew Judd, has become a fanatical advocate for removing direct democracy Maori ward petition rights, to the point where he claims anyone voting against Maori wards is racist.

The Greens co-leader, Marama Davidson, whose Private Member’s Bill to remove these petition rights was defeated in 2017, has made it into a key priority for her Party. Local Government Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, and the Crown-Maori relations Minister Kelvin Davis, have become government cheerleaders for this elitist agenda.

The justification being used by advocates pushing for a law change is that petition rights over the creation of Maori wards are a discriminatory ‘loophole’ in the law, since if a council decides to change ward boundaries or create other new wards, poll provisions do not apply.

LGNZ used this argument in an open letter to the Government back in March, when it called for a law change: “these poll provisions apply only to the establishment of Maori wards. That they do not apply to other wards marks the provision as discriminatory to Maori and inconsistent with the principle of equal treatment enshrined in the Treaty of Waitangi. Either the poll provisions should apply to all wards or they should apply to none. The discriminatory nature of these polls is not acceptable.”

But since their argument does not tell the whole story, let’s set the record straight on petition rights.

An important feature of electoral law in a free democracy like New Zealand is that the voting system is deemed to be of such constitutional significance that it is afforded special protection in law to ensure that changes can only take place with the express approval of voters.

In the case of the Electoral Act, which controls Parliamentary elections, the voting system – along with a number of other provisions such as the term of Parliament and the voting age – is deemed to be a ‘reserved’ provision that is protected under section 268 of the Act. This means it cannot be changed unless a referendum of voters is held, or a 75 percent majority of Parliament agrees:

Clause 268 (2) states, “No reserved provision shall be repealed or amended unless the proposal for the amendment or repeal –

(a) is passed by a majority of 75% of all the members of the House of Representatives; or

(b) has been carried by a majority of the valid votes cast at a poll of the electors of the General and Maori electoral districts.

As constitutional law expert Dr James Allan, a Professor of Law at Queensland University and formerly of Otago University, explains, “there are legitimate and illegitimate ways to attempt to change constitutional arrangements. A binding referendum would be a legitimate process.  Another legitimate process would be for all political parties that are inclined to support this law change to make it a clear, major component of their manifesto before the next election, so that after that next election a ‘cross-party agreement’ had some legitimacy.”

Professor Allan warns, “Let’s be clear.  Barring that, cross-party agreement – however broad – is democratically illegitimate.  Deals stitched-up after elections without changes having been signalled to voters by political parties before the election, on something as fundamental as changing constitutional arrangements, are totally illegitimate.”

When it comes to local body electoral law, the same principles apply. The Local Electoral Act, which determines all aspects of local government elections, includes voting system safeguards in the form of ‘direct democracy’ provisions that give electors the right of veto over proposed changes. Under sections 27 to 34 of the Act, local electors can challenge a council’s decision to change the voting system between First Past the Post (FPP) and Single Transferable Vote (STV) through a district-wide referendum – if they gain the support of 5 percent of voters in a petition. The result is binding on the council for the next two elections.

Accordingly, in 2002, after Helen Clark’s Labour Government pushed through a law change to establish Maori wards on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, the Local Electoral Act was amended to enable other councils to create Maori wards.

However, since the introduction of Maori wards not only alters the overall makeup of a council by removing an equivalent number of general wards, it also replaces the existing voting system with a new one based on race. As a result, direct democracy safeguards to mirror those already used for changes to the voting system were included in sections 19ZA to 19ZG of the Act. 

Essentially Labour’s direct democracy petition rights therefore apply whenever changes to the local government voting system are proposed: firstly, as a result of council decisions to switch between FPP voting and STV, and secondly, through council decisions to introduce Maori wards and a new voting system based on the Maori Electoral Roll and the General Roll.

In comparison, if a council decides to change ward boundaries, split or amalgamate wards, or remove wards entirely and have councillors elected ‘at large’, the voting system would not be changed, so petition rights would not apply.

The argument being pushed by Local Government New Zealand and other advocates is that introducing Maori wards is no different from introducing other wards, so the direct democracy petition rights amount to racial discrimination. But this is clearly not the case.

The fact that LGNZ is promoting false information raises many questions. Are the President and the National Council of LGNZ so lacking in their understanding of the democratic protections provided for in sections 19ZA to 19ZG of the Local Electoral Act that they sincerely believe their own press statements? Or are they pursuing their own agendas? 

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator freelance journalist Michael Coote believes they are pushing a separatist agenda by “advocating law changes to deprive New Zealanders of an existing legal right in order to facilitate an increase of separate race-based Maori representation in local government”. He explains:

“An American adage goes ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ This is not the policy of LGNZ with respect to the Local Electoral Act’s sections 19ZA to 19ZG that it wants abolished.  Incensed at the five Local Electoral Act binding polls initiated earlier this year over previous elected council decisions to establish Maori wards, LGNZ has gone on the warpath against direct local democracy in petitioning central government to destroy the right of local electors to have their say.  In its now infamous open letter to the political party leaders of the Ardern coalition government dated 22 March 2018, LGNZ petitioned for elimination of Local Electoral Act binding polls so that elected officials of its member territorial authorities and regional councils could act in splendid isolation when instituting race-based representation in their elective structures, without check or hindrance from their communities. 

“This self-arrogated Maori separatist advocacy by LGNZ is an outright contempt on local electors and a plot to purge direct democracy from local government. Moreover it betrays an ambush sprung on LGNZ’s 78 local government members, who were not informed in advance of the open letter being sent to the government… In other words, LGNZ acted off its own bat out of a fit of pique over the five Local Electoral Act binding polls that it disagreed with, and off it went to wipe out direct local democracy in New Zealand in service of the cause of Maori supremacism.”

It is an appalling state of affairs when the body that speaks for the democratic organisations that represent us, is undermining democracy by not only wanting to remove the fundamental right of voters to binding polls, but by also advocating a tapestry of lies.

Fortunately the majority of the public haven’t as yet been persuaded by their misrepresentations. But that is not the case with the media, who, with few exceptions, seem to have been convinced by their propaganda that petition rights for Maori seats are discriminatory. No-one in the media appears to be challenging that assertion.

The absence of informed media commentary makes it even more important that we, the public, do all we can to expose the deceptions and defend our democratic rights in the strongest possible way.

As we all know, the transition from democracy to dictatorship is incremental. Changes can be slipped through in such a way that the public is not really aware of what’s going on until one day we wake up and realise that democracy as we knew it has been compromised and our rights taken away.

We are already a long way down that incremental path. Elite tribal supremacists want control. While they are as yet in a minority, their supporters are powerful and their indoctrination has been spread widely throughout society, including into schools. Action is needed if our democratic rights are to be successfully defended.

With the abolition of direct democracy petition rights on the agenda for the Local Government New Zealand Conference in mid-July, it’s important that as many local body councillors as possible become aware that a tapestry of lies is being used to dupe people into supporting the Maori supremacy agenda. 

That means a grassroots campaign is needed, consisting of not only writing to councillors individually, but to mayors, MPs, LGNZ, newspaper editors, radio hosts, social media networks, and others in influential positions, to outline the misrepresentations that activists are using to drive this attack on our democratic rights.

In particular it needs to be pointed out that important safeguards exist within our democratic arrangements to protect our voting system, by ensuring that changes can only occur with the express approval of voters.

The direct democracy petition rights in the Local Electoral Act, that allow 5 percent of voters to call for a referendum to challenge council decisions, are an important safeguard for our voting system. These petition rights can only be triggered when councils decide to switch between FPP and STV voting, or when they decide to establish Maori wards and replace the existing voting system with a new one based on race. 

The direct democracy right of local electors to support or oppose council decisions to introduce Maori wards is therefore not an issue of race, or discrimination, but one of democracy. Petition rights are there to ensure that there can be no changes to our local body voting system, without public approval. This is a crucial legal safeguard that is designed to protect the fundamental democratic rights of New Zealanders. It should be strongly defended, not undermined.  


Should the direct democracy petition rights in the Local Electoral Act be retained?

*Poll comments are posted below.


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


Click to view x 120


“All it takes for anarchy to prevail is for good men to do nothing.” We must all do our bit to defend our hard earned democracy. Don’t fiddle around, get stuck in!! Peter
Yes certainly we are not a communist country yet. Democracy must be retained, councils need to remember who pays their over inflated salaries Wendy
Once again Maori are trying to take over and blind us with falsehoods. Will it ever end? It seems those we think we can trust are not to be trusted. Fraser
What after 178 years of wrangling over the interpretation and alterations to Maori words, a monopoly of weak knead politicians the country can`t come to their senses . So lets cut out all this crap go for home rule for each Island ,or back to provincial representation or the South Island tell the Governor of NSW that we demand to be taken back under his stewardship and be rid of the Treaty of disaster. Robert
New Zealanders are being forced daily to defend Democracy. MSM are complicit in their silence; Too weak and gullible to speak up. It will take more than polls to push back these radical racist separatist. Weak governments are fueling a deeper social unrest throughout NZ. Sam
We need to be ONE Nation NOT two Races. Geoff
Absolutely. This is bollocks. Robert
One country one people . We cant be dividing our people by starting this in the 21century Pavithra
We do not want a Race based democracy in New Zealand. We are all New Zealanders Ross
Of coarse all new Zealanders regardless of race. Clark
Abolish the Green party, Dave Cull’s LGNZ and Maori parliamentary seats. Monica
Any form of racial :polling, voting,… is nothing else than racism in a developed form! Dawid
That is the guarantee for Freedom for all in NZ. The moment any governmental legislation becomes raced, income, ….. based; fREEDOM of NZ citizens are gone! Anna
NZ is now a racist country giving ever increasing Maori Rights over other New Zealanders. Maori wards is another example. Chinese people here out number Maori, should we give them their own Wards too, No! No! No! Laurent
No doubt about it. Don
You have written an en excellent article Muriel! Bruce
I’m totally against race based governance which flies in the face unbiased democratic principles IMO. Paul
Let’s retain a little of our democracy Bryan
Yes of course, what in gods name are these greenies and their brownie bed mates trying to do?,political intercourse of this nature can only produce more bad blood. James
Those part-Maoris expect special privilege and if they don’t get them they regard it as discrimination. They are using a perverted interpretation of discrimination. It is only discrimination if they get fewer rights than everyone else. If they were children we would regard them as spoilt brats, but when adults use the same tactic then it shows that they have not yet emerged from the stone age mentality. Donald
There is no ” partnership ” or co governance in the Treaty. Queen Victoria assumed governance and sovereignty in exchange for protection of Maori. Thomas
Yes – without these rights, any ability that electors may have, to exert control and overturn flawed decisions by their local councils, would be forever lost. The sooner all reference to race, colour, or creed is removed from our Laws and Statutes, by Act of Parliament, the better! Scott
It seems to me that all the people who have replied to the poll are all on the same page, so what needs to happen is that these comments should be published in all media so that the people that do not read this column will be more aware of what is happening to them behind the scenes, we need more publicity! William
My forefathers fought for it – and I will too !!! John
YES! Where are you National? Adopt Hobson’s Pledge. Then see what NZF do. Doug
As I have already consistently emphasised in this forum, if democracy is the dictatorship of the majority, then political correctness is the dictatorship of the minority. Political correctness is directly opposed to, and wants to do away with, democracy and that suits the activists just fine, as they have never been pro-democracy they are selfish, one-issue fascists. The problem with political correctness is that it is actually a religion, rather than a political movement. Political correctness today is as dangerous as the Nazi party was in 1930’s Germany, but do kiwis see this? No, they don’t. Getting complacent kiwis to stand up against the shrill condemnations of political correctness is difficult, and like Dr Newman says, these separatist initiatives are done in secret. When will people wake up? Looks like they never will. Bye bye New Zealand! Bob
LGNZ. Straight out attack on our democracy and also an utterly Racist proposal. Richard
Democracy is not just a word to be bantered around as a convenience. It is an effort that countless people have died for protecting the right of its existence. Gary
ALL races, including maori can get off their butts and stand for local (and Central) government. ALL citizens can make themselves available – now RICHard
The message is clear. Don’t meddle with the current system. Several have tried and failed. If similar petitions were held in all local governments the result would be the same. I am not interested in ” those who know better” telling us what to do. LCNZ are acting outside their authority Mike
I have no problem with Advisors on tikanga M%u0101ori on local councils, but it is quite a different matter to give votes to unelected persons. Huria
Absolutely! JC
Yes so the ordinary citizen can have a say if the local council makes a bad decision. Eric
It’s hard to believe how far the deception has gone! Alan
The tyranny of the majority does need to be moderated somehow for minority groups, but not by favouring one particular minority group or by continuing the fraudulent notion of that group’s partnership in government. Hans
Once again the separatist Maori are trying to get their lot on to councils without getting elected by winning a seat in an election. These radical sods should be told once and for all that the can go to hell. Colin
Yes of course. It’s a travesty of justice that we are even having this right challenged by LGNZ. 78% in Western Bay. 80% in Kaikoura. Local body politicians who ignore these sorts of results do so at their own peril. Rex
Must avoid excessive Maori racist influence on Councils., Laurie
More lefty loonesy. Richard
One country and one people Jeff
Making a change, against the clear majority wishes of the public, is as undemocratic as you can get! Hugh
Do not change anything Gerard
Will/can this really happen, it should be on TV every night so the public knows what is going on Simon
We are surely going away from being a democracy so anything that prevents that must be good. Alan
Yes. Certainly while these divisive, separatist & usually underhand attempts by the maoris to gain their un-constituional aims! Frank
There is no room for race based politics in NewZealand. Peter
What is the matter with a News people who will not take this up. Geoff
What inducements have been made to LGNZ that they have made such preposterous statements without reference to those whom they represent? How can we rid ourselves of such low life? I am appalled. Peter
Obviously current councillors who ignore the majority will not be re-ellected, please tell me this is so!!! Frank
All our forefathers were imigrants to New Zealand therefore we all have the same equal rights. The majority must rule. Race has nothing to do with it. Dennis
As citizens of this country, we must defend democracy. People like Judd are misguided and seem to lack the basic understanding of democracy. He didn’t get his way in New Plymouth, so is now trying another approach through Central Government. Gifford
I think the Local Government Act needs to be changed to eliminate any race based wards Murray
New Zealand Teletext 20-04-10 Labour Government refused to sign saying it (UNDRIP, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) was incompatible with New Zealand’s constitution, legal framework and the Treaty of Waitangi. If this was Labour’s stance in 2010, will this be confirmed by Labour’s present Government in order to stem the build-up of “apartheid” in New Zealand? George
Most certainly our direct democracy rights must be retained and used a lot more often. There seems to be so much nonsense pedaled by hopelessly unqualified “experts” that I find I am in a constant state of anxiety. The removal of direct democracy rights would be one more reason for anxiety about our future. Dianna
L.G.N.Z should honour the existing legal standing and, also work within the law as it stands. Barry
No Brainer. It is democracy 101. Gary
As many replies show this budget is a pre runner to securing power at the next election. This Labour /Green knows that its only chance is to give out monies willy nilly. Like most Euro countries they are well into the Climate Change hysteria, and with the Bovine disease it is an excellent chance for the Greens to secure what they have been after namely:- %u201CA reduction of 50% of the Dairy Herd%u201D. This will be followed by a similar attack upon beef and sheep farmers; this disease is a gift to the Green movement which they will take full advantage of. There is little sense trying to tell them of the huge reduction of our main exports and the loss of markets to other countries. They know full well that a policy of de-stabilisation will reduce our present standard of living. With a Labour Party which has never changed its policy over the years a crash will bring in the destructive influences of Socialistic Communism similar to those in 1917, which saw in a Communistic government in Russia. The same characteristics which ended the Roman Empire are present now in force, and a massive threat to Western Civilisation. Uncontrolled immigration, social unrest, financial overspending, and a lack of thrift. These pose an end to Western democracy within two decades unless we fight back.  Brian
Yes, and for ever. Athol
Race-based Maori representation in local government is discriminatory and totally unacceptable. There’s an old saying, ‘Cunning as a Maori dog.’ Enough said! Robert
LGHNZ members must be told in no uncertain terms to stop meddling with democracy and retain the rights of ALL voters to have their say. Councils will stand or fall on this issue and so will LGNZ Graeme
Appalled at these underhand racist tactics Robert
OMG YES!!!! Maddi
No to Maori demands Max
Not simply retained, but increased! James
We have to hang on to every bit of democracy we have left, the racists are slowly chipping away until there’s nothing left and we’ll all be slaves to the maori dictatorship. Stevo
Most certainly Jim
Race-based democracy is certainly NOT democracy. Our news media has failed to report or comment on this but clearly the ordinary citizens in at least five local body areas have not been taken in. Bravo! If the racist supremacists succeed in this please count me in, at the age of 85, to help man the barricades. Rob
No more rights taken by stealth Barry
We have lost to many rights now as it is do we want one law for us and one law for them ? or one law for all ? Bruce
Congratulations to Micheal Coote on his article. The public at large are strongly opposed to race based seats. Maori are free to stand for seats and get elected on their merits. Clinton
No racist polices needed in nz Nevkathy
Why don’t they leave thing alone. If we can make it better lets do it. Our democracy is going out the door fast in this country. men and women were in two world wars for the right of democracy. Just to much Maori bull shit these days. Robert
Do not expect integrity or openness from the LGNZ under its present leader. Look what he is imposing upon the ratepayers of his own city under the guise of ‘progress’ for indications of his hidden agenda. How he could become elected to any office is one of life’s great mysteries. TOBY
The retention of these rights is fundamental to our retention of egalitarian, non-racist democracy. The utterances of the leaders of LGNZ leave one with no alternative to the conclusion that they are either remarkably stupid or morally corrupt. The latter is more likely, as these people have so brazenly tried to mislead the public through their lies and deliberate dissemination of disinformation. This country is facing a dire threat: institutional racism. To make that worse, its advocates try to portray themselves as the enlightened guardians of the so-called ‘Treaty Partnership’. As James Allen has explained in “Decline of Democracy. Steps in the wrong direction”, this idea of a partnership is a fraud, inflicted on the people of New Zealand by the politically motivated judiciary. The trouble is that all too many of the public are susceptible to the separatist propaganda which peddles this dangerous nonsense. Oh, for a government that would have the mettle to challenge this sedition, head-on! Graham
No question about it !!! Monty
Of course. Without that it would be open slather on anything the local maori be they one or 100 strong, wanted they could get as a minority. Murray
The only way to control out of control RACIST, IGNORANT OF DEMOCRACY, Local Governments, is to have well organised, citizens organisations, who refuse to pay the ‘rates’, demanded by the councils.. OR, we should all register on the maori roll, & consequently make all votes count equally. It must be remembered that the divided society agenda was instigated by the last ‘government’, with the signing of the UN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AGGREEMENT, & the current NWO puppets, can be guaranteed to make things much worse… A.G.R.
Heaven forbid that New Zealand develops a race based form of democracy. Alan
Yes, yes, and yes again David
We must protect democracy at all costs Bryan
Of course Norm
One must have majority rule in a situation like this John
Absolutely essential that this Right be retained. It is the only protection against the installation of Apartheid policies. We all supported the anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa, now we have to fight the battle again in our own Country. I am disgusted with the protagonists of Maori Wards, and their treasonable demands. MervB
Do Council members and MP’s know anything about democracy and the laws to protect it? Selwyn
Absolutely they should be retained. They are one of our few democratic rights left to us. Brenda
New Zealand democracy is under siege by racist elite elements. It must be defended. Frank
It,s time EVERYONE send an email to COUNCIL & M.P.s & GOVT & National to make it VERY CLEAR RACE BASED POLICIES are NOT DEMOCRATIC Cindy
Absolutely – Albert
It really beggars belief that there are those who are still trying to undermine our democracy. Surely after all this time we can now proceed as one and stop anything that is race-based. Leave race right out of everything. We are New Zealanders. Helen
If it changes without a constitutional vote then we are being driven down a road to communism and tribal takeover. If we do not watch out New Zealand will become another Rhodesia or Sth Africa. Wayne
yes yes yes David
Absolutely David
If this provision is abolished, it is another step away from racial equality. There should be no racial discrimination in any voting, either government or local body. Andrew
It’s time Auckland Council had a poll to review whether the undemocratically maori appointees have ratepayers support. Dave
Absolutely. It is getting out of hand this “Maori” agenda. Graeme
The slide down the slippery racial slope to apartheid must be halted! Colin
As a country we vehemently voiced our opposition to apartheid in South Africa. Now ‘apartheid in reverse’ is creeping insidiously into this country. It should be stopped in its tracks! Sandy
Absolutely. What is so concerning is the lack of news media coverage informing the public of the facts and motifs of some of our politicians and others. Do we have censorship in this country??  Chris
Most Definitively Richard
Absolutely! There is no need for enforcement of Maori wards against the wishes of the people. Democracy must be retained. Graham
Yes. Let’s not descend in to apartheid! Mark
The real reasons for the Treaty of Waitangi need to be explored better – and they do not relate to 2018 Gerry
We are supposed to be a Democracy , aren’t we ?? Will somebody please inform Phill Goff – Thanks Pierre
Unless this is enforced racism will be rampant Dave
I dont understand how our Councils continue to mis represent the people. I am very against anything Maori with regards to Local Govt or Central Govt as I would as I know most Kiwis want is us all to be of one and to stop stirring up rasist comments if any of of suggest this. Barbara
Absolutely! Democracy has already been severely compromised and we must do all possible to ensure it is not eroded any further. Gail
Democracy in NZ has been eroded too much already. Bob
Democracy needs to be protected. Ian
The constitutional safeguards set in place already appear to ensure that our referential rights cannot be taken from us – despite the efforts of the fascists, racists, separationists and the supine, guilt-ridden pollies & media! Paul
Definitely!!. Why is the media not highlighting matters such as this and the many other moves to give maori advantages though race-based policies. Tony
No to racist politics John
Absolutely. They wont be happy until they end up with the same situation in PNG., almost a dictatorship run by the strongest tribe and totally corrupt. John
Why is this APARTHEID being tolerated in NZ? Are the sheeple all asleep? Geoff
You talk far more sense than the misguided ideologues who founded and early led your party. Anon
How do we prevent a change from happening is my question. There appears to me that there is nobody in local and national government listening to the will of the majority of the population. Minority is ruling Andrew
One Nation, One Law. The proposal to introduce Maori seats on local bodies is the total opposite of what should be happening which is the abolition of the Maori seats in Parliament. Where are all the people who protested against apartheid in South Africa now when apartheid is alive and well in New Zealand? Dumb bastards are probably supporting it because they’re too blind or too stupid to see it for what it is. Kerry
The continued attack on democracy by those wanting hereditary feudal governance is a massive attack on our children’s future Ken
Because I disagree with the move to make changes to Maori representation does not make me racist! It is a weak argument. Brian
Of course they should – Democrates would spin in his grave if he knew what was being said in his name today. There is nothing more equal than one eligible person one vote, together with the ability to influence contentious decisions of government at whatever level by referenda. This Electoral Act proposition is designed solely to privilege one minority group in society – this is not Democracy. Andrew
at all costs Wayne
I think that it is time that someone pointed out that while some people have 100% Maori privilege, most of them are probably not even 20% Maori. Does that mean that they are only entitled to 20% privilege? Charlie
LGNZ, arrogantly/shamefully have attempted through the back door a kneecap campaign to undermine the democratic right of the overwhelming majority of NZ Local authorities, to support the status quo of conducting a Poll as prescribed under the Sections of the Act. Make no mistake Dave Cull and his LGNZ Exec cronies need to be exposed and pilloried for their actions. Just imagine the Media /public reaction to the reverse– if non maori represented 15% of the Electorate and demanded special Wards based on their alleged superior LIneages exclusive of Maori bloodlines. How do you think that would be welcomed. ?? My Local Dist Council have as required by the Act considered this issue and continue to not pursue Special Ward/s for Maori, as neither the Electorate and our Maori friends themselves show any interest in the idea. Scratch the surface of non radical Maori tribalism/activism, where surprise surprise we see ourselves equal as ordinary NZers. Jack
Of course it MUST, otherwise we become like South Africa or any other of the racist, biased non sovereign tribal-only, nations of the world Ian
There is a subtle strong push in Western society to break down present democratic society into a socialist/communist – every one must be equal; ‘as is my right’ I am entitled to everything you have – and ‘I don’t expect to have to work for it’! Hoped for Maori wards is blatantly racist with recent registered numbers on the Maori roll falling. Stuart
Either one believes in democracy or not – your freedom eventually relies upon true democracy Rob
We are all equal in the sight of god and man but ou Maori friends want to be “more equal than others” Bruce
Silly question, this is a democracy – I think Terry
Why should a portion of the Maori population declare they should have preference? Whats happening to our wonderful Country as it becomes more it belongs to US not YOU Marylin
A no-brainer Dave
Stop race based politics and ensure voters have the right to demand race based policies be denied Kevin
Our rights are being eroded constantly by elite Maori and sympathisers John
The sneaky buggers are slowly inserting their agenda Colin
Down with Racism Frank
What democracy. It would seem that’s almost gone already. Also, isn’t our news service supposed to provide perspective not champion one view. Graeme
When are the politicians ever going to realise a seperist policy for.maori is about.as racist as it gets. It is also.appaling that LGNZ have undertaken this action without loca consultation with New Zealand’s ratepayers. Who gives them mandate for that? Nev
On another matter.LGNZ say moving fromhigh social cohesion to low social cohesion “is as bad as taking up smoking. They blame inequality. As we know diversity is the inverse of social cohesion – but diversity is the bees knees. John
Is this issue another result of the influence of UN’s agenda? Elizabeth
It’s called democracy Greg
We do not need want council members To support compulsory maori seats on council boards it is not democratic Ian
It’s called DEMOCRACY Greg
Sick and tired of this eurotrash agenda Chris
We are already a long way down the path away from Democracy to Oligarchy, where one small group rules the rest. Joyce
New Zealand is being pushed by radical Maori to the point Maori will decide what will be law under their rules, Maori first the rest of New Zealanders last. Peter
All weak National policy of Findlayson caving to greedy corrupt Maori demands behind closed doors. Michael
Absolutely. Donald
Once again outright piracy by stealth. Robyn
Why are unelected Local Government employees allowed to use their employment positions to influence democratic policy? Councillors need to grow a spine and put these people in their place. Rex
It would be a travesty of justice if these rights were abolished . I believe it i s a democratic right of citizens to have some control over the Local Government bodies to have a right to impose their minority numbers to force the majority to accept without question all their decisions.Most councils would consist of between 10 and 15 people. William
Absolutely they should be retained. John
If we have wards based on race, what about the Asian, European, and Pacific Islands voters having their own Wards? Is that where LGNZ and the media are heading? John
Ratepayers have not considered, or been informed, that there is a relatively significant cost for separate Maori representation, especially as they are, in a number of councils, already paying for existing separate Iwi committees. LGNZ do not appear to be advising ratepayers of this additional cost, particularly in light of some of the high rate increases, noting that the publicised rate increases do not include UAGC, targeted rates, etc. John
Most certainly, and it is a real shame we could not have ability to petition for binding referendum when parliament attempts to violate citizen’s democratic rights. Who is going to expose to the nation at large, the fraud that is being perpetrated about co-governance being part of the Treaty of Waitangi? Who is going to accost the Co-Leader of the Green Party who stands up in public and supports the righteousness of such a claim? When is my Country going to DEMAND equality in all things and preference based on race removed from all statutes and regulations. I accept that the Maori may have been among the earliest settlers of New Zealand, but they were never a nation They came part of a nation when they agreed to accept the rights and protection afforded by the Crown. Michael
We are still a Democracy after all Laurel
It is sad that a people who have been given so much to so few at the expense of the majority still want more. Those are the progressive liberals, tribal by nature and hungry for power and control. A victim mentality who are breading a generation who believe they are owed everything. Pakeha
Of course they should be retained. We need to stop this undemocratic and illegal move to remove our rights to a democratic process. I will not allow it to happen! Neil
interesting Leigh
Apartheid should have stayed in Africa Leigh
The democratic right of ratepayers, councillor and council staff employers, to have the ultimate decision making role in local government must be preserved. Alan
Race based legislation is apartheid. Remember the 1980s and the Springbok tour – do we want to go down that track yet again? Kevin
Democracy must be protected at all cost Willy
It is immoral to base political rights on race. Don
Democracy is the heart of our country. Andrew
No brainer if you want democracy retained in New Zealand, but I fear we are losing traction as we are gradually losing our democratic rights. Audrey
Again, two “peoples”, yet there are so many other cultures now living here. And even before that, who says that one “people” is more important. Hey, love your culture, ok? Just remember that I was born here too. Andy
Absolutely David
Direct democracy needs to be retained and expanded.   Murray
It is appalling that so many racist groups are trying to undermine our democratic rights. Walter
Excellent article by Michael Coote. NZ needs more direct democracy, not less. Robert
The public has spoken – they don’t want race-based seats. The sooner councils and LGNZ realises that, the better it will be for everyone! Rosalind
LGNZ are pursuing their own dangerous agenda to support Maori sovereignty. They can’t be trusted. They should be disbanded.   Michael