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Dr Muriel Newman

Standing Up for Democracy

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Democracy, which means “rule by the people”, has Greek origins. It arose in response to the abuse of power by rulers. In essence there are four key elements to a well-functioning democracy – free and fair elections, the active participation of citizens in political and civic life, the protection of human rights, and a commitment to the rule of law – to ensure that all citizens are treated equally.

The principle of putting citizens at the core of the decision-making process was best expressed by US President Abraham Lincoln during his famous Gettysburg Address in 1863, when he described democracy as “Government of the people, by the people, for the people”.

So how well does New Zealand perform on the democratic governance scale?

According to Local Government New Zealand, local authorities do not have enough power. They say that by international standards, New Zealand has one of the most centralised forms of government in the world. They point out that in other OECD countries local government runs the health services and the Police, typically accounting for the majority of public investment and controlling around a third of all public spending.

Local authorities in New Zealand are predominantly governed by the Local Government Act 2002, the Resource Management Act 1991 and the Local Electoral Act 2001. However, Local Government New Zealand would also like their role enshrined in the Constitution Act to give local government an ‘official’ place in New Zealand’s constitutional affairs.

Local Government New Zealand argues that there is a growing trend around the world for more “localism” in a nation’s governance arrangements. They say that devolving central government power to localised decision-making is the latest trend in good governance.

Labour Party MP and former leader Phil Goff agrees. Now that he’s standing for the Mayor of Auckland, he is calling for more central Government authority to be devolved to local government: “Not immediately, but I think a case could arise for more authority and funding to be devolved from central to local government.”

While at first glance some might say there is merit in the suggestion, it’s important to look at the wider issue and ask whether local government is competent – and capable of taking on more responsibility.

In a Colmar-Brunton poll published last year by Local Government New Zealand, 3,000 members of the public and businesses assessed local government to be incompetent, rating them so poorly on the three core measures of performance, local leadership, and communications, that the sector achieved a score of only 29 out of 100.

While business concerns centred on the need to improve building and resource consent processes, the general public were more concerned with whether local government could be trusted to make good spending decisions and provide good value for rate-payer dollars.

However, nothing demonstrates the folly of the concept of giving local government more authority than the actions of the growing number of councils around the country, which are using their powers to undermine democracy itself.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, Wairarapa-based freelance journalist Karl du Fresne, explains:

“You probably thought, like me, that democracy works because it gives us the right to choose our representatives and to get rid of them if they don’t measure up. But Masterton District Council has decided that’s flawed, or at least not appropriate for Masterton. The council wants to improve democracy by appointing iwi representatives with voting rights to two of its standing committees.

“Yes, you read that correctly. They would be appointed, not elected. But like elected councillors they would have the right to vote on matters affecting the rest of us.”

Karl says that what the Council is imposing on their community is not democracy. He reminds us that democracy is a “package deal” and that those who believe they are improving the system are actually subverting it and doing New Zealanders a grave disservice: “This is how democracy gets undermined – by inches and by degrees. Ultimately someone might decide that voting is a clumsy and inconvenient process and that democracy would be much more efficient if we got rid of it altogether. It’s happened in plenty of other places.”

The actions of Mayor Lyn Patterson, and Councillors Mark Harris, Graham McClymont, David Holmes, Chris Peterson, Jonathan Hooker and Doug Bracewell, in appointing two iwi representatives with voting rights onto Masterton District Council committees – just ahead of October’s local body elections – is a clear attack on democracy.

Without any consultation with electors, they have not only diluted democratic representation in their community, but they have allowed local government to be captured by influential race-based interests.

The two iwi, Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Rangitane o Wairarapa, which are beneficiaries of substantial treaty settlements worth $93 million and $32 million respectively, have been lobbying for preferential Council seats for years. By creating an unelected and totally unaccountable governing elite, the council is now exposed to the potential for corruption, whenever iwi representatives swing council votes in their own favour.

The reality is that to remain viable, democracies must ensure that the “will of the people” is maintained as the basic authority of government. Winning elections does not give councillors dictatorial powers. They are still accountable to their communities – and if proposals are put to them that undermine fundamental democratic principles, then they have a responsibility to put the issues to a referendum of electors so that the will of the people can prevail.

Those councillors who support iwi being appointed onto councils with voting rights will often claim that they are simply following the law. But that is not correct.

While the Local Government Act requires councils to “provide opportunities for Maori to contribute to the decision-making processes of the local authority” and to consider ways of fostering the development of Maori “capacity”, it also states very clearly that councils must prioritise the good of the whole community. That’s why most councils have established Maori liaison committees and advisory boards – the law does not require them to do any more than that.

With iwi around the country increasingly lobbying for seats on councils – to avoid having to answer to the population at large through “free and fair elections” – the way forward is not to give local government more power, as proposed by Local Government New Zealand, but to impose greater restrictions.

In particular, the Local Electoral Act should be amended to remove the loophole that the Masterton Mayor exploited when she and her supporters appointed iwi onto the Council. In other words, the safeguard that exists for Maori ward proposals should apply to iwi appointments as well, since the effects are essentially the same. That would have allowed Masterton locals to challenge the decision through a binding poll – if supported by 5 percent of registered voters.

Whenever they have been asked, communities have overwhelmingly indicated that they do not want local democracy defined by race. Residents and ratepayers in the Waikato, Nelson, Wairoa, Hauraki, the Far North, and New Plymouth, have all voted against Maori wards for their District Councils with an average 70/30 split.

To remain successful as an institution, democracy must be protected, not only from those who lack the wisdom to recognise the importance of upholding its fundamental principles, but also from those who lack the foresight to see the risk in undermining what generations, since the early Greeks, have recognised as important.

So what happens next?

While the Maori Party is pushing hard for iwi to be represented on all councils, the Minister of Local Government Sam Lotu-Iiga appears to be fence-sitting. He believes that Maori should be involved in local councils, but says he’s satisfied with the current legislation: “We do have two councils which have Maori wards. I think there’s a petition before Parliament where the select committee will consider it. I’m taking advice on the issue and I want to hear from all New Zealanders on this very important issue.”

The petition he mentioned is that of the Mayor of New Plymouth Andrew Judd, who is working with the Maori Party to impose Maori wards on all Councils. This is presumably the first step towards his ultimate goal of requiring that half of all local authority councillors are Maori.

In calling for the House of Representatives to “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”, Andrew Judd’s petition is extremely dangerous .

What he is trying to do is undermine democracy by removing the public’s right to call a referendum if their council votes for Maori wards.

Such a referendum was, of course, held in New Plymouth when 83 percent of locals rejected Mayor Judd’s proposal for a Maori Ward. But rather than accept that local democracy is about letting people have their say, and respecting their views, he called his constituents ‘racists’ and is now trying to change the law.

In fact, rather than eliminating the referendum safeguard, an argument could be made to extend it to cover any ward changes, so that whenever councils try to make ‘adjustments’ to their democratic arrangements that locals consider unreasonable, then they too would have the right to call a referendum so voters can decide the matter. Many Aucklanders would probably have welcomed such an opportunity before amalgamation was forced on them.

If you feel strongly that your democratic right to call a referendum whenever Maori wards are proposed should be protected, then you must tell the Minister of Local Government. After all, he said he wants to hear from all New Zealanders on this issue, and since Andrew Judd will be encouraging iwi to contact him, we strongly suggest that you do too – his email address is peseta.sam.lotu-iiga@parliament.govt.nz

With local body elections just around the corner, it’s also time to stand up for democracy, to prevent control of councils from falling into the hands of an unelected and unaccountable elite. You can help by asking candidates, who are standing for Council, the following three questions:

  • If you are elected would you oppose iwi representatives being appointed onto your Council with voting rights?
  • If you are elected and a proposal to appoint iwi representatives with voting rights onto your Council wins majority support, would you propose that the final decision should be made by local electors through a public referendum process?
  • If your Council has already established iwi representatives with voting rights, will you move that the positions be disestablished so they can be reconsidered by the new council?

If you send the email responses from candidates through to us, we will post them on our website HERE as a collaborative community service for voters in the run-up to the elections.

We have already put up entries for Masterton and Rotorua, indicating which Councillors voted for and against iwi appointments. We will amend the list once we know who is standing for re-election.

In addition, while since some councils have had unelected iwi with voting rights forced on them by the Government, others, like the Wellington Regional Council and the Kapiti-Coast District Council, established them voluntarily some time ago. We would welcome information on others and also on whether local candidates would be prepared to call for these positions to be disestablished.

The key dates for the local body elections are as follows. The Electoral Commission will start their enrolment campaign next Monday 27 June. Candidate nominations open 15 July and close August 12. Candidates will be announced August 17.

Voting papers will be delivered to households from September 16 to 21 and electors will be asked to post them back as soon as they have voted. Polling Day is October 8, with voting closing at midday. Preliminary results will be available that afternoon.


In the forthcoming local body elections, are you more likely to support or oppose a candidate who is in favour of appointing iwi representatives with voting rights onto your Council? 


*Poll comments are posted below.


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

Click to view x 120


Why should 12% of the population have a controlling power over the other 88%. What would these Maori activists say to 2 Appointed Samoan, Tongan, Cook Island, Vanuatan, Rarotongan, Fijian, Chinese, Cambodian, Taiwanese, Indonesian, English, South African, Australian, and any other nationality you can think of, Appointed to Local and Regional Councils, and/or any Maori committee or Board that affects any Council’s decision making process. I BET it would be a VERY different response. We in Kawerau have 50% Maori representation on our Council, and I am happy with that, because the Voters of Kawerau CHOSE that through their Vote, last Local Body elections. MervB
We have 2 maori candidates standing next election. Good on them, I hope they get in the legitimate way, not through the back door. Bryan
We are meant to be a democracy. Henry
I would oppose any candidate who tries to appoint, rather than elect, a part Maori or any other person, with voting rights onto my local Council. I wonder if such non-democratic action is being purchased with a large financial bribe? Ernest
Let anyone of whatever race stand for Council and for election – that should be the ONLY route on to any Council. Sylvia
No brainer. David
We live in a democracy.  If you support, you are racist. We are New Zealanders. William
All candidates being elected on any council, local Govt get voted in not elected. We are a democracy country not a Communist country. Wayne
Every citizen of NZ has the same equal opportunity to stand in an election. Just giving out a seat based on race causes disharmony and is inviting corruption. Brian
We are supposed to live in a democracy, there is nothing democratic about having people appointed on to council based on race. Anyone that supports this is a racist and should never be elected to make decisions on such important matters. Be very aware of who you are voting for in the upcoming elections, lest we get another Andrew Judd or two to contend with. Democracy is mortally wounded in NZ, we need to make sure we don’t kill it in these elections. Stevo
Who are these so called Maoris that show such a degree of arrogance.? They are the same as everyone else eligible to vote, either an immigrant or a decendent of one. John
Time we did a ‘Brexit’ on all these politically-correct Maori iwi mumbo-jumbo anti-democratic dangerous garbage that is pervading our way of life these days. Monica
Race based Government led to destruction of South Africa. God help New Zealand if Iwis rule NZ. Rodney
There should be no appointed council members. All must be elected. If the Maori’s wish to be represented they are free to stand for election. Dave
NO race based politics!! Tony
Absolutely oppose. Doug
If you are good enough you get elected and no racial appointments. Alan
Any iwi representative should be elected, not appointed. Peter
Most strongly would oppose. Mark
I have written a submission to the minister on this. Agree with your comments 100%. Albie
We must halt this gradualist creep towards a type of fascism that is slowly wrecking this country of ours. Paul
Totally oppose. It’s long overdue for us all to be treated equally and to stop this divisive racism. We are all human beings with the same needs and to suggest any people with some other ethnicity in their makeup need to be specially consulted, is a total nonsense. Helen
Democracy must decide options. Simon
Everybody should be elected on their merit. Mary
All the way. Barry
In a referendum, Nelson electorate firmly opposed the action allowing councils the appointment of unelected Maoris to the Council. Fortunately. Where they get a voting position on a council you can be sure the first thing they will do is get their grasping/gimme hands on the water supply to rake off payments from every ratepayer in the district. Chris
It is high time ALL race based decisions are outlawed in New Zealand. Graeme
All candidates must be elected on merit and definitely not appointed on race. Rosemary
Our New Zealand democracy is under continuing pressure from racist acts such as whanau ora and unelected appointments such as this racism weakens democracy. Some people naively think that political correctness supports democracy, but the opposite is true. Political correctness is anti democratic and should play no part in a democracy, this seems to be a hard lesson for us to learn. Political correctness is actually the root of all evil. If we lose democracy, then we lose everything and that day is closer than we think. G
To consider this proposal, to either support the recommendation or not. I would need to consult with the unofficial minister on the subject. As yet I have not been able to get an appointment with Monsieur La Pen (Mr. Hosking.) On a matter of such national importance, one should not think for one’s self. Especially so, being of native heritage. Dear bloody God no, no, no, for the love of God, don’t do it. What happened this week in the U.K. is the dawn of a new era. The wheel has indeed turned full circle. Wiremu
People of every ethnicity are welcome to offer themselves for election to a local council. There should be no ‘dedicated’ seats for particular ethnicities nor unelected council members. Bruce
Get elected or get out!! Peter
What ever happened to democracy? Abraham Lincoln would shake his head, and wonder what happened to progress. Dick
This is another step along the road to APARTHIED. Have some people gone mad ?? Ian
This political indulgence must stop. David
Would only vote for candidates opposing it. Gerhard
Wake up NZ! Jack
Definitely oppose, no need to have idiots appointed, elected ones are enough. James
Appointees should be there on merit only, whatever race they are. Sheila
We need to all become ‘Kiwis’ and drop Maori and Pakiha divisions Gerry
No more say than any other citizen! Mark
I do to agree with having unelected/appointed members on council. It is totally undemocratic. They should have to stand for election like everyone else. Brenda
As you have stated this is an attack on our democracy which is the fundamental foundation of this country and can not be allowed to happen. Digby
This is the fundamental reason the UK just voted leave the EU Unelected unremovable faceless powerbroker. Colin
Undemocratic and racist. Steve
Maori or any other race are not allowed voting rights unless they are voted in by the general public on voting day to the regional councils and the government. Theodorus
Everybody is equal; if you want to represent the community then stand on equal terms and allow the community to decide who is best to represent them. Their should not be special places based on ethnicity or part maori peoples, equality is the only democratic way. Bryan
The world gets more irrational by the day. There is always a price to pay. Will it be through poverty, starvation and blood if nothing is done to stop this slavery by the unelected “elite” ? Don
Racist rubbish. Peter
This not democracy. Bill
Racism is a terrible disease. Bruce
There is NO justification for giving one small sector of the population such rights! Hugh
Proposed Councillors should stand on merit not race. Lyn
All persons who having voting rights on Councils must be elected not appointed. Les
We do not need unelected representatives on local bodies, this would be totally non democratic and split our councils. It is not democracy but a type of apartheid and would set a dangerous precedent for our country. Brian
I believe democracy is free of racism. Harvey
I believe in democracy. Russell
Deeply opposed to the implementation of such an undemocratic proposal. If council representatives wish Iwi to be represented to council they should advise them to seek election like anyone else. That is the cornerstone of our society. Chris
It’s called DEMOCRACY! Mike
ALL members of our local councils MUST be democratically elected by rate payers. Councilors must not be able to appoint additional councilors that have voting rights outside a democratic election by rate payers. Keith
Why can’t iwi representatives stand for council the same way as others do? What makes them so special. Ngaire
Where do those dimwit mayors and councillors who want to fast track maori onto council get their brains from? Poor maoris, they need special privileges so they don’t have to work for what they receive,unlike the rest of the population. I will definitely quiz those up for election in my town. PETER
This is supposed to be a democratic country. If these factions want to be on council then stand for election. How come 15% of the population can make decisions that effect the other 85%b john
Will not support a candidate who is in favour of appointing iwi representatives to councils..IWI like everybody eles MUST be elected by the whole community. Carroll
The message from New Plymouth was clear. They are not n favour of members of councils or standing committees being appointed. The democratic process provides opportunity for everyone and anyone to be elected. Parliament has Maori representation significantly greater than their percentage of the population so the process works. Mike
The brain washed generation is starting to rear it’s ugly head. Geoff
There are no full blooded Maori in the country.It is time to do away with race based politics and become one nation as the Treaty of Waitangi proposed. The gravy train of payments to Maori elete is well overdue to be ended. Robert
The British vote yesterday to exit the EU and the disillusionment with establishment politicians in general highlights how fed up the general public are with politicians who have usurped their rights and her don’t listen to what the individual wants. Tom
Get off my democracy now! Peter
It would be a racist move to appoint a person because of his race or gender, I wonder what would be a reaction if to qualify for any post, that the requirement would be that you must be of European descent or white. Frank
No problem with standup Maori on the council providing they are elected and not given the seat by race. Donald
We MUST demand Democracy be upheld. Alan
All councillors should be elected to council on their own merits. Anyone getting to council any other way should be totally ashamed and own up to their lack of power for not standing and facing the public regardless of race, colour or creed. Elizabeth
If iwi representatives cannot get themselves elected onto council they shouldnt be there anyway. John
Democracy must rule Race bias is not exactable. Tony
Stand on merit not race Most Maori are only 50% or less true Maori blood. Clyde
Everybody is equal, not some more equal than others. Yan
Persons of any ethnicity have equal opportunity to stand for election. All one needs to do is register as a candidate, persuade the electorate that one has something positive to offer for the benefit of the community, not oneself. If a candidate does not offer something more positive than others, the candidate will not be elected, and should not be appointed as a backup. all council decisions should be based solely on the votes of ELECTED members. Alan
Put a stop to creeping racism in NZ. Peter
I believe it is outside the provisions of the current legislation, is undemocratic and racist based. Ian
Persons of every ethnicity have identical opportunity to stand for election. To succeed in the attempt, the candidate must persuade the electorate that they have something to offer that will benefit the community, not oneself. If candidates have nothing positive to offer they will not be elected, and should therefore not be appointed as a backstop. I f you want a say, stand for election. Alan
All councilors should be elected by open vote – no appointments! Brian
I am 100% against any race based political positions. Derek
Maori are only 15 % of the population , only 3 % speak maori and most “”maori ” are more white than maori, wake up N Z !!!!! Graeme
No need for preferential treatment based on race. Jeff
Appointing iwi based representatives with voting rights is totally unfair and makes a mockery of the democratic process which many of us have fought and died for. Dale
Support for this P C proposition is certainly not democracy as it should be. Edmund
The people should decide. Jeremy
Making appointments is totally undemocratic. We, the people, the subjects, must decide. Ross
Not only Maori but also any other race based group. David
We are suppose to be New Zealanders, not two Nations, one with a vote, and one without having to vote. Richard
In favour of a few, democracy has become just a word. Don’t let the same happen at a local level. Ido
No way should the early boat people have a say over the rest of the people of NZ. Unless you are a bird. a fish or a reptile, you are not indigenous to NZ, and like everybody else, you arrived here by some form of transport. Tom
I am in UK and see no evidence of prior rights being given to any racial group. About time we grow up and give equal rights to all our citizens. About time we grew up and gave equal rights to all our citizens. Wah
Election means elected not selected. Garry
Non elected iwi don’t get to vote in my council and that’s final. Graeme
Strongly. Gordon
I believe in democracy. Racial appointments destroy this. We cannot unite as a nation if we are going to discriminate on racial lines. South Africa fought a long an bloody battle to end apartheid. Why are we trying to introduce it? Peter
This should never be allowed to happen. Maurice
Maori Maori Maori. Aren’t we fed up with this special people obsession? Let’s have some non Maori on some of the “Iwi” boards an see what a outcry of racism we would hear from the sickly liberals and part mody. Carolyn
Our true founding document, Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter of 16-11-1840, authorised our split from New South Wales where the Treaty put us and has no racial connotations, all citizens simply BRITISH CITIZENS same as the people of England. There are enough “apartheid” laws in what used to be New Zealand and all of those would crumble to dust if enough voters wrote to Government and demanded our true founding document be recognised. It was the Queen’s Royal Charter that authorised the Government of New Zealand and English law ONLY. George
I will never vote for anyone who supports race based policies. Elaine
Absolutely opposed!! How on earth can this happen in the first place?. This hopeless and destructive bunch of politicians seem to be totally under the Maori thumb by now!! New Zealand has again moved closer towards the destruction of democracy in this country. A precedent has already been created and Maoris will not rest to push for appointment of unelected iwi representatives in all Councils in the country but will carry on relentlessly to force appointment of unelected representatives in Parliament as well. The fact that 83 % in theNew Plymouth referendum opposed to unelected representation were ignored by Judd is a clear sign of where we are heading. Guys like that have to be removed from office – he and his ilk are true racists and present a real danger to us all. Michael
Completely against. Totally unacceptable. The thinking in this country has turned to crap. Neil
I would oppose any attempt to install any elitist group that had bypassed the democratic process. Lee
I can’t understand all of these stupid politicians both local and national falling all over themselves to appease the Maori activists and radicals. Mike
Only proper elected councillors should make decisions. Peter
I believe that democratic local Govt should provide for all candidates with voting rights, to be voted for by the community. Allan
If adopted, to reverse this step will be next-to impossible. Beware. Peter
I oppose. I would assume (and wonder if this is so?) that such iwi candidates would be likely to be resident in the relevant “electorate” or division within the Council, and therefore would have a voting following of their own in their support. So whatg’s the idea, pray tell, of there being any need whatsoever for any appointees of iwi representation being needed at all> This is UNDEMONCRATIC AND UNFAIR TO THE STANDARD NON-IWI ELECTTORS/VOTERS… Has anyone chosen to address this point in recent times, or do we just have to accept whomever is foisted upon us? I don’t think so! Mabel
Totally un-democratic to provide unelected persons on any Council or body with voting rights. Tony
IMO, all citizens standing for election should seek nomination & election by the time-honoured system that prevailed in NZ for at least all my adult life. Grace
Lets not let those greedy sods on to local councils where they will screw the system to the benefit of the favoured few. Let them stand for an ordinary seat and get elected like any other person. Colin
Maori have the same opportunity as everyone else to be elected to councils. Margaret
This separatist nonsense is obviously coming from central government directive. Just what did ‘Key’ & his half-cast mate ‘Sharples’ commit us to, when the ‘indigenous’ people agreement was signed secretly at the U.N. ‘Judd’ is only one of many Mayors suddenly pushing for Maori representation on Councils. Fact is, there are genuine people of Maori descent willing to abide by established democracy, putting their names forward for election in the normal manner. These are the genuine members of society, who do not need a free ride through life, as their no use counterparts have been encouraged to accept, and now demand, right through to governance, where they will expect renumeration at the expense of honest ratepayers, like all serving on council. More money for those who will contribute nothing of benefit to the rest of society as they have been allowed to do so far in their lives.. A.G.R.
We are all New Zealanders. Richard&Wendy
DEFINITELY NO. Otherwise my vote would be worth less than a full vote. Paul
I will oppose any candidate in favour of “iwi” representatives with voting rights on to our council. There is no excuse for racial privilege in this country. Part Maori (there are no full-bloods), Chinese and other ethnic groups all have the same right as citizens for one vote, and one vote only, per person. If anyone wishes to exercise a vote in a local body council they should do so only when lawfully elected. This does not exclude anyone who genuinely has the calibre to become a councillor, as proven by the number of Maori, Pasifika and Chinese councillors already serving on councils around the country. Rob
I was of the understanding that ALL New Zealanders were ONE PEOPLE However seems I am wrong and we are becoming more and more segregated and our Native Race has become GREEDY (The more they want the more they get). They should stand like everyone and accept the outcome like is right. Marylin
We need one person one vote, only elected persons should be able to vote in Government LOCAL OR CENTRAL. Bryan
Iwi appointments are totally undemocratic and something I would never agree to support. John
If IWI want a rep on the council they can select a candidate who can be democratically elected like any one else to represent them. Peter
We need to do everything in our power to stamp out racism in New Zealand even if the perpetrators’ are Maori. John
Absolutely opposed to the idea! All representatives must be properly elected by all who have a right to vote. The same law must apply to all New Zealanders without special concessions on grounds of race, religion, etc. Martin
Apartheid is not for New Zealand. Edward
The act of appointing members of a council Stinks. It is totally undemocratic and could lead to rigged decisions. We cannot tolerate this. John
We supposedly live in an equal opportunity democracy without race based favours. We fought against apartheid 40 years ago. Frank
The Brexit vote was essentially about democracy – do the people of Britain rule or do the unelected bureaucrats of Brussels rule? Now we know the answer but it’s the same issue for NZ though its guise may be different. Jeremy
UNDEMOCRATIC ILLEGAL iwi with voting rights SHOULD be REMOVED.Its upto ALL people to OPPOSE & let national know & THEY NEED to STOP this. Cindy
Equal Voting rights for all New Zealanders. No iwi appointments to Local Councils. PETER
All councillors should be elected not appointed. Dave
Not bloody likely. Eric
One vote for every person. Cherryl
They have to have it explained to them in simple terms or drawings that they have to go before the people and be voted in like anybody else. Mike
Strongly oppose. Wayne
Councillors must be voted in – not appointed. IAN
One Law for ALL in NZ. Voting based on abilities of candidates must happen for equality. Remember it’s part Maori not full blooded Maori in the 1940s we are talking about. Carol
I violently appose this racist move. It is another instance of Maori power trying to exert political control. Laurie
ALL true blood kiwis must be treated equally. Richard
Is New Zealand going mad. Where are these councillors making these decisions coming from. What this highlights once again is that all government, both local and national needs to be controlled by binding referendum What BR does is assist our “elected” representative to have the courage to make decisions that are for the good of the whole country and not just a few they kowtow to. Ronmac
Councillors MUST ALL be ELECTED the same way. Bernard
If Maori are so interested, they should stand for election, and/or vote for the Maori they want. Geoffrey
Pay attention to the UK and the Unelected EU leaders trying to run UK without the say so of the people and their elected MEP’s Democracy MUST be upheld. Brian
Lets stop reverse apartheid being introduced by stealth into NZ. Hylton
Undemocratic to appoint people rather than elect them. Gary
To support is undemocratic. David
Giving Iwi special access over others is the thin edge of a very large wedge. Wayne
Racist opinions are not wanted with Racist appointments. Dave
It’s racist. Peter
What has happened to democracy if they are good enough they will get voted on just like any other person that stands. Peter
If any ethnic group want a representative on the council, they should get elected like everyone else – it is definitely NOT democratic to appoint someone. Gail
Not democratic at all. Russ
If Iwi feel that they need special attention then they should put up candidates in the normal manner and not expect inclusion on the Council as a right. John
We have fought for democracy and there is no way it should be diluted by this nonsense. Chris
All candidates should be elected on their merit not by race. Beryl
One country, one people!! John
Councillors should be selected for their preparedness to consider local issues on the basis of their worth to the local body without fear or favour. Jim
Local councils leave more than a lot to be desired and need to be controlled by a central government. Tom
APARTHEID in NZ needs to stop NOW. Geoff
Absolutely oppose…….like the Brexit poll. we need a poll of NZ voters to show where the voting public stand on separatism, which seems to be ”out of control” We need to stop the PC. Glenys
All special treatment for Maori should be stopped immediately. Kevin
Every New Zealander has the right to stand for office if they feel so inclined, but the point is, they stand for ELECTION, not as a right, but as part of a democratic process. There is an inherent danger, once we start to bypass the established systems. It probably doesn’t really matter nowadays, as most of the worlds political systems are rotten to the core anyway. New Zealand follows where the world leads. John
Most certainly not! Next we will have representatives of all the local minorities being appointed, who would then outnumber the elected councillors. Ron
This current situation has the potential to become a junior version of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Barry
All who represent ratepayers must be elected democratically with no preference given based on ethnicity. And there is no role for anyone who has not been. No one other than elected councillors should have voting rights most especially iwi. Many of whom do not even pay rates. Carol
This is a democracy… all governing bodies should be elected. Robbie
We need to destroy the Apartheid policies this Govt and past Govt s have imposed on N.Z. Kay
All positions should be elected by the constituents. Monty
Oppose – also give he/she some required reading on the meaning of democracy! Scott
Oppose in every way Unelected persons have NO RIGHTs on any Council. This is a travesty of democracy. It needs to be opposed and stopped before a rising tide of rejection in the community ceases to vote with civil patience and takes to uncivil violence to enforce a restoration of democratic rights. One people under the law, one duly elected representation. Richard
All candidates who have voting powers on councils including iwi should be elected by the Ratepayers not just appointed by those already on the Council. We need to keep Democracy strong in this country. Laurel
I believe in democracy. Herb
How is appointment of unelected representatives legal if we are a democracy? Selwyn
I do not agree with unelectled people on any committe, they must be voted in like any other person. Geoff
We are living in a country that is fast becoming divided. New Zealanders and Maori. This type of anti-democracy activity only serves to further divide our country. Dave
All representatives should be elected representatives. Mike
Any un-elected person appointed to any committee or council should keep his mouth shut. He is only representing himself and has no voting rights. Johan
More political, racial incursions into a multicultural deviation of a NZ equality based nation which John Key and his cronies should cease promoting. you lost me JK… Ian
What next? JC
This is supposed to be a democracy, let them stand for election the way everyone else has to. Michelle
If we wish to retain what remains of our democracy, all of us must oppose the appointment of unelected persons with voting rights to councils. Enough is enough people. Mike
Racisim in the Extreme and Kiwis just blissfully accept it as democracy just slips away, unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!! Greg
If Iwi want to have extra representation then they must stand for election in the wards the same as all others have to do Peter
This is one question where there is no doubt whatsoever in my mind. I will most definitely oppose anyone standing for council who is in favour of appointing ANY representative and giving them voting rights. Anyone who wishes to have voting rights MUST be elected by the people. Diana
The ‘iwi’ elite have trashed this country with the help of the Waitangi Tribunal…Corruption at its worst…!! Chris
Definitely not! Why our gutless powers that be allow this undemocratic process is beyond me. It is past time that they showed a bit of spine and told them enough! Kevan
Won’t support any iwi onto council with voting rights unless they stand as candidates and democratically voted in by the public. Paul
The Democratic process MUST always be followed. Wayne
Why vote for someone who is throwing away the rights of the people, they should be ashamed of what they are suggesting by giving rights to citizens just because they are if a particular race, shame on them. Audrey
New Zealand is now a multicultural society and has been in existence long enough for elected representatives to make all decisions as need be. Next we will hear that iwi representatives are going to be appointed to parliament. This whole business has gone far enough and maori should be treated the same as all citizens and not given preferential treatment. Dennis
I’d have to be completely brain dead to support. John
Apartheid all over again. Peter
This is a totally racist concept. Gareth
All councillor representatives must be elected. There is no other way to reflect communities’ choices as to the composition of their councils. Jim
Maori have 2 many privileges now without giving them any more. All other comities they are on are stalled by them until they get more money. David
There’s enough corrupt people on councils now without putting some more freeloaders and of a certain race that are well known for there hand’s out for cash etc,so any candidate who wants these freeloaders should be struck of the lisy of council candidates for life. Richard
Voting is the only time we, the public, have the chance to get the best leadership available. If our elected members choose to give voting rights to whom they choose that is dictatorship. Iwi today, any vocal minority tomorrow. Robert
The whole idea is undemocratic, and racist. Rog
All those intending to stand for any election should agree to the 4 principals of democracy before they can be confirmed as candidates. Steve
In a democracy there is no other decision that fits. Rob
More apartheid. Ian
What happened to democracy? Should not other races lobby councils to gain unelected members on councils too. Why then have an elected supposedly democratic council at all. Have a council made up of representatives based on the percentage of persons race based, that would create mayhem. How are councils able to get away doing this. probably only because it may not be widely known, I don’t believe it is because people do not care. Peter
What a screwed up country we live in. Maori …maori…maori. Everything for bloody maori. Im sick of it. Des
Anti-democratic and racist, so just plain wrong. Laurie
Nobody to vote whom has not been elected. Robert
Democracy in New Zealand is on the path of Destruction for some time now. If Iwi can be appointed with voting rights to any form of Government it merely serves to confirm that Democracy has died. Shame on anybody promoting the notion that Iwi can simply be appointed. Folkert
Apartheid needs to be stopped! Mark
The whole business of appointing NOT democracy. Anyone can put their name forward and if they are elected this is good. However if they hide behind appointment then the qusetion of trust arises. Ian
If iwi want to be part of a local body they can stand for election like anyone else. Murray
Keep up the good fight. Proposals like this are both undemocratic and racist. John
Not Democratic, also there are no full blooded Maori left in New Zealand so why should a part Maori have some other right other races here don’t get any special treatment. Les
Such a move undermines democracy. All candidates, of whatever race or ethnic background, should stand on their own merits, and seek actual election. Trevor
The United Kingdom!! Has just voted out being ‘governed’ by the Brussel’s bureaucracy. By undemocratically appointing iwi representatives to council will only create more racism. Typical of weak governance.. Stuart
No Apartheid, thanks… Peter
If Iwi (or any other group are appointed to council then you can kiss Democracy goodbye. Bruce
Our council has already voted and the ratepayers voted in May 2013 – 80% against separate Maori wards. Howevere our local National MP says inan email to me that he is ‘happy with the current Treaty negotiations and with race relations in general in this country’. Not a good sign that he can say what they have obviously been told to say. Roger
Definitely. Colin
Were are our democratic rights that people can stand and get voted in. Other race problem to do with Maori who think they have rights over all things. Maybe civil war is coming to this country??. Robert
Because if you want to live in a Theocracy or an Aristocracy, there are plenty of African countries to pick. Pavel
The question of race-based political representation is far too important to be left to local government: even though the Key administration appears to be content to maintain a ‘hands off’ position (which is really an abrogation of its democratic duty as a government). I think that we’ll have to wait until after the next General Election to see some movement on this vexed issue; with any luck, the balance of power will no longer fall to the racist Maori Party, and New Zealand First will be able to call the shots. Winston Peters’ detractors are often vociferous in their condemnation of him, but it cannot be denied that he has never wavered in his opposition to race-based laws and governance. In the meantime, we must all certainly make known to as many MPs as we can, that we abhor the separatist trend that is now poisoning our nation. Graham
Such appointments – such as New Plymouth and Tauranga bring our whole system of democratically elected representaties at any level of government into question, and resultant disrepute. Such appointments in all levels of government should not exist, they are racially based; what would be the reaction if there was a Chinese, Islander, Scots, Irish, Welsh preference for non-elected representation. I despair!! Andrew
What NEXT the Maori just keep on trying to cheat again. Dangerous as you warn. Lance
Basically what is a Maori person. Most have so much European blood pulsing through their veins that if they decided to stand up and say I am as white as you are elect me, maybe that would work in their favour more. Murray
Damn right I will oppose them. We are a bl**dy democracy .. those who are elected are being put there by the very process they are ignoring. Maddi
If council council candidates don’t respect the democratic process then their hypocracy is evidenced by them expecting ordinary citizens to elect them. Steve
Andrew Judd is being used by the Maori Party but his ego has become too big for him to see what’s going on and the damage he is now doing to race relations. Francis
These know-it-all councillors voting to appoint iwi to the councils should all be sacked at the election. Let’s hope that candidates get the message that democracy needs to be preserved not undermined. David
Its a good idea to list up what candidates say about iwi approaches on your website. Let’s hope they all candidates gain the courage to say no. Brian
It is shocking that iwi want to be on councils but in a way that leaves them totally unaccountable. Their advances MUST be opposed. Ben
I have written to the Minister of Local Government to tell him what I think about Andrew Judd’s petition – I hope others do too. Jason