from Defend Democracy

Even worse than the doomed Rotorua Bill, which made the votes of those on the Māori Roll worth more than those on the General Roll, this Bill will cut out elections altogether by giving seats on the Council to the local iwi, without any democratic mandate or control. 

New Zealand’s proud democratic principles demand that all politicians must be accountable to the people, as they hold power on our behalf. With this Bill, the anti-democratic separatists are attempting to remove that accountability in this next step of the He Puapua agenda.

The disdain for democracy is clear. Labour and the Greens blocked an amendment that would have limited the iwi-appointed councillors to a non-voting, advisory role and then also blocked another amendment that would have given voters a democratic right to recall the appointed councillors in a referendum.

Ngāi Tahu already commands immense political influence in Canterbury and already have ample opportunity to make their voices heard. This Bill would put unelected iwi-controlled councillors directly onto the gatekeeper of the various commercial interests of Ngāi Tahu – a clear conflict of interest.

This Bill will open the floodgates to the kinds of corruption, cronyism, and nepotism we’re sadly starting to see in New Zealand.

This assault on democracy must not be allowed to stand. You must remind our politicians that they are accountable to us.

Time is quickly running out, tell MPs to vote against this atrocious Bill.