This means being very wary of Labour Party or Green Party members; if any candidates have not declared or denied they are, they should be asked — but every candidate should be quizzed on whether or not they support this government’s iniquitous racial agenda.

“Make every vote count in the defence of democracy”

by Casey Costello

We have the opportunity to defend our democracy in the local body elections with voting from 16 September to 8 October 2022.

With the Jacinda government announcing that it sees “co-governance” as a “Treaty obligation”, we can be assured the Labour candidates in local bodies will support the anti-democratic agenda.

Local body representation presents fertile ground for those foisting separatist representation models on our communities.

Even before campaigning started, Local Government NZ and the Race Relations Commissioner banded together to distribute their instructions on “Running an Inclusive Campaign”.

These guidelines look written to attack, in advance, any campaigner for dipping their toe into defending the basic principle that all New Zealanders should be treated equally before the law.

In fact, we must be challenging candidates on the issue of inclusive, colour blind, equal representation. Those seeking election should demonstrate to voters their capacity to represent everybody in their community, rather than hiding behind guidelines that aim to stymie debate.

Before casting your vote, ask candidates in your area where they stand on the issue of division by race.

All too often the key issues that are of concern to ratepayers, and that includes ALL ratepayers, like the provision of public services – parks, roading, sewerage, waste management – are lost in a mire of race debates.

Frequently, race-based representation is encouraged by existing councillors who claim that they cannot represent the interest of Maori because they themselves are not Maori, making a mockery of the principles of liberal democracy.  

These elections are an opportunity to demonstrate that, at every level of our democracy, voters will not support division and separatism and will hold accountable, through the ballot, those politicians who feel they cannot fairly represent their community and who support division by race.

Twisting the Treaty

Standing at Turangawaewae Marae last weekend, the Prime Minister confirmed her intended fate for New Zealand’s democracy by arguing that co-governance is key to fulfilling Treaty of Waitangi obligations.

Her comments were then encouraged by Tuku Morgan, who gave away how iwi will engage on co-governed entities by saying, “Consensus decision-making means you talk until you reach unanimity”.  

If co-governance is a Treaty obligation, then all the previous assurances from this Government about better representation or better outcomes ring hollow. “Co-governance” is an agenda by which New Zealand will lose its democratic identity.

And if all decisions are to be unanimous, then the wheels of bureaucracy will very soon grind to a halt.

The Political Appetite for Change

For better or worse, political parties form policy and take stands on issues when they believe there are votes to be won. As the public realise that co-governance does not deliver better outcomes for anyone and limits accountability, more New Zealanders are demanding a commitment for change and are looking for political parties to challenge the current direction.  

This ability to challenge the narrative is never done better than by New Zealand First’s leader Winston Peters.

In what has been observed as a campaign-launching speech, Mr Peters demonstrated NZ First’s long standing credentials in opposing racial separatism.

You can read his full speech here.

The speech was discussed further in an interview on The Platform, in which Mr Peters laid a challenge:

“Stop perverting the Treaty of Waitangi and stop perverting the Lands Case of 1987 — and start talking some truth on this matter.”

The “Lands Case” referred to was the first reference by the Courts to the Treaty creating a “partnership”. This decision has often been misquoted and misused to justify separatism, when the decision referred only to a relationship “akin” to a partnership.

The ACT party has continued to campaign strongly in the defence of democracy and is calling for a referendum on this issue.

Now that Labour has confirmed their position that co-governance is an obligation the referendum demanded by ACT is essential.

National’s Paul Goldsmith has also been outspoken on the right for New Zealanders to decide if our voting rights should be differentiated based up race.

He writes at Bassett Brash and Hide about the Treaty and democracy which you can read here.

In 2004, Don Brash called on New Zealanders to consider our direction on a range of issues but the most notable point was the trajectory of race relations in New Zealand. Despite attempts from some to label his speech to the Orewa Rotary Club as the undoing of National’s election chances, it in fact resulted in a huge increase of support in the polls, lifting National from 28% a month prior to the speech to 45% just two weeks later.

The need to defend our democracy against differentiation of New Zealand citizens by ancestry or race has become urgent.

Don’s analysis of the current state of affairs is well summarised here at Bassett Brash and Hide.