Friday, September 23, 2016

Mike Butler: Race appointees ammo for Winston

The Taranaki Iwi Claims Settlement Bill, that legislates for six race-based appointees on the Taranaki Regional Council, provided new ammunition for New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters this week.

This is the second time Treaty Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson has written into law the requirement for tribal appointees on a local body, with the first being the regional planning committee on the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council set up in 2012.

Subpart five of the bill defines how the Taranaki Regional Council would be required to appoint six iwi members, three on the policy and planning committee, and three on the regulatory functions committee.

These six iwi members will not be elected, but nominated by iwi, need not be subject to an iwi vote, and they will be paid for by the ratepayers.

Clause 99 says the iwi members would have the same status as members appointed by the Council, and are entitled to the same remuneration and expenses.

The council may change a committee or discontinue it but this is subject to consultation with iwi, must not diminish the nature of iwi representation.

Any disputes must be referred to the chief executive of Te Kahui o Taranaki, the chief executive of any other iwi, and the chief executive of the regional council.

Taranaki Regional Council has 11 councillors. There are eight Taranaki iwi.

Peters said “New Zealanders should be very concerned about the Taranaki Iwi Claims Settlement Bill – it hands power to iwi by giving them six decision-making roles on a local authority without being elected”.

A brief street poll done by One News on Thursday showed that Taranaki voters thought council representatives should be elected, not appointed.

In April 2015, New Plymouth residents voted 83 percent against a proposal for separate Maori seats on the New Plymouth District Council.

New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd lodged a complaint with the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues against the New Zealand government for permitting such a poll.

He also urged Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell to present a petition to Parliament to set up Maori wards on every district council in New Zealand without requiring a public vote.

Peters delivered his message against tribal appointees after the previous day pulling the plug on the final reading of the bills by demanding a party vote – which posed a problem because a large number of MPs were to go home early for the holidays.

The Local Government Act 2002 does permit such appointments. But “Instead of stating a local authority “may” appoint people from the outside, it states that the council “must” appoint members nominated by the iwi. This has been done by stealth”, Peters said.

Hawke’s Bay’s regional planning committee, set up under the Hawke’s Bay Regional Planning Committee Act, comprises 10 councillors and 10 iwi appointees with two chairs, one appointed by the council and one by iwi. The appointees are full voting committee members.

Shambolic is a word to describe how that committee was set up.

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has only nine councillors, so one stand-in "councillor" must be appointed to make up the full committee. And, the committee was up and running before the enabling legislation, the Hawke’s Bay Regional Planning Committee Act, was passed.

Note, the competence of appointees may be an issue. There is a push by the Iwi Leaders Group for “capacity building” money, presumably to teach council appointees how to read the documents and do the committee work.

The balance of power has yet again shifted for the governing National Party, with a deepening perception that Prime Minister John Key and Finlayson have gone too far in appeasing separatist demands coming from the Maori Party.

The lead-up to an election is the only time a governing party listens to the electorate, and the non-separatist New Zealand First party, which is also a largely Maori party, is poised to take a growing group of disaffected voters away from National.


Helen said...

Winston is right and we must oppose racist appointments vehemently. It is undemocratic and anyone wanting a say on Council should stand for election like everyone else. I too feel Winston will draw a lot of votes from disaffected National supporters. The media has been very silent on this issue which is rather ominous to say the least.

Brian said...

Ammunition to shoot down a Democracy...hits the bull’s eye.
What has been totally lost if this legislation becomes law, is very simply the power of the vote. When not if this law is passed then the “must” factor that all Regional Councils have to put in place i.e.IWI appointment representatives, will also apply in time, to District Councils and every committee etc throughout this country.
So at last it is out in the open, that NZ law is subservient to United Nations Law, now we know that the signing by the Key Government of the “Declaration of Indigenous Right’s” is the yoke all non Maori will from now on, slave under. Well at least Maori have returned to their ancestral roots, slavery being a part of their tribal rituals before those wicked colonials came along with civilisation.
It is somewhat ironic that NZ First with many of its members of Maori descent, are the only party with the intestinal fortitude to stand against this undemocratic act of the governing National Party.
The citizens of New Plymouth had the courage to vote against this appointment process in their City Council can the rest of the New Zealanders also rally together to demand the constitutional right to a vote on this issue? They perhaps realise that the only way to stop this prostitution of our democracy in the face of Maori demands is to defeat it by a substantial vote. We cannot hope for much seeing how our Parliament so quickly dismissed the resistance to the smacking legislation!
Just where are our Constitutional Lawyers in all this, and is the media gagged that much we cannot even get an unbiased report and some comments other than from the Party line.?
Like the Saxons after 1066 we are leaderless hence an amended ditty...
#Maori claim on every cloak
On our neck a Maori yoke
Maori spoon in every dish
And we are ruled as Iwi wish
Blithe world in this land never will be more
Till New Zealand’s rid of all the four.
#Adapted from the novel “Ivanhoe”.
With sincere apologies to Sir Walter Scott.

paul scott said...

Taranaki council race appointments
Democracy is - A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, through elected representatives.
Now soon in New Zealand we will have a required appointment of non elected members where there should be elected members and this is a dismissal of democracy.

“New Zealanders should be very concerned about the Taranaki Iwi Claims Settlement Bill – it hands power to iwi by giving them six decision-making roles on a local authority without being elected.
“This law will force the Taranaki Regional Council to appoint six iwi members, three on the Policy and Planning committee, and three on the Regulatory Functions Committee.
“They will not be elected, but nominated by iwi, need not be subject to an iwi vote, and they will be paid for by the ratepayers."
“This government told New Zealand it did not want race-based policies either when it campaigned on “Kiwi not iwi”, but it has gone back on its word.
“The country is being steered by National toward race-based appointments.

This appointment system above elections is being enshrined in law by a Government above and against the clear will of people, and the trivial necessities of democracy.
In fact, we are having this democracy business taken away from us, with stealth, by a Government which is held together by its acquiescence to tribal leaders demands.
We are a people with the foremost among us are these Maori tribal leaders.
Then after that, European and other ethnic groups including Asian are roughly equal second class. It would not be so bad if Maori people themselves benefitted. but they do not seem to.
When a Society travels along a pathway to inequity and inequality, there will be by natural events a time of reckoning.
The sickness now within us is that our Government can introduce and pass legislation which mocks democracy.
The ballot box revolution can be soon if we wish, we will need to consider what is happening.
paul scott