The co-governance agenda is threatening the fabric of democracy in New Zealand.
Political candidates need to know that your vote depends on whether they will protect democratic values.
In a free and fair democracy, everyone has the same voting rights. Yet, under co-governance, Maori are increasingly given different rights and this is resulting in more influence and authority than all other New Zealanders and this isn’t right.
Lawmakers, public servants, and even some corporations refer to being guided by ‘Treaty obligations’ and ‘Treaty principles,’ but these are new concepts. The Crown (the New Zealand Government) have the obligation to uphold the Treaty which provides that Maori should have the same “rights and privileges” as everyone else, not a special constitutional status.
We already have examples of how co-governance arrangements are fraught with issues. However there are no examples of where co-governance has produced a single outcome that benefits anyone in any practical sense. The new Maori Health Authority has employed 400 staff and spent nearly half a billion dollars but has been unable to demonstrate one outcome that benefits anyone. Te Pukenga is an unmitigated disaster and in the midst of overspend and under-delivery, the polytech merger has been appointing two people to each senior (bureaucratic) role – one Maori and one non-Maori. The Ureweras are co-governed and the breakdown in relationships has resulted in the shutting down of one of our Great Walks, the burning of DOC huts, and local iwi heading to the court to resolve conflict with the trust established to represent them. Co-governance is predicated on ALL Maori speaking with one voice with common needs and objectives. This is NOT true, Maori, like all other New Zealanders, are individuals who should be protected through fair, robust, transparent and consistent democratic process.