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 more power than the rest of 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 and it states that Maori should have the same “rights and privileges” as everyone else, not a special constitutional status.
We already have examples of how fraught with issues co-governance arrangements get in New Zealand. The new Maori Health Authority has employed 400 staff already and most of those are bureaucrats, not frontline health workers. 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 iwi blocking off tracks.