Buzz from the Beehive – the people are being consulted (hurrah) but most must wait to see Jackson’s “Declaration Plan”

A government aiming to “tweak” our democratic governance arrangements – in a programme  which our PM says requires  “sophistication” – has declared its readiness to listen to the people.  On some things, at least.

On the health-restructuring front it has announced

“… how New Zealanders will have a real voice in determining the health services provided in their community as part of the new health system”.

Health Minister Andrew Little said this when announcing nine locality network pilots intended to improve the delivery of healthcare in local communities.

On a programme of more far-reaching constitutional significance, the government has completed the first stage of a “two-step engagement process to develop a Declaration Plan”.

A Declaration Plan?  This is something on which Māori leaders and interest groups have been consulted, which is ominously instructive.  Drafting will now commence in partnership with the National Iwi Chairs Forum’s Pou Tikanga and the Human Rights Commission before it is shared for public consultation later this year. So just be patient, folks – your turn will come, presumably well after you can change things much.

But this consulting caper hasn’t been allowed to go too far.  In Tauranga the commissioners who displaced elected councillors  have been reappointed by Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta.

Latest from the Beehive

22 APRIL 2022

Commissioners reappointed to Tauranga City Council

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the reappointment of four commissioners to the Tauranga City Council.

Next steps in Declaration Plan

“We’ve now completed the first stage of the two-step engagement process to develop a Declaration Plan.

Public Media entity Establishment Board appointments

The Minister for Broadcasting and Media has confirmed the nine-member Establishment Board to lead the work on creating a new public media entity in New Zealand.

Prime Minister has productive meeting with Prime Minister of Japan

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had a productive meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo today.

Joint Statement: Japan and Aotearoa New Zealand: a Strategic Cooperative Partnership for Common Peace, Security and Prosperity

The Prime Minister of Japan His Excellency KISHIDA Fumio and the Prime Minister of New Zealand the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern held a productive and substantive meeting in Tokyo on 21 April 2022.

21 APRIL 2022

NZ, Japan team up on renewable energy

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today welcomed two renewable energy initiatives that highlight the growing partnership between Japan and New Zealand as both countries work towards a greener future.

Veterans Minister congratulates RSA on 100 years since first Poppy Appeal

Veterans Minister Meka Whaitiri has congratulated the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association (RSA) on 100 years since the first Poppy Appeal in New Zealand, held on April 24, 1922.

New technology for e-waste switched on

A new state-of-the-art machine that sorts and shreds electronic waste has officially started operation in Auckland today.

CPI figures highlight global economic challenges

Further increases in consumer prices are a reminder of the current global economic challenges and the need for responsible fiscal policy in New Zealand, Grant Robertson said today.

Government supports more people off benefit

The Government’s response to COVID-19 has helped keep people in work, with March Quarter Benefit statistics showing a further fall in the number of people receiving a main benefit and jobseeker assistance.


Andrew Little Locality network announcement speech, Levin | Taitoko, 21 April 2022

Locality planning networks are an essential feature of the health reforms which, subject to the legislation passing in Parliament, will take effect on 1 July.

Health Reform – Govt ensures local say in health services

The Government has announced how New Zealanders will have a real voice in determining the health services provided in their community as part of the new health system.

Graham Adams: The government is stumbling towards disaster over Three Waters


The Opposition parties must be watching with glee, writes Graham Adams, as councils reject Nanaia Mahuta’s plan for drinking water, stormwater and wastewater.


Even Labour’s most one-eyed supporters must be aware by now that the Three Waters reform being pushed by Nanaia Mahuta is fast becoming a make-or-break issue for the government. The eight-week “engagement” period that ended on September 30 saw a swathe of councils across the nation objecting — sometimes angrily — to the proposed changes to the management of drinking water, storm water and wastewater.

Mahuta’s plan is for the 67 councils’ water services to be merged into four giant regional authorities that ratepayers will not directly own or control. As National’s Chris Luxon says, councils are rightly worried about “not having direct influence and no shareholding or formal stake in the new entity whatsoever”.

The roll call of disaffected councils includes those overseeing our two biggest cities. Between them, Auckland and Christchurch represent nearly two million inhabitants — or roughly 40 per cent of New Zealand’s population.

Furthermore, their mayors — Phil Goff and Lianne Dalziel — are former high-ranking Labour ministers, which makes dismissing their opposition difficult.

The rhetoric from Christchurch councillors, in particular, has been incendiary. One, James Gough, said the proposal showed disregard for democracy, and was nothing short of “blatant asset theft”. Continue reading “Graham Adams: The government is stumbling towards disaster over Three Waters”

Stuff and more nonsense – the perturbing case of political adverts being rejected

Having declared its intention to be guided by a set of treaty principles, Stuff has set about suppressing the views of a political group which questions the establishment of special seats for Maori on local  local authorities.

Or rather, two publications in the Stuff stable have got into the suppression business.

We learn this from Breaking Views, which has published an item headed Democracy Northland: The Ad Stuff Refused to Publish.

We look forward to a denial from Stuff and a statement which rebuts the Breaking Views claim that the Whangarei Leader and the Bay Chronicle have refused to publish an advertisement which promotes a petition from Democracy Northland.

The advert says: Continue reading “Stuff and more nonsense – the perturbing case of political adverts being rejected”