Another Battle of Hastings – and one in the eye for those bloody democrats

It was the Battle of Hastings, 2019. On one side, the stalwarts of democracy intent on defending their ideal of the best form of government for their district.  On the other side, the champions of attenuated lines of accountability between citizens and those who govern them.

The democrats were outnumbered and the Hastings District Council – 33.3% of its members of Maori descent – voted to fortify iwi influence by appointing four members of the Maori Joint Committee to the council’s four standing committees.

This was decided after a debate which the NZ Herald curiously said became “divisive”, apparently because four councillors argued the decision should be taken to a public poll – a suggestion which, given the constitutional implications of the issue, had a great deal of merit.

This is especially so in a district  where the citizens already have voted against a proposal to create a race-based electoral system by introducing Maori wards. Continue reading “Another Battle of Hastings – and one in the eye for those bloody democrats”

Hamilton City Council staff say let’s have less democracy – and the council likely will agree

An organisation called Democracy Action may be fighting a losing battle, but it has issued a statement under the heading Hamilton City Council set to erode democracy with unelected committee members.  And yes, that’s what the council is set to do.

The council today will decide on a staff recommendation to approve five Māori representative positions to three high-powered committees – one to Finance, one to Growth and Infrastructure and two to the Community and Service Committee.

The final appointment will be to the Regulatory and Hearings Committee.

The move seems to have the numbers to pass, according to Stuff.

Continue reading “Hamilton City Council staff say let’s have less democracy – and the council likely will agree”