FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QueSTIONS

Whangarei District Council: Councillors Shelley Deeming (Bream Bay Ward), Jayne Golightly (Denby), Greg Martin (Hikurangi – Coastal), Vince Cocurullo (Okara), Phil Halse Connop (Okara), Simon Reid (Mangakāhia-Maungatapere). Northland Regional Council: Terry Archer. Kaipara District Council: None.
Whangarei District Council: Mayor Sheryl Mai, Councillors Greg Innes (Deputy Mayor / Whangarei Heads), Ken Couper (Bream Bay Ward), Gavin Benney (Denby), Tricia Cutforth (Denby), Anna Murphy (Hikurangi – Coastal), Carol Peters (Okara), Nicholas Connop (Okara). Cr Murphy voted against receiving (!) the petition signed by 5133 electors asking the WDC to hold a referendum. Northland Regional Council: Councillors Jack Craw (Whangārei Urban), Colin Kitchen (Te Hiku), Amy Macdonald (Coastal Central), Martin Robinson (Coastal North), Penny Smart (Kaipara) , Rick Stolwerk (Coastal South) and Yeoman (Coastal North). Kaipara District Council: Mayor Jason Smith, Councillors Mark Vincent (Otamatea), Anna Curnow (Otamatea), Victoria del la Varis-Woodcock (West Coast/Central), Karen Joyce-Paki (Dargaville), David Wills (West Coast-Central), Eryn Wilson-Collins (Dargaville).
Yes. We are continuing to gather support to force our local councils to hold a referendum on the issue of Maori wards. As of 22 February 2021, we will be accepting online signatures. If you have not already signed the paper petition, please do so by email: info@democracynorthand.co.nz Paper petitions can be returned by post: Democracy Northland, PO Box 334, Whangarei 0110. Or alternatively, you can scan or photograph the form. and email. Email: info@democracynorthland.co.nz.
We are now a team of 15,000. There are a number of ways you can help: 1. Sign the petition form(s) and ask friends, relatives, neighbours, workmates, etc, to sign also. 2. Become a volunteer. There is a lot to do and we would be grateful for any time you may have spare! 3. Make a donation. The reality is we have to pay for advertising to spread the word and that costs money. Every donation is appreciated and even a small donation goes some way to spreading the very important message that in a democracy every voice matters. Our bank account number is: Democracy Northland 02 0100 0603503 04.
Whangarei : If you live in the Whangarei District Council area please contact: Robin Grieve, robin@democracynorthland.co.nz, phone 027 479 5663 or John Bain, john@democracynorthland.co.nz, phone 021 961 894. Kaipara: If you live in the Kaipara District Council area please contact Craig Jepson, craig@democracynorthland.co.nz, phone 021 412 522. Far North: If you live in the Far North District Council area, please contact John Bain, john@democracynorthland.co.nz, phone 021 961 894.
No. Prior to the recent amendment, the Local Electoral Act 2001 provided two cases where electors could requisition a binding poll if more than 5% of electors petition a council to do so. Section 29 has not been repealed and still allows petition rights where a council changes the way representatives are elected using the FPP or STV voting systems. Section 19ZB was repealed in February 2021. It provided petition rights when councils create Maori wards and introduce the Maori electoral roll. It is a lie to say the petition right only applied to Maori wards and was therefore racist.
There are only three local authorities in New Zealand that currently have race-based representation. In most cases a council decision to have race-based seats has been over-turned after councillors were forced to hold a binding referendum. An exception is in Waitara where a binding poll favoured the introduction of Maori wards.
That is unknown at this time. What we do know is those who are campaigning for Maori seats on council want half of the seats on council (50/50) to “reflect the Treaty of Waitangi partnership”. We know this is the agenda of Maori activists and some councillors.
Stuff newspapers have refused to run our "It's about democracy" ads (and even refused to run the petition form!). We are therefore sidestepping the media that have shown bias and relying on people power to get our message out there. That's why we need to be a team of 15,000 and work with volunteers.
No. The count undertaken by the Councils' Electoral Officer was done according to the Privacy Act and we acknowledge the professionalism of that Officer for doing so.
These are seats on a local council. Only those who are registered on the Maori electoral roll can vote for Maori ward candidates. Those of the General roll will only be able to vote for candidates standing in a General ward.
It changes the voting system by dividing it into those registered on the General Roll and those on the Maori roll, and splits the number of councillors accordingly based on the relative percentage of a community that identifies as being Maori. In Whangarei for example there are likely to be 3 Maori seats and 10 general seats. Currently, there are 13 wards and anyone of any race may stand. The right to have a binding referendum on this issue exists because it is a change to the way representatives are elected. That same right applies when a council proposes to change from first past the post to the single transferable voting system.
The issue comes down to what people believe is the best way for Maori interests to be expressed at a local council level. There are a number of ways that happens already: through the current voting system where those of Maori descent can be elected and are elected. For example, in the Far North, 6 of the 10 councillors have iwi affiliation, which is a greater proportion than the Maori population at large. Ironically, if Maori wards were to be introduced in the Far North the number of Maori councillors may drop. Many councils have standing committees specially established for Maori input into decision making. For example, the Whangarei District Council has a standing committee with 16 members, 8 appointed by iwi with full voting rights. There is no intention to remove that committee should Maori wards be introduced. Councillors have made it clear that Maori wards are "in addition" and some councillors want Maori seats to be half of the total number.

PLEASE HELP RESTORE LOCAL DEMOCRACY IN NORTHLAND BY SIGNING OUR PETITIONS.

They can be downloaded and printed from the following links:
If you live in Whangarei, please sign the WDC and NRC petition BELOW.

Whangarei District Council Petition Coordinator:

If you live in Kaipara, please sign the KDC and NRC petition BELOW.

Kaipara District Council Petition Coordinators:

If you live in the Far North, please sign the NRC petition BELOW.

Northland Regional Council Petition Coordinator:

Please mail the petition forms to Democracy NorthlandPO Box 334, Whangarei 0110. Or alternatively you can scan or photograph the form and email to: info@democracynorthland.co.nz.