FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QueSTIONS

Councils must go ahead with polling if five per cent of registered electors demand they do. This equates to 6027 people from NRC’s 120,458 electors, 3080 people from WDC’s 73,563 electors and 790 people from KDC’s 15,806 electors.
The polls must be demanded before 21 February to be in time to affect the next local government elections in 2022. After that date would mean affecting the 2025 elections. We do however ask that petition forms be returned to us ASAP as the sooner we reach the target the better, and it helps us plan advertising and the like.
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. If everyone collects just 9 other signatures, then we will only need to collect 603 forms for the NRC, 308 for the WDC and 79 for the KDC. 2. Download the petition forms and drop them in letterboxes in your neighourhood. That would be a great help, and it's good exercise! 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.
Because three of Northland’s four councils are proposing to introduce Maori wards (or constituencies): The Northland Regional Council (NRC), the Whangarei District Council (WDC), and the Kaipara District Council (KDC).
Please sign two petition forms: The one for the Northland Regional Council and the one for the Whangarei District Council.
Please sign two petition forms: The one for the Northland Regional Council and the one for the Kaipara District Council.
Only one. Please sign the Northland Regional Council petition form.
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.
Please mail the petition forms to Democracy Northland, PO Box 334, Whangarei 0110. Or alternatively, you can scan or photograph the form and email to info@democracynorthland.co.nz.
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). 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).
No. The councils have refused our request to place drop boxes in their customer services centres.
No. The Local Electoral Act 2001 provides two cases where electors may requisition a binding poll if more than 5% of electors petition a council to do so. Section 29 allows petition rights where a council changes the way representatives are elected using the FPP or STV voting systems. And section 19ZB provides petition rights when councils create Maori wards and introduce the Maori electoral roll. Both S29 and S19ZB are designed to provide the community at large with an opportunity to challenge changes to the voting system. Those who say the petition right is racist and applies to Maori wards only are either misinformed or are perpetuating fake news to further their own agenda.
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.
The formula for calculating the number of Maori seats is prescribed in Schedule 1A of the Local Electoral Act. It states, "The number of members to be elected by the electors of 1 or more Māori wards of the district of a territorial authority (Māori ward members) is to be determined in accordance with the following formula: nmm = mepd ÷ (mepd + gepd) × nm where— nmm is the number of Māori ward members mepd is the Māori electoral population of the district gepd is the general electoral population of the district nm is the proposed number of members of the territorial authority (other than the mayor)." In the Whangarei District there are 18,800 who identify as Maori. and 79,600 who do not, a total of 98,400. There are currently 13 councillors on the WDC. Result 2.48 Maori wards (so 2 or 3). NOTE: the number who identify of Maori is not the same as those listed on the Maori roll. About half of those who identify as Maori choose to go on the Maori roll. ONLY those listed on the Maori roll are entitled to vote for candidates standing in a Maori ward. If say 3 Maori seats are introduced then the number of general seats would be reduced by 3 from 13 to 10. 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”.
Amazingly, Stuff newspapers have refused to run our "It's about democracy" ads. That's making our message that much harder to communicate, but it means we have to go directly to the public via direct mail and word of mouth networking.
No. The Returning Officer has confirmed the petition forms are not made public.
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.

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.