Democracy Action Event a Success

Published: Sun 19 Oct 2014 09:07 AM
Democracy Action Event a Success
Over 200 people packed into Auckland’s Aotea Centre today to share experiences and learn more about the controversial Mana Whenua rights over private land in the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP).
Most attending were submitters on the PAUP. They heard Democracy Action founder, Lee Short, Sir Bob Jones and lawyers Stephen Franks and Pam McMillan highlight issues with the PAUP.
Addressing meeting, Democracy Action Chairman, Lee Short, said:
“Our democratic and property rights are very important to me, as I imagine they are to the vast majority of my fellow Aucklanders.”
“Of the 9,000 submissions on the Plan, over 1,100 submitters opposed either the cultural impact assessments, the shared governance proposals, or both.”
“After it was notified I was stunned by the extent of the rights granted to iwi over and above rights as Auckland citizens.”
Mr Short outlined legal issues advised by RMA expert Associate Professor Kenneth Palmer, and highlighted former Labour Maori Affairs spokesman Shane Jones’ objections to it.
In spite of the constitutionally dangerous uncertainties in the PAUP, it is already in effect.
“The Council don’t care that they are in force for at least the next two years while the hearings panel hears submissions. They’ve been enacted by decree. No one was allowed the opportunity to object before they took effect.”
“The first step is for Councillors to grow the courage to exercise responsibility. We are told by lawyers that they could at least take steps to suspend the application of these rules until after peoples’ submissions have been heard and the Council has voted.”
In his closing remarks to the audience, Mr Short called for action from both central and local government:
“Firstly, we call on the Government to pass legislation to end Mana Whenua provisions and restore the proper application of the existing law, in particular the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014.”
“Secondly, we want Auckland Council to suspend the application of the Mana Whenua provisions.”
“And thirdly, the Council should undertake to vary the Plan by removing the requirement for cultural impact assessments, 3,600 sites and places of value to Mana Whenua and other provisions not properly approved by Councillors.”
“Democracy Action will work to protect democracy’s hard fought-freedoms and protections against hereditary privilege, and corrupt use of power. There will be lots more action to ensure Aucklanders know about these provisions, how they will be affected and what we can do to reverse them.”

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