Is the NZ Government Planning to Lower the Voting Age Without a Referendum?

Changing the electoral act to allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote is the policy of both the Labour and Green parties.  They could follow the normal procedure for changes to electoral rights, with a referendum followed by a vote in parliament.  The problem for the government parties is that there is widespread public opposition, so a referendum is unlikely to succeed and even if it did, a constitutional change requires 75% support in parliament with National and Act in opposition it would never get through.

Instead it appears that a more convoluted route to lowering the voting age is being followed through courts and legislation, which may enable the government to bypass both a referendum and the requirement of 75% support in parliament.

The government is relying on a claim of an inconsistency between the Bill of Rights Act 1990 and the provisions of the Electoral Acts, when in fact stated intention of the Bill is to affirm 18 years as the minimum voting age, and any conflict lies within the Human Rights Act 1993, which however defers to the Bill of Rights.

The Supreme Court Judgement

In November 2022  the NZ Supreme Court upheld the appeal of the lobby group Make It 16 and passed down the following Judgement.

‘A declaration is made that the provisions of the Electoral Act 1993 and of the Local Electoral Act 2001 which provide for a minimum voting age of 18 years are inconsistent with the right in s 19 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 to be free from discrimination on the basis of age; these inconsistencies have not been justified in terms of s 5 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.

There is No Conflict Between the NZ Electoral Acts and the Bill of Rights

S 12 of the Bill of Rights Act specifically provides for protection of the voting rights in general elections for  ‘Every New Zealand citizen who is of or over the age of 18 years’.

It could be argued that any legislative discrepancy lies between the Bill of Rights s 12 and s 21(1) of the Human Rights Act 1990 which for all of Part 2 generally prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, being defined from 16 years (the Human Rights Act highlights specific areas where ‘age’ means from 16, but these do not include voting age).

However the Human Rights Act 1993 states:

21 B  Relationship between this Part and other law

(2) Nothing in this Part affects the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.

Given that the Bill of Rights clearly affirms the voting rights in general elections for those aged at least 18 years, and that there is no clear intent in the Human Rights 1993 to legislate for voting from the age of 16, and furthermore the Human Rights Act clearly states that the Bill of Rights takes precedence in any conflict, what is needed is clarification of the Human Rights Act 1993.

Judge John Kós, in dissent (Judgement, 74):

‘[…] I do not consider the provisions of the Electoral Act 1993, setting a minimum voting age of 18 years in parliamentary elections, are inconsistent with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (the Bill of Rights). Rather, I consider the explicit right to vote in parliamentary elections at 18 years, affirmed by s 12 of the Bill of Rights (and prescribed in the Electoral Act), prevails over the generalised right to freedom from discrimination affirmed by s 19 […].’

The Supreme Court Judgement overturned the ruling of the High Court (and before that the Court of Appeal), and is contrary to the opinion of Attorney General David Parker, who argued that the issue was ‘out of the Court’s purview.’  Parker’s view as quoted [27] was:

 ‘First, the argument is that through the entrenched provisions Parliament has set out the process for changing the law in this area. That, as we have seen, requires broad support for change either through a super majority in Parliament or with a referendum of eligible voters. This democratic process should be followed first.  Second, […] Parliament has not yet considered lowering the voting age and it should be able to consider the issues before the Court releases a decision that potentially skews public and political debate on the matter. In other words, the Court should not pre-emptively enter the debate when the matter is one to be determined not only by Parliament but also the electorate in general.’

A Declaration of Inconsistency: Voting age in the Electoral Act 1993 and the Local Electoral Act 2001

Public submissions are now being called for A Declaration of Inconsistency: Voting age in the Electoral Act 1993 and the Local Electoral Act 2001. The associated parliamentary press release claims that the inconsistency is between the Bill of Rights and the two electoral acts: it does not admit that the discrepancy is within the Bill of Rights. It baldly quotes the Judgement of the Supreme Court without advancing a solution in the form of lowering the voting age to 16, but nor does it suggest the more obvious option of clarifying the intent of the Bill of Rights, support for a minimum voting age of 18.

Pursuant to the New Zealand Bill of Rights (Declarations of Inconsistency) Amendment Act 2022, the government must take action within six months of a Declaration, though events might proceed faster.  Presumably this ‘action’ means changing the electoral law.

Five steps by which the voting age might be changed without a referendum or a 75% majority in parliament

1) Bill of Rights (Declarations of Inconsistency) Amendment Act 2022, introduced in 2020, but for some reason not passed until 29 Aug 2022 (Make It 16’s appeal to the Supreme Court commenced 12 July).

2) Supreme Court ‘inconsistency’ ruling, November 2022, with a suggestion that the only way to resolve this is by lowering the voting age to 16, ignoring the clause in the Human Rights Act which gives precedence to the Bill of Rights. 

3) Parliament’s proposed Declaration of Inconsistency: Voting age in the Electoral Act 1993 and the Local Electoral Act 2001

Then hypothetically:

4) The same Supreme Court court rules that changing the electoral act is now purely rubber stamping and therefore doesn’t require a referendum or 75% majority in parliament.

5) Action by Parliament to change electoral law.

The idea that ’18 year olds vote so therefore 16 year olds should too’ is patently nonsense

  • The Bill of Rights 1990 affirms a minimum voting age of 18.  It is pure opportunism to interpret the conflict with the very general reference to 16 years in s 21(1) in the Human Rights Act 1993 as a requirement to lower the voting age, when the Human Rights Act makes no specific reference to voting rights, and in any case gives precedence to the Bill of Rights.
  • Constitutional changes such as electoral reform should be made only after a well publicised referendum and a super majority in parliament.
  • Polls show that the public is adamantly opposed.
  • The move shifts the bar of adulthood from 18 to 16, with implications for criminal responsibility, jury service, military service abroad.
  • Society accept that rights and responsibilities increase with age as appropriate: from the age of five or six, when children are allowed to walk to school on their own, to eligibility for National Superannuation.  Former MP Barry Brill has submitted:

‘There should be no difference in voting age, the drinking age, the age of contractual capacity, the age for an arms licence, and the age when subject to adult criminal procedures; or military service.

All require a sufficient degree of maturity (on average) to justify a school child being treated as an adult. The issue is essentially a biologic and neurologic question, but I would consider 18 years to be a minimum.’

  • There is no reason to believe that modern school children are more mature than those in the past, and therefore equipped to make decisions relating to the running of the country at local or national level.  On the contrary, education levels are plummeting, critical thinking and respect for facts is discouraged, and the school curriculum is focused on Critical Race Theory, grooming for gender transition, and the teaching of questionable claims relating to climate change and New Zealand history.
  • It is clear that the only reason for taking this course is self-interest on the part of the parties in government who stand to gain from giving the vote to school children.


HAVE YOUR SAY about a A Declaration of Inconsistency on the voting age in the Electoral Act 1993 and the Local Electoral Act 2001

Make a submission by 11.59pm on 15 March 2023 (submissions opened 2 March)

NZ’s Local Government Review is Part of an Obnoxious Drive to an Ethnostate: MAKE A SUBMISSION

The Review into the Future for Local Government aspires to implement at the local government level He Puapua, Nanaia Mahuta’s blueprint for an ethnocracy

In 2021 an Official Information Request forced publication of He Puapua, a report commissioned by former Minister of Maori Affairs Nanaia Mahuta (often referred to as Mahuta the Looter) but kept under wraps since 2019.  It has been termed ‘the political statement of Nanaia Mahuta and her iwi’. Michael Bassett has described He Puapua thus:

‘It is a plan to introduce racial segregation into every aspect of our public service. It would divide our society into Maori who form 16% of the population on which 50% of political power would devolve by 2040, while the other 170 ethnicities in this country who constitute 84% of the population would share the rest. The 16% would enjoy their privileged position because they possess a drop or more of Maori blood. Without that drop, the rest of us are destined to become a rather crowded group of second-class citizens. 

Despite its early denials, the government is on track to implement He Puapua, having already passed legislation to bring into effect proposals for race based reforms relating to health and water management (‘Three Waters’).

The Review into the Future for Local Government was established by the same Nanaia Mahuta as Minister for Local Government, and is an implementation of He Puapua at the local government level. 

‘Co-governance’ instead of democracy

The function of the Review is to further the government’s objective to transfer power, rights and assets to tribal elites, relegate nonMaori to second class citizens and transform New Zealand from a modern, highly respected democracy, which has always aspired to equality, to a third world ethnostate, run by a small privileged elite.  It is notable that just the word ‘Maori’ occurs 534 times (along with ‘iwi’, ‘mana whenua’ etc).

Last October former broadcaster Peter Williams revealed that a confidential document obtained by the Taxpayers Union showed that the Review includes:

  • Transferring a laundry list of powers that currently fall before elected council directly to hapū/iwi and other Māori organisations;
  • Appointing unelected positions by mana whenua to be given equal status as elected members (including voting rights). But unlike the councillors, the mana whenua representatives cannot be removed at the ballot box;
  • Requiring council staff to conform with ‘te ao Māori values’ by law;
  • Funding of ‘Tiriti-based partnership in local governance’ (no matter the cost to ratepayers, apparently);
  • Lowering the local voting age to 16.

The Review refers repeatedly to democracy in conjunction with the Treaty of Waitangi, which in context is nonsense: the idea is to subvert democracy.  The Review takes as read a dishonest interpretation of the Treaty as promising a partnership between Crown and Maori, ie governance rights based on race.

An example of co-governance in action is demonstrated by the Playcentre Assocation

‘[…] a recent vote to change the constitution, that was supported by 366 out of 400 branches was overturned, because only 4 out of six Maori branches agreed to the change, and five out of six were needed for a consensus. Effectively, this means that under their co-governance arrangement, those two Maori votes in opposition, were able to veto 366 votes in favour.’

‘Wellbeing’: The New Age Agenda

The report claims for local government the responsibility of looking after our ‘wellbeing’.  Local government’s ‘narrow focus on delivering services and infrastructure’ needs to go, it seems: instead they will be planning how we live our lives.

 ‘The wellbeing challenges facing Aotearoa New Zealand are too big for central government to address alone – local government has an important role to play. We need to see shifts in mindsets and approaches with greater collaboration and innovation so that communities and local and central government have the tools, funding, and resilience to face the challenges ahead.’

It’s patently obvious that the Review is nothing to do with wellbeing, and all about the creation of racial privilege, division and disharmony, and the disempowerment of the majority.   ‘Greater collaboration’ is simply a euphemism for giving councils the right to seize the land of individuals and cancel the rights of the community at large.

Lowering the voting age (without a referendum)

Lowering the voting age is Labour and Green policy, no matter that the public is adamantly opposed.  It is an idea completely without merit.  The argument that preventing 16 year olds from voting is somehow ageist is on a par with arguing that 14 year olds should be allowed to get married.  It is a fact of life that everywhere there is a definition of adulthood applying to important rights and responsibilities such as voting and fighting in wars, normally 18, and that the young acquire rights and responsibilities gradually as they mature.  That five year olds are allowed to walk to school without adult supervision, and 12 year olds to have a paper round, does not mean they should be allowed to get married, vote or go off to war.

The proposal is completely self serving.  By the age of 16 New Zealand children have gone through a system of walltowall child abuse and disempowerment.  The mission of the modern teacher is not to teach NZ children essential skills, respect for facts, or critical thinking, but to assign gender, create racial division, peddle untruths on issues from NZ history to the status of polar bears, and turn children into activists for government agendas.  School children are in no way equipped to make mature decisions about town planning, climate change, or who should be running councils or the country. They have no understanding of the balance between what Councils do and the costs they must pay as ratepayers.

Citizens’ Assemblies

Introducing (ostensibly) randomly selected ‘citizens’ assemblies’ that have status but you cannot vote out is another device for manipulating democracy, which would be better served with more use of referenda.

Maori language as a parasite on English

The Review is of course a manifestation of the extraordinary idea, unique to New Zealand, that the Maori language can only be, and must be, preserved as a parasite on the English language, thereby showing contempt for both.

Submissions criteria

The submission criteria laid down by the Future for Local Government Review board are another cause for concern.  The Review board will redact information from a response that:

‘Uses language or content that is defamatory, racist, sexist or discriminatory, insulting, offensive (including swearing and obscene or vulgar comments), or potentially harmful.’

The Free Speech Union has suggested that you disagree with 16 year-olds being given the right to vote in local council elections (which by definition is discriminating on the basis of age), or you oppose racist policies, your submission can be moderated at the discretion of the Review board.


The last day for submissions is Tuesday 28 February. The draft report can be viewed, and submissions made, here.

Protect Local Democracy has created a submission tool.

See also:

On 8 February this year, Auckland University’s Professor Elizabeth Rata and three senior colleagues sent an open letter to the Prime Minister Christopher Hitchens, asking that the Curriculum Refresh and the associated NCEA qualification reforms be halted. Their objections include traditional knowledge (mātauranga Māori) being inserted everywhere in the curriculum and being given equivalence with modern knowledge, including science and maths; the division of students by race into Māori and non-Māori; and the creation of what they describe as a “racialised curriculum”.

NZ Floods: Hawkes Bay Residents Allege Authorities Incompetent or Uncaring, Gangs out of Control & Media Uninterested

Hawkes Bay residents are blocking off their streets to stop gangs coming in and looting, but Prime Minister Chris Hipkins insists everything is under control, and the media have shown little interest

A friend received the following email (my emphasis):

 ‘GISBORNE & HAWKES BAY CRIPPLED We are getting reports MSM are ignoring the worst stories. There are 5,600 registered as missing. Hawkes Bay residents are saying: “Dead animals are building up and rotting & Napier residents have been without power, hot water, internet & phone signal since Mon night/Tues morning.” “A lot of people have lost their houses, everything.” “We were totally cut off from Napier in Hastings with many people being turned away from the only crossing available even though they were essential.”

‘”Looting, shooting, stabbing, killing, stealing, and hostage situations are going on. Gangs are out of control, holding people hostage and at gun point for their supplies.” “The devastation has all but destroyed from what we hear 50% or more of Hawkes Bay’s horticulture.” Locals have started road blocks. Why were police raiding Shooters Saloon on Thursday instead of helping in these affected areas?

‘My son is with the Navy and is helping in HB and I grew up there and have a number of friends and family there. We are being fed so much bullshit via MSM. My son orchestrated help to three different areas yesterday. He is only 21 and has been in less than three years. He said most of the superiors are either contradictory, indifferent or blissfully unaware. Most of the ship haven’t even disembarked. He has taken leave today to go and help friends in Twyford who have had the flood waters go through their house. He went to Bayview yesterday and the knob running the Civil Defence site out there sent them back to ship as there was nothing to do. He drove out to EskValley with family and said that the devastation is heartbreaking. He also said that everything that has been done there has been done by civilians and not one Government department has done a thing to aid them.

‘I know of a police woman who was retrieving bodies from the water in Esk Valley on the Wednesday and was so overwhelmed by everything that she couldn’t work on the Thursday. A friend whose sons are cops have said that it’s so bad and they will be retrieving bodies from the debris for months and then there will be many lost forever as they have been wept out to sea. Another friend works for a funeral director and they normally deal with all the Coroners work. This has been taken over by identification specialists from both NZ and Australia. My cousin is a cop and says that we only ever ask for international help when we need help to identify a large number of bodies. By Wednesday HB had run out of body bags. My son traveled down on Te Mana and they were bringing a heap more with them.

The 21000 litres of water delivered to Gisborne by the Manawanui on Wednesday is being on sold to locals. It’s an absolute shit show and I have a close friend with Army contacts and they also have their hands tied. They were deploying a heap but were then stood down at the eleventh hour.

The gang violence after dark in areas without power is out of control. The Navy have 50 assault rifles on board but have been told that they will not be out doing patrols as not everyone knows how to use them. We are being set up to implode.’

From another source:

‘Others are getting the same story out with very limited i-phone coverage. Gangs are openly going around with guns stealing food and petrol and generally looting valuables etc. The Media have been instructed to play it down and they are not telling the full story to the outside world.

While little has been said in the mainstream media to confirm these personal testimonies, news outlet MSN reported: ‘”It’s despicable”: Tensions escalate in Hawke’s Bay as thieves and looters target vulnerable’.

We’ve heard first-hand accounts of people witnessing the theft of food and nappies given to hard-hit communities. Others say generators and prized possessions are being taken from flood-damaged homes. And it didn’t take us long to find people who are angry and scared. [One street was] already ransacked by Cyclone Gabrielle but now they have another foe to face[,] thieves.

‘”The vulnerable are now getting their stuff stolen. The gangs are coming in, or looters in general. They’re threatening people, stealing their stuff. We are very scared, people are very scared,” said Napier local Grant Porter.’

Wellington’s Dominion Post made only a passing reference to the crime problem yesterday morning, in its article ‘Testing Our Resilience Resilience’, while its sister organisation, the major online outlet NZ Stuff, reported this disclaimer from the government: ‘Chris Hipkins denies outbreak of lawlessness in Hawke’s Bay’.  The PM insists that the police have the matter under control, and accused opponents of amplifying the extent of the crime .

In line with the policy of romantising New Zealand’s  criminal gangs whenever possible, the government is appealing to their better natures.  Minister of Police Stuart Nash, responding to a report of gang members taking advantage of the disaster, has said:

‘You know what I’d say to the gangs, get your bloody patches off, go and get a whole lot of wheelbarrows and shovels, and start helping people as opposed to just adding to already super high levels of stress.’

And again on Newstalk ZB:

‘my plea to those – no, no, not my plea – my request to those [gang] leaders is pull your bloody head in, get your animals off the streets and out of the cars, and stop doing this.

Interestingly, a Stuff article entitled ‘Get your bloody patches off’: Police Minister Stuart Nash […]’ ( now diverts to the above article, possibly the same piece but with a less inflammatory title.   Presumably Stuff wished to downplay any criticism of the gangs.

Is the NZ government (and the media) right to downplay the extent of the crime faced by those deeply affected by the flooding, thus compounding an already tragic situation? Will Hawkes Bay residents draw comfort from the level of support offered by the government, and remove their barricades?

NZ Children Can’t Read or Write, and Don’t Know What Gender They Are, So Let Them Vote

The New Zealand Supreme Court has ruled in favour of lowering the voting age to 16.

‘Justice France told the court it was inconsistent with the Bill of Rights to not allow 16-year-olds to vote, and the decision of the Court of Appeal was overturned.’

Jacinda Ardern announced the same day, 21 November, that the Cabinet had decided ‘to draft a piece of legislation with a proposal to lower the age to 16 for the whole of Parliament to consider’.   While the required 75% majority makes its success unlikely, Labour’s present majority means this may be its best chance for a long time, and if the Bill does gets through, it will be very difficult to reverse.  However it comes at an interesting time:

Education standards are plummeting

Nearly two-thirds of students failed the writing standard in the latest NCEA literacy and numeracy pilot, released in October.  The highest pass rate was the reading standard, with 64% of students scoring an achieved or higher.  That was followed by numeracy at 56% and writing at 34%.  Those pass rates were even lower than the results in 2021, which themselves were a matter of concern for educators.

At the same time, truancy is skyrocketing. Earlier this month Education Review Office warned that NZ has worse school attendance than other English-speaking countries and many parents don’t care if their children miss classes.  Children failing in the 3Rs, and their reluctance to attend school, can in part be put down to the destructive pandemic measures, ranging from disruption to schooling to enforced mask wearing.  Another factor could be:

NZ education consists of wall to wall indoctrination, manipulation and abuse

The New Zealand school curriculum exposes children to every kind of damaging wokery, including:

  •  Critical race theory, whereby children have imposed upon them colonial guilt if of European descent, and victimhood and inferiority if Maori.  The capacity for bullying in the classroom of racial minorities of Maori or European descent is huge.
  • Conscious grooming for gender transition (leading to counselling, puberty blockers, mutilation, sterility, and more counselling);
  • Endless lies about ‘climate change’, with children consciously indoctrinated to become activists for the pseudoscience ‘climate change’ narrative, and no room for critical thinking.

This last is especially significant, as it is expected that giving children the vote will ensure support for the climate change agenda and indeed it is often cited as a good reason: it is assumed that because they are most effected (they’ll live longer), therefore they care the most, so they will make the right decisions.  Make It 16, who took the case to the Supreme Court, argue that:

  • Climate change poses an existential threat to young people and our future generations.

Next year is election year, and Labour is set to lose

Polls show that support for Labour is evaporating (the Newshub Reid Research Poll for November being particularly unfavourable), and there is a good chance that after the 2023 election National will be able to form a government with the support of ACT and maybe NZ First.  Having 100,000 or so children voting as instructed by their teachers could only benefit the Hard Left, if not this election then future ones.

There is huge opposition

The public is adamantly opposed to lowering the voting age.   As Bryce Edwards points out: ‘Poll after poll shows that about three-quarters of the public is not yet convinced that it’s a good idea.  In recent years there have been several polls on lowering the voting age, in 2020 at least three showing 70%, 85% and 88% respectively in favour of the status quo. The online community group Neighbourly ran a poll finishing today (23 November), with the final figures being 79.2 against the change.

Of the current opposition parties, Chris Luxon says the National Party does not see a need for change, confirmed by Justice spokesman Paul Goldsmith, in a press release which typically shifted the focus to other priorities (also typical is Deputy Nicola Willis continuing to post on social media about inflation rates while ignoring the issue of the voting age).  ACT leader David Seymour is more forthright:

‘ACT rejects calls to lower the voting age to 16 following the Supreme Court’s ruling. […] “We don’t want 120,000 more voters who pay no tax voting for lots more spending. The Supreme Court needs to stick to its knitting and quit the judicial activism.’

Who wants it?

The case was taken to the Supreme Court by a group called Make It 16, formed in September 2019 as ‘a non-partisan youth-led campaign advocating for the vote to be extended to 16 and 17-year-olds in Aotearoa’.  The group is the likely  stimulus for all the polls in 2020 onward.   In April 2022 the group was granted leave for its case to be heard in the Supreme Court after it failed in the High Court and Court of Appeal in 2020 and 2021.

Lowering the voting age is official Green policy, and Make It 16’s launching event in 2020 was hosted by Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick.  Coincidentally, or not, the Greens have the most to gain, with a generation of brainwashed school kids, convinced that they will be failing if they don’t convince the government to act NOW on climate change, and encouraged to vote by their (very often) equally brainwashed teachers.  Labour has had no explicit policy, though Ohariu MP Greg O’Connor also spoke at Make It 16’s launch.  Jacinda Ardern, who appears to be in lockstep with Green policy on every other issue, has signified support for the change.

The Maori Party / Te Pāti Māori have also expressed support.

Last election a National MP fed me the line that it was ‘good to let young people vote, as it gets them in the habit’.  Given the Labour /  Greens’ huge majority, it will only take a few Nats to think the same way to get it through.

So why now?

Only Parliament can decide if the law will change, 75% support in the House is needed and the opposition from National and ACT should be enough:  90 out of 120 seats are required, and  Labour /Greens / Maori Party currently have 77.  Ardern has indicated support for a conscious vote: ‘I accept different politicians will have different views.  Mine is one of 120’.  She may be hoping that enough National voters will cross the floor and support the change (like turkeys voting for Christmas) and indeed one National MP (now former) expressed support to me last election for lowering the vote because ‘it would get them in the habit of voting’.  However, she has said that the legislation will not be passed before the coming election.

Given the huge level of opposition to the proposal, and the unlikelihood that any change will affect the next, crucial, election, the decision to go ahead now seems hard to justify.  Whether or not it is passed, it will almost certainly damage Labour’s election chances.  One would have expected Labour to wait until safely after the coming election, as they did with gender self-identification,.

Bryce Edwards has confirmed that: ‘The general convention – which Jacinda Ardern reiterated yesterday – is for the implementation of significant electoral law changes to only take place for the election after the next one’.  He doesn’t say that it is law, however.  Some likely reasons for the decision to plough ahead:

  • In October 2021 Jacinda Ardern introduced mandatory vaccinations, accepting (rather gleefully) the  creation of a two tier society, despite having on numerous occasions denied that was the intention, even claiming that the idea was a conspiracy theory.  Her stated intentions cannot therefore be considered reliable. In the context of lowering the voting age, I will stick my neck out and say that there is a strong possibility that, given her penchant for fast tracking legislation, with few complaints from the public, Ardern is not necessarily committed to this conventional delay, and may be hoping to push through the change in voting age in time for it to be in effect for the 2023 election.
  • If Jacinda does manage to get the Bill through, it will be almost impossible to reverse by subsequent governments, so Labour and the Greens will reap the benefit in subsequent elections.
  • In any case, the idea will grow: already opponents are being vilified as ‘right-wing’ or ‘selfish old people’.

Given that Labour is on track to being voted out this election, maybe the punt is not so silly after all.

STOP PRESS:  Last night the NZ Parliament went into urgency to last to Friday or maybe Saturday.  This was 22 November, the day after the ruling from the Supreme Court on the the voting age and Jacinda Ardern’s announcement that legislation would be drafted to give effect to the ruling.   According to Simon O’Connor, in a piece to camera they are hoping to action 29 pieces of legislation, including the controversial Water Services Entities Bill.

See also:

Guy Hatchard, The Five Deadly Lies of Jacinda Ardern and Her Government


NZ Greens: Nazi Party or Simply Nasty Party?

Intimidation, expropriation of private property, turning greenery into a liability, dismantling democracy, forced medical interventions,  persecution of minorities, disempowerment of humanity on every possible front: what’s not to love?

Intimidation as conscious political tactic

In August 2022 Wellington mayoral candidate Tory Whanau, along with other Green and Labour candidates and sitting councillors, attended a counter-demonstration organised by the Wellington section of Antifa, a world wide organisation known for its chosen strategy of intimidation in order to achieve its ends.  It hardly seems a coincidence that the toxic NZ Green Party subsequently fought a toxic local election campaign in Wellington.  Wellington Antifa self-describes as opposing ‘fascism and anti-vax ideology’ thus correlating the two, and in line with Antifa philosophy the Greens insisted on a vaccine election, demonised the unvaccinated and made great use of intimidatory tactics.  This achieved two things: it successfully ‘othered’ rival candidates while frightening candidates who might have been more nuanced on the issue of Covid mandates, and it also reinforced the government’s message.

The media outlet NZ Stuff also provided inspiration for the Green campaign when Stuff seized on an odd reference by a leader of one anti-mandate group to making the country ungovernable, to create a sensationalist documentary called Fire and Fury, critiqued here. The documentary suggested that everyone within five degrees of separation from the anti-mandate protest was involved in planning violent insurrection, even though it was supported by former MPs from three parties and Dame Tariana Turia (‘ungovernable’ seems to be all about growing your own vegetables.)

The group that followed Tory Whanau round the election meetings actively set out to undermine, disempower and intimidate candidates.  Tactics included loaded questions, jeering at candidates, screaming ‘she’s an antivaxxer’, and whooping for their own candidate while not clapping for any other. The manipulative questions made it hard for candidates to actually clarify their position, let alone justify their views.  I was jeered at for denying that I was ‘affiliated with a group that wants to make the country ungovernable’, and for saying that I was opposed to any policies, including the move towards co-governance, that cause division. Others were treated similarly for opposing Wellington’s aggressive cycle network plan or the voting age being lowered to 16 years (lowering the voting age is an important Green policy – I wonder why?)

There were micro-aggressions and reinforcement of the message in the form of announcing vaccination status on introduction.  This practice was followed by at least two candidates, official Green candidate Tamatha Paul, and ‘independent’ but bright green Ellen Blake: ‘I am so and so and I’m triple vaccinated’.  Similarly the twitter bio of successful mayoral candidate Tory Whanau’s proudly affirmed that that she was ‘fully vaccinated and a proud mask wearer’.

When supporters of other candidates decided to push back and heckle too, the Greens cried rape, with the full support of the corporate media who had somehow missed the antics of Whanau’s supporters.

At this last meeting in Hataitai, local residents decided they’d had enough of the Greens’ ‘relentless positivity’, and told Whanau’s whoopers to either shut up or go home.

Green Policy: It’s All About Disempowerment

Was there ever a narrative promoted by trillionaire nutjobs and restricting the rights of citizens that the Greens haven’t backed to the hilt?

Making New Zealand unlivable on the back of junk science

During the evolutionary burst of life forms that was the Cambrian Explosion, both global temperatures and atmospheric CO2 were far higher than they are today.  Both have been in a trough, but as CO2 has crawled upwards recently, there had been a greening of the planet, with retreating deserts and higher crop yields.  ‘Can’t have that’, says the Green Party.  So they have reformulated the theory of the carbon cycle whereby while CO2 is brilliant when rebreathed by small masked children, it is otherwise harmful for the planet.  No matter that there is no science whatsoever to back up their claims of dangerous warming caused by CO2, to be exact the 4% or so produced by humanity (the NZ Climate Commission, when asked to provide proof of their claims, could only hum and haw and admit that they were relying on the nonexistent ‘consensus).

Regardless, the Green Party, along with the Labour Party, are determined to use the nonsense narrative of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming to make New Zealand unlivable by, eg:

  • Confiscating private property for the purposes of rewilding (when the fake biodiversity line is exposed, we can always claim emission offsetting);
  • Numerous measures to make farming nonviable and encourage its replacement with monoculture pine. This has serious implications for the food supply, export income and the environment (NB: in 2019 Green MP and Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage  gave a free pass to Japanese company PanPac to buy up to 20,000 hectares of productive farmland);
  • Rezoning coastal property;
  • Making cities like Wellington hostile to cars by putting in cycleways everywhere, impeding traffic flow and removing car parks with huge inconvenience to residents and negative impact on businesses;
  • Imposing apartment living to replace our house and garden lifestyle which, with its flowers, vege gardens and composts heaps, is now deemed ‘unsustainable’, along with houses that have withstood earthquakes for 100 years.

Wellington’s own ‘Wildland’s’ project

The American Wildlands Project, now termed the Wildlands Network, proposes the designation of more than 50% of the United States as core wilderness areas with little or no human use, while humanity is forced into high density living.  Exposure of the Wildlands Project was responsible for the United States not ratifying the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity in 1994.

Bizarrely, the Labour/Green faction of Wellington City Council decided to apply this scheme to our capital city, expanding the city’s reserves at the expense of private property.  In 2022 WCC applied its ‘Significant Natural Areas’ policy to a substantial amount of land formerly zoned rural within the city boundaries, mostly gorse and scrub, and thereby taking the land out of the housing equation.  The scheme has no legal basis, turns native bush into a liability and is fraudulent, as it is applied to land of no special value at all, at best regenerating bush, but also garden shrubbery, agapanthus, pine, lawn etc.  Now that the election is over, it is almost inevitable that it will be applied to the 1500 or so residential properties, and presumably many more later on.

Eliminating democracy in favour of rule by tribal elites

At a Wellington election meeting, Green mayoral candidate Tory Whanau and Labour’s Paul Eagle affirmed that they supported 50:50 cogovernance with iwi.  This is the policy of both parties, and the Green Party manifesto is full of references to ‘tino rangitiratanga’, ie Maori sovereignty.  The concept is based on a modern interpretation of the Treaty Of Waitangi which asserts that the Crown agreed, not to democracy and equal right for all, but to an equal partnership between the Crown and Maori elites, in perpetuity.

In 2018 there was leaked and then released a report called He Puapua, which sets out how co-governance in every sphere of NZ life could be achieved.  Needless to say, the Greens fully support the aims of the He Puapua report, whose intent has been described as:

‘[…] a coup designed to dismantle our democracy and the Rule of Law and replace it with the worst form of tribalism coupled with the greed of those who want what they have not earned.’ (Anthony Willy, former Judge and Law Lecturer)

The Mandates

As with ‘climate’ so with ‘Covid’, with the Green Party even more gung ho than Labour when it came to restricting people’s liberty.  When the PM announced the end of the COVID-19 Protection Framework in September, the Greens accused the government of ‘giving up’.

The visible symbol of subjection which is enforced masking is especially dear to the hearts of the Green Party.  After the government removed most mask mandates, the Green MPs turned up at Parliament masked in protest.  Mask wearing was a Green Party badge during the local election campaign on the part of both candidates and supporters, with meetings well attended by Greens a sea of masked faces, even after the mandates were eased.  Green MP Julie Anne Genter came to one meeting with a mask and a scarf wrapped round her face, making a performance of unwinding her scarf when people complained they couldn’t hear her question.

War and mass migration

Green parties everywhere are big supporters of mass migration, including into heavily populated countries like the UK, regardless of the impact on the environment and social fabric of target countries.  This includes NZ, where the Greens have a policy of taking 5,000 refugees (or econonic migrants) per annum, and wishes to grant visa waiver status to all Pacific countries, which will inevitably lead to a huge increase in immigration and population, and have environmental impact.

The Greens claim humanitarianism, which apparently trumps environmental concerns in this one context.  However a major factor in migration is war, and the Greens attitude to the West’s immoral warmongering is at best ambiguous.  In 2017 I asked candidates at an election meeting about their stance on NZ sponsoring the most vicious ISIS-aligned group in Syria, ie the child murdering Al Zinki gang, via their front group the White Helmets.   The Green candidate declared that his party saw them (ie ISIS-aligned gangs) as the modern day equivalent of the International Brigades who fought Franco.  It wasn’t certain that the candidate could find Syria on a map; rather it seemed to be a message that was passed down from on high.

The intervention in Libya with the approval of a ‘no-fly zone’ by the UN on the questionable grounds of ‘responsibility to protect’ was an absolute disaster, leading to the destruction of Africa’s most successful country and the ruin of millions of lives.  The Greens’ Global Policy, however, asserts that  ‘Aotearoa New Zealand should promote the “responsibility to protect” in cases of genocide or gross and systematic violations of human rights’ (thus endorsing the destruction of Libya), when we all know that ‘violations’ tend to be in the eye of the beholder.  Former MP Kennedy Graham was a strong proponent of removing the Security Council veto, citing Russia’s use of the veto to prevent the West doing a Libya on Syria.  Likewise, a glance at the social media posts of present leader James Shaw shows that he has often wrung his hands about the failure to ‘act’ in (destroy) Syria.


One could be forgiven for attributing to the Greens a philosophy of ‘I love not Man the less, but Nature more’,  and certainly their grass roots will believe it.    Except that it doesn’t wash, as many of the measures they support have negative consequences for the environment and biodiversity: making greenery a liability; getting rid of home gardens along with flowers, bees and butterflies and replacing them with NZ ‘s most common natives; covering the landscape with pinus radiata, the penchant for the most toxic energy renewable systems such as batteries, not to mention the obsessive support for the mass movement of people.  The Greens exist to serve anti-people agendas imposed by overseas interests.  It’s not about loving the environment: it’s all about people, just not in a good way.

Continue reading “NZ Greens: Nazi Party or Simply Nasty Party?”

The Confessions of Barbara McKenzie

The Victoria University of Wellington Students Association (VUWSA) recently issued a defamatory press statement to the effect that they were ‘uninviting’ me from their mayoral debate, due to my ‘racist and transphobic views’, while also being concerned about the danger of students being infected with Covid scepticism (or any scepticism, one suspects). 

‘The views that Barbara McKenzie brings encroach upon the safety of all of our students and staff here on campus. Her spread of misinformation, disinformation and mal-information around COVID-19 and vaccinations, as well as her racist and transphobic comments, are dangerous and harmful.’

No evidence was provided of ‘racist and transphobic comments’, and VUWSA has not replied to my inquiry for details, but it is apparent that such charges are based solely on my political views, not on any offensive wording.

Clearly the statement from VUWSA, and subsequent attention from the media, will make me the target of hate from ideologues, the disaffected and the bored; in short the world has become a more dangerous place.  The issue is therefore relevant to the mayoral campaign.   In the interest of transparency:

I confess to the following

I confess to a reluctance to speak on any issue without studying it carefully.

I confess that I adamantly oppose NZ’s abusive school programme, which bullies small children into feeling insecure about their gender (Imagine waking up one morning and discovering that your gender has changed), seeks to create racial hatred through critical race theory, and lies about the demographic status of polar bears.

I confess that I oppose allowing men who’ve declared that they’re women to ruin women’s sport.

I confess to being disgusted by the spiteful shaming by Wellington City Council of a pro-women’s group, by lighting up in rainbow colours the venue where they were holding a public meeting.

I confess that I oppose WCC’s undemocratic policy of progressing towards co-governance without input from voters.

As someone with knowledge of many languages and who has travelled widely, I confess to being totally mystified by the policy, unique to New Zealand, of promoting the Maori language by consciously and artificially hybridising English.

On 29 March 2020 Ashleigh Bloomfield told a press conference that ‘As we have seen around the world, Covid-19 CAN be a deadly disease – particularly for older people, and those with underlying pre-existing health issues’, a description echoed by Jacinda Ardern and others.  I confess to scepticism that such a disease justifies measures that impact severely and in multiple ways on the economy, jobs and businesses, the health system, human rights and children’s welfare, or justifies the ostracism of vaccine refusers.

In 2010 Glaxo Smith Kline pulled its Swine Flu Vaccine after a few month because of the injuries.   I confess to agreeing with GSK, many health professionals, and the facts of science, that vaccines are not always safe, effective and justified, and thus are open to scrutiny.  I maintain that denial of this fact is anti-intellectual cultism.

I confess to being gobsmacked by the wacky conspiracy theory, developed by Stuff and promoted by other media, that the bunch of women who ruled the Freedom Village at Parliament with a rod of iron and kept it immaculate, are somehow involved in plotting violent revolution.

I confess to opposing NZ and Wellington’s Zero Carbon by 2050 policy, given that: costs for NZ are estimated to exceed $550 billion, and assume huge sacrifices in terms of our economy, environment and quality of life; it will achieve nothing in view of the coal-fired power stations being built in Asia and elsewhere, and global activity generally; and Rod Carr has admitted that the Climate Commission has no convincing evidence that CO2 causes dangerous global warming other than a touching faith in the (debunked) ‘consensus of climate scientists’.

I confess to believing that WCC’s Significant Natural Area policy of expanding the city’s reserves at the expense of private land (regardless of significance) signifies an intention to expand the city’s reserves at the expense of private land.

I confess to be deeply concerned at the division and hatred created by pandering to the demands of the extremist elements of minority groups.  While minorities may benefit from measures that favour them, overall it makes the world a less safe place for them.  Virtue-signalers love the division; I hate it.

I confess to a suspicion that what VUWSA and other players find dangerous is dissent backed by facts and rational argument.

It will be up to courts, and the voters, to decide whether any of these sins amount to racism or transphobia.

See also:

VUWSA’s statement was smartly picked up Wellington Scoop, where it has attracted much comment. VUWSA excludes mayoral candidate from election debate

Wellington City Councillors Attend Antifa Counter-Demonstration

The attendance of Wellington City Councillors at an Antifa counter-demonstration, ostensibly to protest fascism, invoked the question, who exactly are the fascists here?

On Tuesday a ‘Freedom’ demonstration took place in Wellington.  Although the protest was against the covid vaccine mandates in particular, and for some the government in general, opposition seized on the fact that it was organised by Brian Tamaki, also the founder of a conservative church which opposed gay marriage.  Thus the protest was to some extent tainted by association.  As well as this discouraging some protesters, politicians and media are allowing the association to empower fascist hate groups such as Antifa.   

The Wellington Antifa organisation, Pōneke Anti-Fascist Coalition promotes a parallel between fascism and ‘anti-vaxx ideology’, and indeed all ‘conspiracies’ (i.e. dissent).

‘We are a group of people based in Pōneke/Wellington who are standing up against fascism, anti-vaxx ideology, conspiracy theories and bigotry in all its forms. Love community, hate fascism!’

Pōneke Anti-Fascist Coalition organised a counter-demonstration to Tamaki’s Freedom protest. Wellington City Councillors Fleur Fitzsimons and Rebecca Matthews, and a few other local election candidates attended the demonstration posing under Antifa insignia and the Antifa slogans ‘Love Community Hate Fascism’ and ‘Fascist Trash’. 

Response to the boastful tweets of the councillors was furious.

There is indeed much about Wellington City Council culture that is redolent of fascism. Two common definitions of fascism that are relevant:

1) Authoritarianism.

The Councillors’ desire to suppress free speech, well demonstrated by their hostility both to this protest and to February’s ‘Freedom Village’, is just one expression of what is now WCC culture.  The Council is imposing on the city a deeply unpopular cycle network – because they can.  The Council approves in principle the expansion of Wellington’s (ample) reserves at the expense of private property, overturning traditional rights and causing huge angst and material loss – because they can.  The Council is pushing towards co-governance, without referendum  – because they can.

2)  Achieving political ends through bullying, intimidation, through to violence.   Intimidation was a strategy of the Italian Fascists in the 1930, and is now an Antifa hallmark.

There is, of course, a sliding scale, when it comes to bullying.  At one end: at Onslow-Western local election meetings of 2019, a recurring theme of candidates was that the people who should decide every issue from climate change to town planning were school children, because they were going to live longer.  Every time a member of the audience queried the Council’s vision of a city of apartment buildings, up would bounce Rebecca Matthews and inform the sea of grey heads that ‘there is an age divide here.  Younger people …’.

As Matthews started, with disenfranchising the elderly, so she has continued.  Venom is directed at all opponents. Anyone who loves Wellington as it is, is a ‘f….. NIMBY’.  And not just by Matthews. Anyone who opposes democracy being replaced by co-governance is deemed racist by a body of councillors .  The sniping and whinging at Council meetings in order to cow opposition has to be heard to be believed.   Take, for example, the Council’s meeting to  approve the Proposed District Plan.  Every councillor had the chance to speak, but this did not stop Fleur Fitzsimons and others wasting everyone’s time at the end by complaining about how people voted.  Those chairing the meetings clearly feel it is not in their best interests to rein in this behaviour.

Matthews and co. may have established for themselves a reputation as bullies, however it is quite a step to attending what was essentially an Antifa rally. 

The protest passed off peacefully, and and there is no evidence that violence was planned, or is planned in the future, by Poneke Antifa.  I am certainly not accusing Wellington councillors of planning riots.  But the fact remains that Poneke Antifa is a nasty hate group that works to suppress dissent by equating it with fascism: a gobsmacking example of projectionism.   By attending an Antifa rally, by standing under Antifa slogans and insignia, by joining with them in accusing all anti-mandate protesters of fascism and hate, Wellington councillors, like the media, are empowering the Antifa movement – and fascism.

See also:

Wellington Scoop: Hundreds of anti-protest demonstrators watch arrival of “Freedom” marchers, via the lens of twitter.

A recent poll showed that satisfaction with Wellington City Council’s decision-making process is down to 12%. From Benoi Pette,12%:

‘This report was presented by officers to the Mayor and the Councillors on the 28th of June. The video of the meeting is available online and lasts one hour and a half. The section about satisfaction starts at the 46th minute.

‘In this presentation, the officers never mention, ever, the actual figure of 12%, as if it was too shameful, too dirty to dare say it. They list what Wellingtonians said were the three main reasons for this, let’s try, “low” level of satisfaction:

  • Not listening to the public (someone, somewhere suggested it some time ago);
  • Political issues (the in-fighting);
  • Lack of transparency in decision-making.

‘Then an officer offers his own analysis. Yes, the rating is not great, but it is also relatively stable. I’ll be guessing here you always have to see the positive in things.

NZ Stuff / DomPost Conspiracy Theories Empower Hate Groups

NZ Stuff and Wellington’s Dominion Post are peddling baseless and irresponsible conspiracy theories which are in turn inspiring and empowering hate groups such as Antifa.

At first it seemed a joke ….

Back in February a convoy opposed to the NZ government’s covid vaccine mandates arrived at Parliament in Wellington and set up camp. The Freedom Village was ruled with a rod of iron by a bunch of women.  The grounds were immaculate.  If the campers included homeless or unemployed, they were a credit to New Zealand.

Wellington City Council could have turned the whole affair into a tourist attraction, but chose not to.  Politicians in Wellington lied their heads off about the protest (‘bottom feeders’ and ‘a river of filth’), and MPs from both the government and the National opposition petulantly refused to meet with the protesters, thereby ensuring its continuation.  The protest came to an end when the police moved in aggressively and a violent altercation quickly developed between them and a group of unknowns.

Wellington’s Dominion Post has now been promoting a conspiracy theory linking the Freedom Village with a plot to use violence to overthrow the government, targeting especially the group Voices for Freedom, but anyone associated (however loosely) with the group or the anti-mandate movement .  VFF is well organised and publishes material about the vaccine mandates and related issues.   None of the material on its website seems to be subversive in a traditional sense, unless you count its opposition to the government’s covid policies.

My first response was to laugh my head off: the idea of the women leading Voices for Freedom  planning a violent insurrection was ridiculous in the extreme.
Former MPS such as Rodney Hyde, Winston Peters and Matt King all spoke and hung out at the protest.  ACT leader David Seymour also visited.   Wellington Mayor Andy Foster incurred the wrath of his Labour/Green council by meeting with protest representatives:

‘Foster said he came out of the Backbencher meeting hopeful that a peaceful solution could be found.’


‘A police spokesperson said representatives from NZ Police met a broad range of people with a view to finding a peaceful and negotiated resolution to the unlawful occupation on Parliament grounds.’

There is no sense that either Andy Foster or the police were expecting a violent insurrection.  There is no sense that former MPs such as Peters, Hyde etc, suspected that the protest might be a precursor to armed revolution.  The idea that all these experienced politicians could be associated with violence or condone violence is ridiculous.

Having created their conspiracy theory, the DomPost is using it to smear independent candidates such as myself, i.e. those opposed to Council policies.  Despite the malevolent intention to harm me, it was hard to take seriously.   After all, while I was out canvassing voter feedback continued to focus on the issues of the neglected stormwater problem, the aggressive and unpopular cycleway project, the skyrocketing rates and ‘the whole council’.

All humour has now gone from the situation.  Stuff has created a documentary named ‘Fire and Fury’ which, while being managing to be essentially content-free, relies on a powerful and dramatic presentation to convince the viewer a threat of impending violence from anti-mandate groups, or indeed all mandate sceptics.  The documentary is a telling acknowledgement that NZ Stuff has abandoned all pretense at being a news outlet.

The Dominion Post and NZ Stuff are applying Jacinda Ardern’s deeply unpleasant tactic of marginalising ‘antivaxers’, ignoring the fact that polls suggest that around 30% of NZers supported the protest, and a similar figure oppose the mandates.  (VFF has reported that its membership has quadrupled since ‘Fire and Fury’ came out.

The DomPost is promoting the video to reinforce its campaign against candidates who threaten the Council’s Labour/Green majority.  However it’s worse than that.

The material is being shared by and empowering hate groups such as the Pōneke Anti-Fascist Coalition (Poneke Antifa) , which stands against ‘fascism, anti-vaxx ideology, conspiracy theories and bigotry in all its forms’ (thus conflating them).  It’s clear from both titles and insignia that Poneke Antifa and its sister group in Auckland, Tāmaki Anti-Fascist Action, align themselves with the international Antifascist Action (Antifa) movement.  Antifa as a movement can be described as fascist, if your definition is people who use violence and intimidation for political ends (such as the original Fascists of ’30s Italy).

Whether or not the FBI did actually classify Antifa activities as ‘domestic terrorist violence’ (and the source is no more reliable than the DomPost), Antifa are known for their riots causing damage to property and life, and their tactic of organising violent counter protests to shutdown of free speech.

Social media of both the Wellington and Auckland Antifa groups shows that that they are obsessed with any opposition to mandates or vaccines, correlating that opposition with fascism and hate.  Building on the allegations from NZ Stuff, they have designated Voices for Freedom as ‘ the largest, most well funded and dangerous far-right group in Aotearoa’.

The Freedom and Rights Coalition (TFRC), founded by Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki, has organised another anti-mandate protest march, intending to arrive in Wellington today, Tuesday. The police press release states that based on ‘similar protests’ (i.e. also by TFRC? Not clear): ‘Our expectation of these protesters is that their protest will remain lawful at all times’.

However Poneke Antifa has declared its intention to organise a counter protest.   According to a facebook post of 17 August, ‘The organisers of the protest on Tuesday will, to the best of our ability, ensure that our counter-protest is a peaceful one’.  However, their presence increases the chance of conflict, and worst case scenarios for this and other protests are scary. 

See also:

Graham Adams, who has managed to keep his sense of humour, has critiqued Stuff’s documentary: Stuff’s ‘Fire and Fury’ is often funny — unintentionally.

Continue reading “NZ Stuff / DomPost Conspiracy Theories Empower Hate Groups”

A Council Out of Control: Letter to Wellington City Councillors

Dear Councillors

In case you didn’t see my letter published in the Dominion Post this morning:

It is absolutely unconscionable that Councillors are seeking to fast-track the whole of the District Plan, thus erasing democratic rights including appeal to the Environmental Court.  This will include the Council’s illegitimate Significant Natural Areas (SNAs) initiative, by which the Council is claiming rights over private land on the grounds that regenerating bush, scrub, garden shrubbery, toxic weeds and lawn constitute ‘indigenous biodiversity of national importance’.

Councillors and council officers know full well that expropriating private land in the absence of exceptional circumstances is and always has been unlawful, as evidenced by:

Legislative Guidelines (adopted by Cabinet 2021) recognise ‘respect for property’ as a fundamental constitutional principle: ‘New legislation should respect property rights.  People are entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of their property.’

The Resource Management Act underlines the importance of property rights and makes it very clear that while all measures should be taken to protect the natural environment, and especially indigenous flora of significance, the welfare of people and communities comes first.

The Biodiversity Strategy 2000, in force when the SNAs were rolled out in 2019, emphasises, ‘Securing the willing and active participation of landowners is therefore pivotal to sustaining indigenous biodiversity on private land’.

As well as ignoring basic principles of property rights and the loss of value to land owners, the Council knows that the policy is counter-effective, as it punishes rather than rewards residents who care about native plants.  The Council is weaponising biodiversity, not encouraging it.

SNAs will also have the effect of reducing land for housing.

The aims of the project can only be to normalise expropriation of private land without justification, and to further the Council’s anti-people vision of Wellington as a city of apartments with humanity cut off from nature, with no gardens, none of the exotic flowers and trees loved by our birds and bugs: just concrete and kawakawa; Gondwanaland with tower blocks.

It won’t, of course, be Gondwanaland – Wellington’s fastest growing natives will not replace the biodiversity of either pre-human times or our mix of bush and exotics.

The Council has done its best to keep the SNA policy quiet, with little or no attempt to inform the public as a whole.  However it received a large number of submissions to the Draft District Plan, either demanding that the whole project be canned, or asking that private property be exempt.  This latest response shows that the Council is doubling down, quite oblivious to questions of democracy, traditional values, and human welfare.  Certainly there is no intention of allowing Wellingtonians the ‘peaceful enjoyment of their property’.

The Council is clearly out of control, bulldozing through a policy patently unlawful and anathema to almost all who know about it, while  showing throughout the project a total contempt for democracy.

Barbara McKenzie
Wellington SNA Committee

Note: ‘Wellington City Councillors will be asked next Thursday [31/03/2022] to support a staff proposal to seek government approval to fast-track the entire District plan’ (Fast-tracking the District Plan – and removing any right of appeal).  The Dominion Post has reported (28/03/2022) that some councillors have already expressed support for the proposal, including Rebecca Matthews, Fleur Fitzsimmons, Tamatha Paul and Teri O’Neill.

Concrete and Kawakawa: Wellington City Council’s War on Biodiversity and Sustainability

In July last year, Wellington Mayor Andy Foster addressed a meeting on the city’s Significant Natural Areas policy.  Foster had one reply to every question and comment:

  • The policy is unlawful  – ‘ah, but biodiversity’
  • The policy is an attack on property rights, an essential New Zealand value – ‘ah, but biodiversity’
  • Home owners are being punished for nurturing bush – ‘ah, but biodiversity’
  • Turning native bush into a liability will have a negative outcome – ‘ah, but biodiversity’

In fact, Council policy is nothing to do with nurturing biodiversity.

‘Significant Natural Areas’

Every morning the tuis wake up in Zealandia, yawn, stretch and say to each other, ‘Whose garden are we going to plunder today?’  And off they go, to find a flowering cherry, laburnum or banksia to gorge themselves on.  ‘We’ll show those tuis’, thinks Wellington City Council.   So Council has decided to get rid of home gardens and replace them with concrete and New Zealand’s six most common natives.

To this end it has set in train a policy of giving reserve status to private property, mostly suburban back gardens presently covered in bush regrowth, garden shrubbery, tradescantia, pine, lawn or even outbuildings.  Such land is the seed for the Council’s vision to return Wellington to native bush, while forcing humanity into high density apartment living.  So far almost 1700 properties are affected, but there will certainly be many, many more in the years to come.

Andy Foster may yearn to recreate Gondwanaland, but it will take hundreds of years for the bush regenerating on former farmland to regain the quality of virgin forest.  The Council’s SNA policy means Wellington residents will be forbidden from doing anything to speed up the process.  Want to dig out one of those kawakawa and put in something a little less common, like an orchid, rare fern, or totara?  You’ll need a resource consent.  Want to transplant a little taupata or pittosporum to somewhere more suitable?  Again, a resource consent will be required.  Want to create a new area of native bush in your back yard?  Get started, then the Council will come in and take it off you.

Want to replace that field of tradescantia and mahoe (designated by council officers as significant indigenous biodiversity of national importance) with a flower garden, shed or new dwelling?  Not a chance.

The fate of flower-loving bees or monarch butterflies, of low status because not indigenous, is not looking good. And nobody is asking our native birds what they think.

Let’s not be fooled by Wellington City Council’s talk about ‘protecting biodiversity’.  Biodiversity is simply a weapon – they can’t understand (they can’t stand) people who love the natural environment.  Hence the vision the council has of our future lifestyle: no home gardens, high rise apartments, and separation of people from nature.

‘Zero Carbon’

The Council’s junk science climate change policy is another example of ideology over ideals.  The evolutionary burst of life forms called the Cambrian Explosion occurred when atmospheric CO2 and temperatures were both (coincidentally) far higher than they are today.  The briefest glance at geological history indicates that Planet Earth has been in a trough in terms of both CO2 and temperature.

Although the earth doesn’t seem to be warming, unfortunately for both biodiversity and Wellington residents, the small increase in carbon dioxide in recent years has had a beneficial effect.  In 2016 NASA reported increased greening globally because of CO2.   Africa’s deserts are now in spectacular retreat.

WCC’s response?  We can’t risk another explosion of biodiversity – must declare a climate crisis.

Let’s destroy the environment to save the planet

WCC loves batteries – to show its commitment, it converted all its trolley buses to battery power.  Never mind that:

‘Resilience’ and ‘Sustainability’

There is nothing more sustainable than a home garden, growing vegetables and fruit trees, maybe keeping chickens, providing recreational opportunities for everyone from toddlers to pensioners, and easy to get in and out of in an earthquake.  Not, of course, in the Council’s warped mindset.  Far, far better to have residents totally dependent on the supermarket duopoly, vulnerable not just to price gouging but to shortages caused by world trade moods, wars, passing viruses etc.  I can’t wait to be in a jerry-built tower block signed off by WCC when the big one hits, or when the government finds an asymptomatic case of influenza and puts the whole of my apartment building into lockdown.

Councillors are desperate to get rid of solid housing stock which has withstood earthquakes for a hundred or more years, in favour of  homes designed to last 50 years.  Given that the fittings of these new buildings will be rubbish (my experience of a rebuild suggests that the life of a new fitting is somewhere between a week and five years), a sizeable part of Wellington will have to be reserved for landfill.

High rise buildings and surrounding streets will be a disaster zone when there is a big earthquake.  Just look at what happened to the central city after the last minor shake from Kaikoura.

Replacing homes with apartments and paving will have repercussions for infrastructure.  Services managed by the Council such as roads, transport and 3-waters are already failing.  Slips in Wellington’s hillier suburbs have increased in recent years because of infill, and the problem is set to blow out.  Councillors aren’t worried – they can always blame the problem on ‘climate change’.

Nobody except Wellington’s councillors would try to suggest that their vision for the future is ‘resilient’ or ‘sustainable’, or serves either biodiversity or humanity.

The Wellington SNA Committee has been trying to create awareness about Wellington’s unlawful SNA initiative, despite the Council’s determination to keep the public in ignorance until it is a fait accompli – to this day very few Wellingtonians not directly affected are aware of this attack on property rights.  You can sign the petition against WCC’s SNA policy here.