Waatea News Column: In a climate crisis future, Co-governance is a resilience, not a betrayal of democratic values


The speed, scale and destruction caused by global warming around the planet demands a response well beyond the colonization status quo.

This country’s wealth is built upon three pillars, confiscation of Māori land and never paying back any meaningful compensation, exploitation of migrant labour and 30 years of de-unionisation.

These three injustices combine to produce the vast wealth of NZ.

Compounding this is a climate crisis that is punishing the poorest on the planet while upending the agricultural calendar that so much of our economy is reliant upon.

In short, we face steep challenges that require new thinking.

This is why the hysteria over co-governance is so misplaced. In a rapidly changing environment, we need wiser voices and more of them at the decision making tables when it comes to protecting our water and our environment.

Co-governance is a resilience, not a betrayal of democratic values. More voices with experience of the local flax roots knowledge and sustainable values injected into decision making during such rapid change is an advantage, not an ethno nationalist state!

Our strength is in our partnership, it is in our recognition of the State’s obligations to protect all our rights and collective self agency while centering decision making for the many not the few.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

This is the blueprint for our survival from the climate crisis, it is not the end of Western Civilization.

Western Civilization is doing a fine job of ending all on its own.

First published on Waatea News.


  1. Experience of flax roots sustainability?
    Burning 50% of New Zealand?
    More bird extinctions than after white settlers arrived including Moa.
    Biggest dairy farmers in Canterbury.
    The noble savage routine is bullshit, people of all races experience the same human traits like love, happiness, anger or greed.
    Co governance is an un mandated racial power grab for the tribal elites.

    • Co governance is not a Maori initiative or policy. It is John Keys policy. Why? Because selling income producing assets for cash = bad.

      We expect the master servant relationship that our mother will always whisper sweet nothings in our ears while making our bed, fixing lunch and breakfast.

      So when we don’t get that master servant relationship in other areas it is exactly that rejection that makes Wanabe alpha masculine beta orbiters lash out with emotional trauma.

    • “The noble savage routine is bullshit, people of all races experience the same human traits like love, happiness, anger or greed.
      Co governance is an un mandated racial power grab for the tribal elites. ”
      I agree with all the above and would add demonstrated competence is the only relevant metric required of those in power . Moreover these tribal elites don’t represent this ngati urban and I object to the presumption that they do represent the majority of Maori .

      • Agree Ra. Its not Maori vs Pakeha, it is unsanctioned elites vs democracy. And they do it by tapping into a Maori victimhood story which is really disempowering to Maori.
        Maori have experienced many past wrongs and have been victimised but where we are today is due to politics, greed and Ardern’s hubris.

        And can we quit calling it by the Governments Euphemism of ‘Co Governance’. Co Governance is something I saw a lot of when I was a kid and my Dad worked at Maori Affairs. He’d front up and say the Govts decided you can have X for your new Marae but you cant have the Y that you asked for too. Then the hapu or sub tribe would sit down with him and together they would find a way in which it could all be achieved, the government listening to Maori on the ground, the community stepping up (often providing land or labour or something to make it work) and my Dad ensuring everyone got as much as they could and everyone went away happy with a quality outcome.

        That is Co Governance as is the Whanganui River, what the Govt is euphemistically labelling co governance is actually something else. Read He PuaPua. Particularly read the original before it got redacted about Dec 2020.

    • Keepcalmcarryon Gee whiz this narrative that is persistent in pakeha discourse is kinda outdated but still garner support from their perspective.

      ‘Burning 50% of New Zealand?’
      Got proof that 50% of NZ forest was burnt by Maori?? 50% is half the country and needs proper examining as a lot of the native forest would have been dense and where were these massive burning located?

      ‘More bird extinctions than after white settlers arrived including Moa’.
      The Moa becoming extinct is classic Pakeha ‘gotcha’ moment used vociferously to ward off any challenges of focusing light on ‘European farming practices’ that have done more damage to this country native flora and fauna than Maori had ever done remembering Maori never possessed metal to chop trees nor introduced hooved animals and foreign weds and mammals to the extent the Europeans did.

        • Keepcalmcarryon typical right-wing fallacy debate trap!! firstly Wikipedia isn’t a reliable source to spin your web of deceit it a site that basically anyone can go on a add their BS, even they admit it!

          And your NYT sourcing has a paywall so to examine the ferocity of their report and their assumption can’t be taken seriously. Sure science can explain somethings but to make blanket statement that Maori burnt 50% of this country without critical analyses but your bigoted interpretation doesn’t cut it nor should it be relied upon as gospel.

          And if you’re making comparison to Maori forest burnings and ‘European farming practices’ apart from other activities Mining, deforestation, introducing foreign species and fauna the damage to our ecology are not even on the same level.

          • Sorry Stephen but your understanding of history is revisionist bullshit.

            “The list of New Zealand species known to have become extinct since human settlement includes one bat, at least 51 birds, three frogs, three lizards, one freshwater fish, four plant species, and a number of invertebrates. Of these, 21 bird species, the bat, fish and two lizards survived 500 years of human and kiore predation. Although often severely depleted they appeared in European drawings, written records and museum collections. But as new, more effective predators arrived, they slipped into extinction.”

            A carefully worded statement from
            https://teara.govt.nz/en/extinctions/page-4 Which points out 30 bird species exctincted after Maori arrival and 21 more after Europeans arrived.

            No argument that Europeans destroyed a lot, but what you need to accept is that it’s a human condition, as the actual facts tell us, all races that colonise cause ecological damage.
            Drop the racist bullshit too.

            • Keepcalmcarryon Tea Ara is a govt propaganda website to appease for Pakeha insecurities so not the best BS site to prop up your narrative which is commonly reference by bigoted pakeha!

              And to equate ‘Maori burning down forest’ to European farming practices.. etc and the chopping down of native trees is disingenuous. The issue here is the characterization and connotation of Maori constantly visceral language which Pakeha like yourself employ has a racial undertone

              Challenging Pakeha character assassination of things Maori needs to be taken up by Maori that comment on this site, however I sympathize that task becomes monotonous when the enormity of Pakeha bigotry is ubiquitous and the numbers are greater which somehow alludes to your comment ‘Drop the racist bullshit too.’

              Learn to pronounce
              prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism by an individual, community, or institution against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.

    • I fail to see how making racist remarks, based in large part on ignorance of human history in all its glory could pass for “informed comment”.. This succeeds only in reminding me what a nasty bunch of arrogant bigoted blowhards the descendants of the British invasion still are.. And before you fall off your horse, I am descended from french/English aristocratic blood lines that go back two millennia, so I am qualified to make the above statement..

      • won’t argue with ‘bigoted blowhards’ but would argue it’s not a specifically brit thing, we have our own as does every other country

      • My bloodlines also go back many millennia, though since we we’re definitely not “aristocratic” I don’t know who they were earlier than the late 1600s.
        I wouldn’t be too proud of aristocrat ancestry; the original nobles were just the biggest thugs in the village.

  2. So wise they can’t discuss their magical climate fixing ideas, let alone convince people to vote for them.

    We need to strengthen democracy so we actually have vigorous engagement with various ideas, not the current box ticking exercise and certainly not just confiscating the box ticking pen and cramming in more boxes.

  3. Lets not confuse Treaty Settlements as a mean to fund this bs! Because that is where it is going. Who the Crown intends to ‘re-colonise’ iwi putea and assets again.
    Co-Governance sets the dumb iwi leaders up for this bullshit!

    Just Paul Majurey the Kupapa iwi leader on this.

  4. Co-governance undermines the purpose of Acts of Parliament legislation and the purpose of the Acts Powers and Authorities for a Democratic Society by handing those Powers and Authorities to unelected groups of people. By doing so it circumvents any scrutiny by the public and any interested parties.
    For example, Making decisions in a closed meeting becomes the norm, and councils do that more and more these days. Or, appointing people or groups or organisations to do certain work or projects without a proper budget or the allocation of those financial resources that have not been budgeted for.

    The Hauraki Gulf Forum is a perfect example of this co-governance bs.

    A quazi board of six or seven councilors and the same number of Maori reps who are unelected. Who are in disagreement over the real purpose and function of the HGF? But, the co-leadership of Pippa Coom and a token Maori wahine are wanting to claim a mandate for the people of Auckland by getting Wellington, the Government to acknowledge them as a representative body for the Hauraki Gulf, Tikapa, and 20 Coastal Regional Parks and Reserves that they are currently trying to steal off the ratepayers of Auckland by including those Parks and Reserves in the ‘scope’ or coverage and control by creating new Legislation for a new Hauraki Gulf Marine Act that also hands to them the Powers and Authorities for, Wildlife, Marine Traffic/Transport, Parks and Reserves Act, and other Act(s) carve-outs.
    By doing this, they, a co-governance body will be able to control everything from on land, sea, and air, over and under the Hauraki Gulf and Tikapa/Firth of Thames.

    And who orchestrated, and designed this coup detat of the Hauraki Gulf you may wonder?

    A little portly guy whose full-time job for Auckland Councils eke Panuku, Paul Majurey! Yup! Him again.
    You know, the one I’ve been telling you all about for a while. The guy with many side hustles. Iwi treaty settlements, development gigs with a company called Ockham and lots of high court action for disputed land claims with other iwi in Tamaki when he is a pakeha from Thames but he can whakapapa all the way back to the Tainui Waka that his ancestors arrived on he says, 16 generations worth as he’s claimed in the Court of Appeal last year in the hearing(s) for the Ngati Whatua v Crown and Marutuahu ‘Con’federation proceedings.

    There seem to be many scams like this that are designed to undermine the purpose and authority of the Treaty of Waitangi and the Act as it is meant and as it stands today.

    So I’d take a break on this pre-Queens death planning for a Republic and Constitutional Co Governance bs until a proper government is elected without being embroiled in serious fraud and corruption proceedings in the High Court at the moment!

    • As a layman on this issue of co-governance and initially supporting co-governance more for Ideological reasons than financial I might have to concede that you’re probably got a point and may need to look into this ‘Paul Majurey ‘ role which probably could alter my views about Co governance and take me into a new direction and ask the pertinent question? Who Benefits?

      • Here Stephen.

        Paul Majurey. Where is he getting finance from for the $850m-$1b of Housing Developments?
        He can’t be using any of the Hauraki iwi assets in the Treaty Settlements that he negotiates, as those settlements are still not signed off by Parliament.
        He can’t leverage or use it as collateral for finance can he?
        Those outstanding Treaty Settlements are valued we’ll over $500m but probably more.
        Where is the money coming from to fund his share of the Ockham Marutuahu partnership?


      • @Stephen exactly who benifits?
        Tane, Ra and Fantail nail it. Like so many issues, culture politics tends to be smoke and mirrors for deeper games of economics and resource control.

        It is far easier to play this game when ordinary people are convinced to argue amongst themselves about cultural issues. As Fantail says, its not Maori vs Pakeha, it is unsanctioned elites vs democracy. Maori elites do not represent Maori any more than Pakeha elites represent Pakeha.

        The problem is less about left vs right and more about top vs bottom.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.