Last year, The Government's 'Future of Local Government Review Panel' – a group of handpicked 'experts' appointed by Nanaia Mahuta when she was Minister of Local Government – released proposals that would fundamentally shift local councils from democratic institutions to bodies where new taxes can be introduced without ratepayers having a say and where unelected representatives get a vote at the decision-making table.

The report – known as ‘He mata whāriki, He matawhānui’ – recommends:

Lowering the local voting age to 16 without a referendum
Bringing in unelected mana whenua appointees to councils who would be given equal status and voting rights as elected members, but unlike the councillors, cannot be removed at the ballot box
Removing the requirement for local referenda before changing the voting system by imposing STV across the country
Introducing randomly selected ‘citizens' assemblies’ that you cannot vote out
Giving councils the power to introduce ’new funding mechanisms' – new taxes – without a binding referendum

Submissions are now closed

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We've created a submission tool for you to tell the Panel what you think of the draft recommendations. Make your voice heard to stop these antidemocratic proposals in their tracks.