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  • Ethan Rogacion

Salient’s Summer Story Roundup

Ethan Rogacion (He/Him)

If you’ve been out of Pōneke over the summer, or have just been tuned out of the news, chances are you’ve missed a few stories. Don’t worry, though—Salient has you covered with a recap of a few big news items from the capital over the past few months, so you can reaaally get into some Discourse with that guy in your POLS lecture!

Government Forges Ahead With Treaty Principles Bill Despite Wide Disagreement

Continuing a decades-long tradition of excluding Māori from discussions concerning Māori, the coalition Government is continuing to pursue its plan of introducing legislation to redefine the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. As agreed in the coalition deal between National and Act, the Government plans to table a Bill later this year which, among other things, asserts that Māori ceded sovereignty to the Crown in 1840 and that the protections in Te Tiriti apply to all New Zealanders. These new principles contradict decades of legal decisions by the Waitangi Tribunal.

This proposal has been followed by wide backlash and controversy, including a march of over 5000 people in Pōneke on Waitangi Day. Similar hīkoi also took place across the motu, and are set to continue as the Bill progresses through the House. Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has stated that National will not support the Bill beyond the Select Committee phase, but opponents are calling for him to pull support immediately.

Council Considers Character Protections and Whether Students Should Get Bronchitis as a Rite of Passage

Wellington City Council is currently in the midst of a heated debate on the future of housing in the city. The district plan—the rulebook for urban planning in Pōneke—is set for its first shake-up since 2000. Currently, the plan is before an independent hearing panel, which has been seeking public consultation. Chief among the current recommendations are suggestions to widely expand character protected areas in the city. This despite the fact that much of the housing stock in proposed character areas, according to a student living in one, is “shit and needs to be bowled down.” Character protections would greatly limit housing development in these areas, meaning that future students may be forced to settle for flats that are well below-par. The panel’s recommendations have been criticised across the political spectrum, including Wellington Central MP Tamatha Paul and Chris Bishop, Minister of Housing.

Council will vote on the IHP’s recommendations on March 14.


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