Aotearoa can have a flourishing democracy with te Tiriti o Waitangi as its foundation. We can be proud of our democracy compared to many other countries, but secretive donations and unequal access by lobbyists creates an uneven playing field. Human rights are not protected enough, and we have not honoured tino rangatiratanga, as set out in Article Two of te Tiriti o Waitangi.
The Green Party has consistently pushed for civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights. We are the only parliamentary party calling for major constitutional reform based on te Tiriti. In Government, we’ve championed transparency, as the first party to publish records of who our Ministers have met with. We’ve also established a fund for disabled candidates from all political parties to cover the disability-related costs of standing in a general election.
We need to act now to protect our democracy from special interests, uphold human rights, and expand the opportunities for people to participate meaningfully in our democracy at all levels.
The Green Party will:
- Uphold human rights by lowering the voting age to 16 and extending voting rights to all people in prison.
- Initiate a Crown response to the Matike Mai Aotearoa report, including the goal of constitutional transformation by 2040.
- Establish a citizens’ assembly to put decisions on political donations and public funding of election campaigns in the hands of the public.
- Entrench the Māori electoral seats so there is guaranteed Māori representation in Parliament, and enable Māori voters to change from the General to the Māori roll, or vice versa, more regularly.
- Make local elections fairer and more accessible by: expanding the Election Access Fund to disabled people who are running in local elections; providing more accessible voting options than postal voting; moving administration of local elections from private companies to the Electoral Commission; and removing barriers to the establishment of Māori electoral wards.
- Implement the recommendations of Waitangi Tribunal kaupapa inquiries that have reported back, and ensure the Waitangi Tribunal is well-resourced to undertake current and future inquiries.
- Strengthen accountability by reforming the Official Information Act and providing greater transparency of political lobbying.
- Update the Bill of Rights Act to include the right to privacy, and the right to a sustainable environment that is protected for the benefit of present and future generations.