Kym Koloni Northcote by-election complaint
Exposing a flawed democratic by-election format that intentionally
restricts the field of candidates presenting to the public & predetermines
what the public will hear and have presented in the Northcote by-election
The Beach Haven Birkdale Residents Association, (BBRA), is hosting a “meet the candidates evening” on Monday 28th May, 7.30pm where candidates will be given the opportunity to present important political issues and information for the public to consider in determining which candidate will be voted for.
The format of the evening was determined by BBRA unilaterally such that only four candidates from the main parties in parliament will be formally given the opportunity to make a formal public presentation to give information and answer questions to the wider voting community. There are however eight officially registered candidates in total. The format therefore reduces the options for voting that are made available to the public by a huge 50% by giving preferential treatment to main party candidates.
This candidate-selection-bias limiting registered candidates from formally presenting to the public was apparently sanctioned by the BBRA and was part of significant committee process according to Duncan Laidlaw an authorised BBRA Committee Community Contact.
The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 section 14 states “Everyone has the right of freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.” . The Human Rights Act 1993 section 21 (J) states that a prohibited ground for discrimination includes interfering with “political opinion, which includes the lack of a particular political opinion or any political opinion”
Duncan Laidlaw stated this week that the BBRA committee had been notified of the complaint as to the improper format as it created candidate-selection-bias. He advised however that the committee will not alter the format while agreeing that it did interfere with candidate’s right’s to present information to the public, that it set a “high-bar” for candidates to have any chance of being elected, and that it was of little benefit to the other candidates.
Despite the Committee being notified that the format interfered with the right to freedom of thought, conscience, belief and including the right to political opinions and that it discriminated against political opinion, the Committee maintained its stance of candidate-selection-bias.
The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 Section 13 states that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and belief, including the right to adopt and to hold opinions without interference. It seems this is not the case in New Zealand, even when it comes to political voting rights.
Kym Koloni believes in her opinion that the BBRA has
stepped over the line of law and democracy, and this is yet
another example of what happens in New Zealand where process
is used to interfere and manipulate peoples’ democratic
rights to receive information and vote on a fully informed
basis. For this reason Kym Koloni advocates for the 100 day
regime where the public gets the right to participate in a
referendum on major issues that the Government decides on as
operates successfully in Switzerland.