Politicians and media should respect the substantial votes against Maori wards in four districts, Hobson’s Pledge spokesman Don Brash said today.
Of those who voted, Palmerston North residents were 68.8% against Maori wards, Western Bay of Plenty 78.2% against, Whakatane 56.4% opposed, and Manawatu residents were 77.0% opposed, according to results released to date.
A result from the fifth district, Kaikoura, was awaited when this media release was sent.
Affected residents exercising their constitutional right to petition for a vote were derided by politicians and media as bigots and racists, Dr Brash said.
Yet when the results came in we saw that the politicians were out of step with their constituents and reporters were not listening to their audiences, Dr Brash said.
Maori wards are only for the 55% of Maori who elect to be on the Maori roll and should not be considered as a solution for ALL Maori, Dr Brash said.
Seldom do the public get a chance to have a say on race-based policy or legislation, Dr Brash said.
So, when voters do voice their opinion, politicians and media ignore them at their peril, Dr Brash said.