Hamilton council name-change idea fails to fly

On Thursday, Hamilton mayor Andrew King dropped his plan to get the city council to consider changing the name of the council to the Kirikiriroa City Council.

His idea was short-lived. On Monday, a spokesman had said that King was investigating whether his council should be renamed Kirikiriroa City Council, and that “heavy consultation” with local iwi was required.

Kirikiriroa was the name of a Maori settlement that existed at that site, although Ngaruawahia located 20km down the Waikato River was the main Maori settlement in the area.

Feedback was fast and furious and firmly against the hapless mayor’s brain fart, so that by Thursday, the proposal was dead and buried.

In one letter to the Waikato Times, the writer had used the name “Kirikiriroa” at a marae in the area and no one knew what he was referring to.

The Hamilton council name-change idea follows a vote by the Gisborne District Council to change the name of their district to Turanganui a Kiwa/Poverty Bay.

See https://i.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/102280404/Hamilton-Mayor-scraps-Kirikiriroa-City-Council-name-change-idea?cid=app-iPhone

Councillor invokes treaty dogma to back Maori ward

An argument supporting Maori wards based on Treaty of Waitangi dogma is unlikely to sway mainstream voters who abhor politically correct nonsense.

Five regions, namely Palmerston North, Manawatu, Kaikoura, Western Bay of Plenty, and Whakatane, are heading for a vote on whether to proceed with such wards and voting documents will be posted on April 27.

A Western Bay of Plenty councillor, David Marshall, argued in support of Maori wards in the current Tauranga and WBOP Grey Power magazine. He wrote that he:

  1. Supports the concept of one person one vote.
  2. Recognises the need to consult with local treaty partners.
  3. Believes the treaty created a partnership between two peoples.
  4. Is aware that the principles of the treaty are included in many laws.
  5. Knows that one of the treaty principles is that we should act in good faith towards our Maori treaty partners.
  6. Knows that there are no Maori councillors there at present.
  7. Asks how the “Maori voice” could be heard at the council table without a Maori councillor.
  8. Therefore urges a Maori ward to guarantee a Maori voice on the council.

We believe that Maori wards are not necessary for council decisions, which are mainly to do with roads, clean drinking water, sewage, drainage, libraries, sports facilities and cultural centres, all of which are for the benefit of everyone irrespective of ethnicity.

The absence of a Maori councilor at WBOP should be considered in the context of the presence of Maori councilors on local bodies elsewhere throughout New Zealand, as well as the 29 MPs with Maori ancestry in our 120-seat Parliament.

This means that there is no need for a special measure to bring people with Maori ancestry to council because such people are already there without any extra help.

The treaty-partnership reasoning offers little support for his argument, mainly because the word “partner” or “partnership” does not appear in the treaty.

The concept of treaty partnership was created in 1986 when Justice Robin Cooke was tasked with defining the “treaty principles” that some politicians had started referring to without knowing what they were.

Similarly, the separate-rights argument has no basis in the treaty, which in fact actually conferred on Maori rights as British subjects, which were the same rights as everyone else.

The councilor’s treaty-dogma argument, which has cropped up elsewhere and has the appearance of an official standard reply, may resonate with those who want to be seen as “correctly” supporting state orthodoxy on everything to do with the treaty.

But, while collecting signatures for the petitions, we found such politically correct people to be few and far between. In other words, the politically correct are likely to be outvoted.

The vote for Maori wards in the five above-mentioned regions will close on May 19.

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