More Maori wards signature collectors wanted

Even more Maori wards signature collectors are needed now that the Taupo District Council, the Gisborne District Council, the Ruapehu District Council and the South Taranaki District Council have proposed Maori wards.

These councils join the Northland Regional Council, Whangarei District Council, Kaipara District Council, Tauranga City Council, and New Plymouth District Council.

Taupo envisages two Maori roll councillors, reducing general roll councillors to nine, and a petition requires 1241 signatures.

Gisborne proposes five Maori roll councillors, reducing general roll councillors to eight, and a petition requires 1625 signatures.

South Taranaki suggests two Maori roll councillors, reducing general roll councillors to 10, and a petition requires 961 signatures.

Ruapehu has not said how many Maori roll councillors would be required and a petition requires 385 signatures.

Media reports give the impression that there is a huge push for change but in fact there are few promoting Maori wards and a poll just done by the Gisborne Herald shows 56 percent opposition there, where roughly half the population is defined as Maori. See

However, citizen-initiated referenda have produced no-votes of up to 83 percent, as happened in New Plymouth in 2015.

Few are aware that the formula set out in Schedule 1A of the Local Electoral Act 2001 means that Maori seats reduce the number of general seats on any council that goes down this track, unless the council opts for more councillors.

Few realise that the Maori seat candidate does not have to be Maori, and that Maori seat councillors are expected to represent all the people of the area, not just the Maori electoral population that voted them in.

We especially need volunteers in Taupo, Gisborne, Ruapehu, and South Taranaki. Maybe you know people in those areas who would be keen to help.

Having said that, volunteers in all areas would be welcomed with open arms.

It is not difficult collecting signatures. Many are willing to sign petitions because they want to have a say on the issue.

Go to [email protected] to volunteer. Please help support democracy before the Local Government Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, tries to take this right away from you.

Our coastal petition is growing

Our petition which asks Parliament to amend the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 to restore public ownership of the coastal area, put all claims through the High Court, and repeal customary marine title, while affirming customary rights has picked up 25,827 signatures. We need your support. The petition may be signed at

Still nothing is happening at Ihumatao

The Government was warned of likely copycat occupations when it got involved in the dispute at Ihumatao, near the Auckland airport, where it stopped Fletchers from building 480 homes after pressure from Maori claimants. 

During the week, a Wellington iwi has declared it will illegally occupy land at Shelly Bay in Wellington, after a developer bought the land from Wellington iwi Taranaki Whanui, but a group within the iwi, Mau Whenua, are challenging that.

The land is earmarked for a controversial $500 million development.

Our petition for the Government to allow both Te Kawerau a Maki and Fletchers to proceed with their lawful business on private land at Ihumatao has collected 3329 signatures.

If you have not done so already, please sign our petition at

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