Hobson’s Pledge spokespersons Don Brash and Casey Costello will discuss the Palmerston North City Council’s Maori ward proposal at a meeting tonight at the Palmerston North Library.
All councils are required by the Local Electoral Act 2001 to consider Maori wards as part of a representation review that must be made every six years.
Rangitaane Settlement Trust chairwoman Danielle Harris described Maori wards in Palmerston North as "a number of years overdue". See http://i.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/94083340/Palmerston-North-asked-to-consider-Maori-ward
The question for the 3624 Maori roll voters in Palmerston North, and for the entire voting age population of 54,130, is whether having Maori wards is a step forward or a step back.
Remember that separate Maori Parliamentary seats were set up for five years in 1867, at a time when property ownership was a requirement to vote and, with most Maori property being communally owned, the seats were to enable all Maori men to vote.
Those seats became redundant in 1893, when all adults in New Zealand, both men and women, were granted the right to vote.
The Hobson’s Pledge meeting at the library will start at 7pm.
Maori wards ratepayer vote bill defeated
Green Party MP Marama Davidson’s bill to amend the Local Electoral Act 2001 to remove the right for affected ratepayers to call for a vote on Maori ward proposals was defeated on its first reading last Wednesday, 71 votes to 48.
Those opposed included National, NZ First, and Act. Those in favour included Labour, the Greens, Maori, and United Future.
Marama Davidson praised former New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd, who tried to introduce Maori wards, without success, complained to the United Nations, and petitioned Parliament to change the law.
National Party MPs noted that their party had many Maori MPs without standing candidates in the Maori electorates, that they wanted more Maori to stand for both central and local government election on the general roll, and wanted to see the increase of Maori representation on merit and ability.
NZ First Party spokesman Ron Mark said that this was one of those issues in which you fundamentally believe or not. He said NZ First believes Maori attain and achieve on merit.
More young Maori in court
The number of young Maori coming before the courts rose 9 percent last year, according to research carried out by a group of high school students released last Wednesday.
The work has been completed by students of St Thomas of Canterbury College Catholic school in Christchurch as part of an annual project, the National Youth Custody Index.
The index compiles a snapshot of how well the justice system is dealing with those aged between 10 and 16 when they fall foul of the law.
It found the number of children charged in court increased by 6 percent last year, compared to the year before. The number of young non-Maori people in court was down 1 percent.
This is evidence that despite mammoth spending through Whanau Ora and associated welfare, the figures for Maori keep going in the wrong direction.
Hobson’s Pledge and Nats analysed
“Race is on”, an article in the latest Listener by veteran political journalist Richard Harman, looks at the appearance of Hobson’s Pledge in conjunction with the current incarnation of the National Party.
Based on what he saw at a Hobson’s Pledge meeting in Waikanae in early April, Harman said spokesman Don Brash seeks to upset the apple cart while the National Party is working hard to align itself with Maori in the run-up to the election.
Harman quotes New Zealand First leader Winston Peters on Prime Minister Bill English's relationship with the Maori Party. "It's a relationship of delusional convenience."
Harman writes that it is no secret that Prime Minister Bill English “hopes the Maori Party can provide National with sufficient seats after the election so that it doesn't need to call on Peters and New Zealand First to help form a government”.
This means that National Party MPs “have to bite their tongues rather than criticise iwi-participation clauses in the Resource Management Act, and at party conferences, members who have tried to move what might be considered racially divisive remits have effectively been silenced”.
See “Race is on”, Richard Harman, New Zealand Listener, June 30, 2017.
Tauranga iwi wants preferential deal
Tauranga Moana Iwi Collective and Ngati Tapu hapu have asked for a substantial reduction in development contributions because they say they have contributed enough to the city through the “forced taking and use of Maori land over the past 100 years”.
They said nothing of the combined $38-million that the groups that make up the collective will receive once settlement legislation is passed.
A report in the Weekend Sun on Friday, June 30, said that the Tauranga City Council approved development contributions last week and promised a report on the iwi request.
A worried Tauranga ratepayer asked “where has it been said that the Local Government is to now provide compensation, and if this happens in Tauranga, what is to prevent it happening all around New Zealand?
Meet Don and Casey
For those in Palmerston North, Don Brash and Casey Costello will at 7pm TONIGHT, July 3, speak at the Palmerston North Library, 4 The Square, Palmerston North.
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