Councils in Palmerston North, Manawatu, Whakatane, and Western Bay of Plenty have decided to proceed with Maori wards, so it is over to residents in those areas to have their say.
If you think Maori will continue achieving on merit without the need for segregation, please help to collect signatures for petitions to spark polls in these areas.
Race-based representation is the reverse of what New Zealanders want, as shown by a whole series of polls on the issue. See http://www.hobsonspledge.nz/tribalising_local_government
We believe that reserved Maori seats 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.
A person who is a Maori cannot be deemed to represent the interests of ALL Maori in any particular area.
All that is required to spark a vote is a petition requesting a district or city-wide vote with the signatures of five percent of affected voters.
For residents in the Palmerston North City Council area, 2727 signatures must be collected by February 21, 1004 signatures must be collected in the Manawatu district, 1161 signatures in Whakatane and 1705 for Western Bay of Plenty.
We are seeking people to drive signature-collecting in Palmerston North, Manawatu, Whakatane, and Western Bay of Plenty.
Please register your support and availability by contacting:
Don Esslemont, (021) 448 769, firstname.lastname@example.org for Palmerston North.
Richard McNair, (07) 573 7443, email@example.com for Western Bay of Plenty.
We are still seeking helpers for Manawatu and Whakatane.
You could register interest and download a petition form for your area by going to http://www.hobsonspledge.nz/signatures_needed_for_petitions_on_local_body_maori_wards
HB Regional Council shows sense on Maori wards
The Hawke’s Bay Regional council showed good sense last week when it voted against setting up Maori constituencies.
However, Cr Rick Barker, who also works as a treaty settlement negotiator, complained that the existing system with one Maori councillor on the nine-member council “was not working”.
Perhaps the single Maori councillor plus the 10 paid iwi members on the council’s Regional Planning Committee, and a further 12 on the Maori Committee, are not talking loudly enough.
In addition, iwi participation clauses have been written into the Resource Management Act requiring all councils to invite iwi to help manage resources.
Only three of our 134 local authorities have Maori wards or constituencies, being the regional councils in Waikato and the Bay of Plenty, as well as Wairoa.
The Palmerston North, Whakatane, Manawatu and Western Bay of Plenty councils recently opted for such wards, as has the Auckland Council, sort of.
Proponents argue that separate wards would increase Maori participation.
But voter turnout at the Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s three Maori constituencies in 2010 was between 27 percent and 41 percent, and in 2013 was between 20 percent and 32 percent, when the general constituency turnout was 45.7 percent.
Virtue-signalling mostly non-Maori politicians drafted the Local Electoral Act 2001 to require all councils to ponder representation, including Maori wards, every six years, vote on it, and face a divisive backlash, like in New Plymouth, where the mayor lost his seat over the issue.
Hobson’s Pledge members think we should end the constant legislated pressure for Maori wards, and call to account the politicians who drive them.
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