Ask Taupo councillors to vote against Maori ward

Now is the time to send an email to the mayor and councillors on the Taupo District Council to ask them to vote against a proposal to introduce a Maori ward at an extraordinary council meeting tomorrow.

Maori representation and the possible establishment of Maori wards will be the sole agenda item tomorrow – the last date by which the council could vote for wards to be in place for 2022.

Any resolution would include the provision that five per cent of electors could demand a poll to reverse the council’s decision (1240 people based on the 2019 roll of 24,810).

Meanwhile, temperatures are rising as signatures are being collected for petitions seeking referenda on Maori ward proposals in New Plymouth, Tauranga, and in the areas of three councils in Northland.

Petitions are yet to be organised in Ruapehu and South Taranaki, where councils have also proposed Maori wards.

Here is the week of Maori wards news:

On Friday, in a shambolic meeting at which the mayor resigned, the troubled Tauranga City Council voted against holding a council-initiated referendum on the issue of Maori wards (along with referenda on rubbish collection, and a change to STV voting). See https://www.nzherald.co.nz/bay-of-plenty-times/news/tauranga-city-council-decides-not-to-hold-referendums-on-a-maori-ward-rubbish-stv/ZQVA367KQSFOBGHA3JETVQY6XA/?fbclid=IwAR1bynK1xIRW6xXAsTZmJ-2ggBWjHDPIZlt49qw8c2Nu4oJOlwDmyCGJ6pI.

However, a citizens-initiated referendum on Maori wards there is on track since the petition there has gathered around half of the required signatures, with the deadline being February 21.

On Thursday, there was a bizarre public outburst from the editor of the North Taranaki Midweek free newspaper. He bitterly complained about a petition form being accepted by his advertising department for publication in his newspaper as an advertisement.

On Wednesday, petitions in the areas of the Northland Regional Council, the Whangarei District Council, and the Kaipara District Council gained national publicity when they were launched with an advertisement in the Northern Advocate newspaper. See https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/ldr/431018/petitions-launched-to-scupper-northland-councils-maori-wards?fbclid=IwAR0fEKc70na1Xaf1X2E7gWunW2yHP93fE8srWbMsrrGZ4HhsT_Mu0eNcpZA   and https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/mike-hosking-breakfast/audio/john-bain-former-northland-councillor-wants-referendum-on-maori-wards/

On that day Hawke’s Bay Regional Council voted against setting up Maori constituencies. See https://www.hbrc.govt.nz/home/article/981/support-for-greater-mori-representation-signalled?t=featured&s=1

That council already has a three-member Maori Partnership Group. It also has the Hawke’s Bay Regional Planning Committee to represent eight treaty settlement groups. And it looks like two of the nine current councillors have Maori ancestry.

When sending emails to the Taupo mayor and councillors, bear in mind that since all elected representatives swear an oath to represent all people in their area, and because Taupo already has an elected Maori councillor to do just that, what is the compelling reason to set up seat limited to representing Maori people?

Taupo council email addresses are: mayortrewavas@taupo.govt.nz; councillorrankin@taupo.govt.nz; councillorleonard@taupo.govt.nz; councillorboddy@taupo.govt.nz; councillorguy@taupo.govt.nz; councillorpark@taupo.govt.nz; councillortaylor@taupo.govt.nz; councillorwesterman@taupo.govt.nz; councillorwilliamson@taupo.govt.nz; councillorkingi@taupo.govt.nz; councillormack@taupo.govt.nz; councillortrueman@taupo.govt.nz.

Thank you to those who responded to our call for volunteers in these campaigns. We still need more people to collect signatures in Northland, Whangarei, Kaipara, Tauranga, and New Plymouth, as well as in Ruapehu and south Taranaki.

Go to admin@hobsonspledge.nz to volunteer.

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 25,751 signatures. We need your support. The petition may be signed at https://www.change.org/beaches4all

Still nothing is happening at Ihumatao

Still nothing is happening about Ihumatao, near the Auckland airport, where the Government stopped Fletchers from building 480 homes after pressure from Maori claimants.

The disputed land was privately owned since 1867, when Gavin Wallace of county Argyll, Scotland, moved there, either by grant, lease, or purchase, until 2015, when his descendants sold it to Fletchers.

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 3323 signatures.

If you have not done so already, please sign our petition at  http://chng.it/xPN6P55k

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