February 12, 2014
Reform leaves communities voiceless
A Northland Regional Councillor says he can’t support a plan to merge Northland’s councils unless Maori and local communities are given more of a voice.
The Local Government Commission is consulting on its proposal for the regional council and the Far North, Whangarei and Kaipara district councils to be replaced by a single unitary council based in Whangarei.
Dover Samuels says he wants to see separate Maori wards or Maori given statutory powers like local boards.
He says the argument for economies of scale do not stack up, and differences across the region aren’t taken into account.
"You think about the difference between Mangawhai and Te Rerenga Wairua, the community of interests are so different. Then you have Hokianga on one side and Kerikeri on the other side. The head of the octopus is planned to be in Whangarei. So what happens to all these other communities if they dont have real power? I'm talking about it from the community, not just Maori. I'm talking about the community interest and the community representation in terms of local boards," Mr Samuels says.
He is encouraging Maori to make submissions on the plan.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH DOVER SAMUELS CLICK ON THE LINK
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