December 08, 2014
Maori voice essential for councils
New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd faces his critics tonight, with some powerful voices joining him to debate the pros and cons of a Maori seat on the New Plymouth District Council.
On his side is former MP Willie Jackson and sitting MPs Metiria Turei from the Greens and Marama Fox from the Maori Party.
Opposite will be New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, who has labelled the council’s decision separatist and divisive, former Taranaki Grey Power president Hugh Johnson, who is driving a petition to force a binding referendum against the move, and economist Susan Guthrie.
Mr Judd says it’s the status quo that is separatist, and blocking Maori representation prevents local councils doing their job properly.
"Under the Local Government Act we have to take into account Maori, their culture and traditions, ancestral land, wahi tapu. Now how can you do that without Maori with you. And anyway, it's a great thing to do. The world view for Maori is important to us because it makes up tangata whenua of this country. it they are not there they are not being represented and non-Maori cannot speak for Maori. That just doesn’t work," he says.
Mr Judd says it’s important for the nation that Maori are included.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH ANDREW JUDD CLICK ON THE LINK
Copyright © 2014, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com