July 25, 2016
More Maori needed on councils
Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox wants to see more support for Maori candidates to stand for this year’s local government elections.
Women’s Minister Louise Upston is encouraging more women to stand as a way to increase diversity.
Ms Fox says the diversity needed is more Maori candidates, with only three percent of councillors elected last time being tangata whenua.
She says that’s not for lack of trying, but unless Maori candidates have a high public profitle from some non-Maori activity, they are unlikely to get elected.
One way to get greater diversity is Maori seats, as her own Wairarapa council is doing.
"Despite who else might put their hand up, we think iwi should have places on local government so tey should be part of decision making power and not merely consultation tick box, a scenario where they are spoken to and then local governments do whatever they want," Ms Fox says.
Nominations for local government elections must be in by August 12.
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