March 30, 2017
Palmerston North considers Maori wards for smart city
Palmerston North City Council is to ask the community about its views on establishing a Maori ward or wards for the 2019 local body elections.
Mayor Grant Smith says in a smart modern city, the make-up of the council must reflect all of the community it serves.
Councils are required every two election cycles to address the question of Maori representation, but if they push ahead and opt to create Maori wards, the decision can become subject to a binding referendum.
That happened in New Plymouth, leading to the rejection of the plan and the departure of mayor Andrew Judd.
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