May 17, 2017
No problem for Goff on Maori seats
Auckland mayor Phil Goff is welcoming the debate on Maori wards.
A bill in the name of Green MP Marama Davidson has been drawn from the ballot which would allow councils to create Maori wards without triggering a referendum.
Mr Goff says that would stop a repeat of what happened in New Plymouth, where former mayor Andrew Judd's attempt to improve Maori representation created a huge backlash.
"I see no problem with having Maori seats in central government and if there is no problem with having Maori seats in central government then why should there be a problem with having Maori seats in local government as long as you stand by the principle of one person one vote," he says.
Phil Goff says while Auckland's Independent Maori Statutory Board means there is a Maori voice on most council committees, it is not there at the main council and the members do not have the same mandate as elected councillors.
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