October 04, 2017
Referendum too divisive for super city
Auckland mayor Phil Goff says he doesn’t want Auckland split over the issue of a Maori seat on council.
The council has voted in support of a Maori ward, conditional on the Government changing the law so it would not reduce the number of existing wards and it could be done without being subject to a referendum.
That puts the council on the same page as former New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd but could also put it in conflict with likely coalition member New Zealand First which opposes Maori seats.
Mr Goff says in six of the seven councils around the country where electors have forced a referendum, councils have been overruled.
"Unfortunately the majority generally is not persuaded that there should be Maori wards and what a campaign over a referendum could do is just incredibly divisive," he says.
Electors must be on the Maori roll to vote in a Maori ward so no one would have an extra vote.
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