November 16, 2017
Whakatane Mayor hopes voters will accept Maori wards
Whakatane Mayor Tony Bonne hopes electors will accept the council’s decision to create Maori wards.
The decision can be overturned by referendum which must be held if five percent of electors sign a petition calling for one.
Mr Bonne says he hopes it won’t come to that.
He says Maori make up 43 percent of the population in the district, but it is rare that Maori win seats on the council.
"We’re working very well with our iwi but of course we want some decision-makers around the table so we can actually move forward and I tell you we will move forward a lot quicker if we have a common voice," Mr Bonne says.
He says most voters won’t notice any difference having a few more Maoir roudnthe table.
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