November 22, 2017
Seat progress too slow for Judd
Former New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd says if his petition doesn’t result into changes in the way councils go about getting Maori representation, he’ll crowd fund to get the money he needs to take the crown to court on this issue.
The petition asks parliament to fix the anomaly whereby a council decision to create a Maori seat can be overthrown by public referendum if 5 percent of electors ask for one.
That’s what happened when Mr Judd’s council tried to set up Maori wards, and the backlash put him off standing again.
He says Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta is in parliament because of votes from electors on the Maori roll, so she should give Maori a chance to pick representatives that way in local government.
"Although Whakatane etc are agreeing to have seats, more councils are saying no at the moment. Just mandate it. Be brave enough, come on, stand up and just make it the law. Because once you’ve done that we’ll all forget about it, we’ll move on, but we will permanently have Maori at the table. That voice will be able to debate and argue on them final vote. None of this subcommittee stuff that’s just tokenism," Mr Judd says.
The previous Government closed off submissions on his petition early, but he hopes parliament will give it the scrutiny it deserves.
Copyright © 2017, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com