May 04, 2018
Chance to shore up Maori seats
A member’s bill in the name of Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene to entrench the Maori seats has been drawn from the ballot.
Under the Electoral Act any changes to the way general sets are managed needs agreement from 75 percent of MPs, but the Maori seats can be changed or done away with by a simple majority.
Mr Tirikatene says it’s a long standing discrepancy, and he’s pleased parliament can now debate the issue.
"This isn’t about removing or retaining the Maori seats. This is about making sure they are treated the same. This is a simple change to the law. It’s a constitutional issue so I am looking forward to having those conversations with our partners in Government, the Greens and New Zealand First, and also the National Party and ACT Party across the House as well," he says.
National has a policy on its books to scrap the Maori seats, and New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has also been a long time opponent since his party won and lost all the Maori seats early in its existence.
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