March 27, 2019
Alarm at Hastings’ plan to give Māori voice
Hastings District Council votes today on a plan to appoint suitably qualified members of its Māori Joint Committee to four of its standing committees.
That has drawn the ire of lobby group Hobson’s Pledge, which successfully campaigned against councils which tried to introduce Māori wards for this year’s local government elections.
Spokesperson Don Brash says the move is designed to circumvent the referendum that could have been triggered if a Māori ward was proposed.
By allowing appointees to vote on standing committees only, it also circumvents the requirement of the Local Government Act that only elected representatives may vote at full council meetings.
Dr Brash says the council’s justification that the move is OK because other councils are doing it does not wash because the other councils are also subverting democracy by allowing appointees to vote.
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