July 30, 2020
Chong says choice matters in Māori ward plan
A controversial New Plymouth district councillor say he would vote for a Māori ward if the council scrapped its Māori committee.
Murray Chong was one of only two councillors to vote against the Māori ward proposal last week, with mayor Neil Holdon abstaining.
He’s now backing a petition to call for a citizens’ initiated referendum, which can overturn the decision.
Mr Chong, who is the New Conservative candidate in New Plymouth, says he wants to make sure everyone is treated equally.
"I’ve been portrayed as someone that doesn't want Māori wards. The record needs to be set straight. There is either an iwi committee or a Māori ward, one or another, and if we bring back the Māori ward we need to get rid of the iwi committee, because that was created because we couldn’t have a Māori ward," he says.
He would like to see binding referenda available for other questions the council deals with.
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