October 13, 2020
Maori turn to local government
The face of local government is changing, with more elected members being younger, female, more educated and Māori.
That’s the conclusion of a survey done by Local Government New Zealand of the makeup of the country’s 78 councils after last year’s elections.
LGNZ president Stuart Crosby says the survey result dispels the notion the sector is solely the domain of the pale, stale male.
Over 41 per cent of the successful candidate respondents stood for their first term in 2019, compared with 27 per cent in 2016.
Māori elected members increased to 13.5 per cent in 2019, from just 5 per cent in 2007.
Māori members are also more likely to be younger and female than non-Māori members.
The number of candidates with a graduate degree increased by 5 per cent to 23.5 per cent.
Between 2016 and 2019 the number of candidates aged 18 to 40 almost doubled.
Mr Crosby says the increase last year in of youth getting involved in political and social causes, such as the school strike for climate, may have translated into more young people standing for local government.
Increased pay for councillors has also made it viable for young people to both stand for local government and raise a family.
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