November 03, 2020
Maori Council keen to see end of Maori seat anomoly
The New Zealand Māori Council is welcoming a pledge by Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta to prioritise reform of the system for creating Māori wards.
Under the current law just 5 percent of voters can force a binding referendum to overturn decisions by councils to create Māori wards.
Māori Council executive director Matthew Tukaki says at provision only applies to Māori seats, and it has been exploited by groups like Hobson's Pledge to keep Māori from the council table.
"So we have not only an anomaly but we are seeing the anomaly being used by vested interests groups to push back against Māori wards and yet it is a treaty obligation that we are working in partnership with all facets of government or the crown, and local government is no different to that," he says.
Matthew Tukaki says changes to the Local Government Act will need to be coordinated with Resource Management Act reform because the two statutes are closely linked.
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