November 19, 2020
Hawke’s Bay makes cautious step towards Maori seats
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has decided to poll voters at the next local government elections on whether it should create Māori wards.
Chief executive James Palmer says while a majority of councillors appear to support having dedicated Māori seats, they expressed concern about the about the matter being decided by binding referendum.
The interim step allows a chance for community engagement and consultation.
The motion is subject to any legislative change.
The Minister of Local Government Nanaia Mahuta has signalled she will review part of the Local Electoral Act 2001, which allows for council decisions to create Māori seats being overturned by a binding referendum, which can be forced by a petition of five percent of registered voters.
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