February 11, 2021
Greens backing Maori seats urgency
Green MP Teanau Tuiono says it’s important to pass changes to the Local Government Act before councils have to spend on referendums challenging their decisions to create Māori wards.
National and Act are crying foul at the rushed timeframe for the amendment bill, with just two days to put in submissions and the select committee due to report back Monday.
The Government need to get the bill passed before March 22 to avoid referendums on Māori wards proposed for the 2022 local elections.
Mr Tuiono says the existing law hasn’t worked in the way it was intended, and the issues have been thoroughly debated in recent years.
"Councils from Gisborne, Kaipara, Northland, Ruapehu, South Taranaki, Taupo, Tauranga and Whangarei had all resolved to establish Māori wards in 2022, but as soon as that happens, Hobson's wedge comes in and next thing you know they are trucking all that rich mans' money around to push our people's voices out of local body decision making processes," he says.
Teanau Tuiono says referendums aren’t a good use of ratepayer money.
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