March 03, 2021
Maori on councils doesn’t mean Maori perspective
Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson says just having a Māori in an elected position doesn’t mean they can advocate for Māori.
Opponents of the government’s Māori wards reform have pointed to increasing numbers of Māori in parliament local government as a reason for not having separate Māori seats.
But Mr Jackson says MPs like Simon Bridges and David Seymour consistently speak out against positions favoured by Māori, despite being Māori themselves.
Māori elected to general wards on councils have no mandate to speak for Māori.
"We've got Māori councillors around the country who won't put a Māori perspective because they can't because they would be voted out very quickly. I'm not saying they are not Māori. Of course they are Māori – that's their dilemma they face all the time," Mr Jackson says.
He says estimates 14 percent of local government seats are filled by Māori are misleading because they include local boards.
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