August 17, 2021
Whakatane identifies shape of Maori wards
Whakatāne District Council’s representation review has come up with a model of seven general councillors spread across three wards and three Māori wards with one councillor each.
The proposal will be put out for further consultation until October 6.
Māori ward advocate Toni Boynton says the aim is to ensure an even number of electors for every councillor.
That means the Māori wards range from a large one covering rural areas and a smaller, densely populated one covering Whakatāne and Ohope.
She says it means Māori voters will no longer have to worry about having their vote diluted across multiple Māori candidates, none of whom end up getting elected.
“I think there’s joy in knowing that and looking to see who will be strong and positive contenders who are going to be sitting around that council seat. If you are Māori representing at different levels there are high expectations but I think it’s exciting,” Ms Boynton says.
She says the next council will have to deal with some controversial issues around land and water.
Copyright © 2021, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com