August 31, 2022
New Plymouth candidates grilled on Māori stance
Former New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd says asking council candidates whether they support a Māori ward is race-baiting because the question has been decided.
But the council says it asked the question for its “know your candidate” webpage because Māori representation had been a hot topic of discussion for many years.
Spokesperson Ben Kohlis says it’s just as important for some voters as the other questions about rates, climate change and support for local businesses.
The majority of the 45 candidates who answered the question supported Māori wards.
Puna Wano-Bryant, who led the charge to get wards, says knowing the candidate’s views on the wards would inform her vote.
She questioned whether candidates who don’t support Māori wards would support other Māori issues, such as changing street names and Māori community development.