Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Maori participation in Local Government

10 October 2005

Waitakere City Council to investigate best ways for Maori participation in Local Government

Waitakere City Council looks set to reject establishing a Maori Ward for the 2007 elections but it has committed itself to establishing a robust process for investigating better Mäori participation in the democratic process.

That was the outcome of today's meeting of the Council's Financial and Operational Performance Committee, which was asked to consider a range of recommendations associated with Maori representation.

Because most councillors were present at the meeting, the recommendation almost certainly reflects the way the full Council will vote when it discusses the issue.

Whether or not to establish a Maori Ward is one of a number of issues that the Council must deal with as part of a comprehensive review of the city's electoral system. Other issues include whether or not to keep any wards, and if so how many and whether to stay with the First Past The Post voting system or to go to the Single Transferable Vote system (STV) used for electing health boards.

The Council rejected STV at its last meeting.

"There was a range of opinion at today's meeting. Some Councillors may be opposed outright to the principle of Maori Wards but I think the majority might want to see more Maori participating in the democratic process. They just don't necessarily believe that we have enough information at this time, to make that decision," says Councillor Janet Clews, the committee chair.

"The possibility of losing Te Taumata Runanga, for example, is a very serious one. It is a standing committee representing a wide range of Maori opinion and it conducts its business in public. If we had to choose between that and a single Maori Ward representative who had to privately canvass Maori opinion, raises the question of which would serve Maori best?"

"I don't have the answer to that. I think we'd also be interested in hearing Maori opinion now that the Maori Party has achieved independent success in the national elections. In short, we feel that this is far too important a topic to rush at and with a couple of exceptions the Councillors were more comfortable with taking more time and getting it right," says Councillor Clews.

'Nevertheless, and I want to stress this, this was not a fob off. It was quite clear that the Councillors are determined to have a pretty thorough investigation, starting in the near future so that we have a clear understanding the next time the issue is raised," she says.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news