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

 


Democracy Re-engineered in Manukau City

Democracy Re-engineered in Manukau City

The Manukau City Council last night decided to reject a controversial proposal to create Maori Wards in Manukau City, but has instead chosen to establish a race-based Maori standing committee.

Howick Councillor Jami-Lee Ross is one of a long list of Manukau City Councillors who oppose the creation of a Maori ward or Maori standing committee.

“The issue of Maori representation is one of fairness and equality which all Councils should be striving to uphold” says Mr Ross

“As elected representatives we have a responsibility to give everybody equal opportunity to participate in the decision making process in our city. With the recent decision to create a Maori standing committee the Manukau City Council has decided to introduce 21st century apartheid into the city.

“New Zealanders no longer live in a bi-cultural country where only Maori and Pakeha faces can be seen. New Zealanders live in a multi-cultural society and Manukau is a very diverse city where over 165 different ethnic groups call this place home.”

Mr Ross believes that as community leaders, Councillors should be celebrating diversity by allowing all Manukau residents to have the same opportunities by creating an equal playing field for all.

“The Manukau City Council has decided to re-engineer democracy based purely on race, and that is wrong. What’s worse is that the decision was squeezed through by the slimmest of margins after Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis chose to exercise his casting vote.

“While Sir Barry is no doubt respected by a lot of people throughout the city, his decision to support race-based democracy will inevitably be seen as an endorsement of Deputy Mayor Anne Candy’s words when she said on nationwide television: ‘Maori are the hosts in this country and everybody else is a visitor’

“Those words disturbed a lot of people at the time and I am sure that many Manukau residents will have difficulty accepting this view from the leadership of their Council.”

Mr Ross considers supporters of the Maori standing committee to have forgotten about the third article of the Treaty of Waitangi. “Article three of the Treaty specifically refers to both Maori and non-Maori having the same rights and duties of citizenship as one another. The Manukau City Councillors who voted to give Maori more rights and privileges as others have completely ignored Article Three of the Treaty that they claim to uphold.

“What they have done instead is they’ve chosen to send a message to every non-Maori in the city that they are now second class citizens. From that message it is clear to see that the Manukau City Council’s decision to push through the creation of a Maori standing committee will have long term negative effects for the city. Manukau residents no longer enjoy equal citizenship, and small minority of 16% have more rights and privileges than everybody else.”

Mr Ross believes the root of the problem for Manukau City and other local authorities lies with the Local Government Act. “The legislation that Council’s work under was modified in 2001 to allow Maori wards to be established. The sooner a common sense government reverses the troublesome race-based clauses in local government legislation the better.

“They would also learn a lot from the words of Governor William Hobson at the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840: ‘He Iwi Tahi Tatou – We are one people’”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news