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

 

Lack of diversity in local government a concern

Human Rights Commission
Media Release
Tuesday, 4 March 2008

EMBARGO: 6am, Tuesday 4 March

Lack of diversity in local government a concern

The ethnic representation of our local government bodies is still a far cry from the diverse communities they serve.

This is just one of the key messages of the 2007 Race Relations report launched by the Human Rights Commission at a Mayoral breakfast function in Manukau City on 4 March.

Elections were held in 2007 for school boards of trustees, local government and district health boards. In total, successful candidates from these elections were overwhelmingly European at 87.3% for local government, 77.7% for school boards and 76.9% for district health boards. Maori representation in local government councils rose from 4.3% in 2004 to 4.8% in 2007, while the figure for school boards dropped from 16% to 15.4% in 2007.¹

The only diversity improvement was reflected in the district health board results, which showed a 10% increase in Maori representation since 2004; however this was due to ministerial appointments rather than elections.

Speaking at the launch, Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres said that, while the public mood on race relations was more positive than in previous years, there were many areas where improvements were needed to meet the challenges of our current demographics.

“We need to see an increase in Māori, Pacific and other ethnic participation in governance,” he said. “While parliament has become more representative of the community, it would be good to see more Pacific and Asian people on the party lists and contesting seats this year.”

Mr de Bres said local bodies should encourage a broader range of candidates so that councils have a better chance of representing all people in towns and cities. He cited the Auckland situation as “particularly out of synch” with the regional population, given the high level of Māori, Pacific and Asian communities; but singled out Manukau City as the exception with a “significantly diverse” representation.

“Local government need to be looking at this issue now rather than waiting until the next election in 2009,” he advised.

Other focus areas identified in the Race Relations report include the need for increased Māori, Pacific and other ethnic participation in the media and reducing Māori imprisonment, which has persisted at around 50% of the total prison population for the past four years². Continuing to reduce racial inequalities and the monitoring of hate crime are also highlighted as key issues.

The annual report aims to provide factual information and context to inform public discussion in the lead up to Race Relation Day, which is observed internationally on 21 March. This year the theme for Race Relations Day is Finding Common Ground.

Background Notes

Tūi Tūi Tuituiā, Race Relations in 2007 is an annual record of race relations developments in the country, incorporating community action on diversity, the Treaty of Waitangi, discrimination, culture and heritage, language, migrants, media, religion and human rights.

Finding Common Ground is the title of the NZ Diversity Action Programme’s draft Statement on Race Relations, which seeks to set out some basic principles that underpin good race relations and will be the focus of workplace and community discussion around Race Relations Day. The Statement on Race Relations can be found on our website at www.hrc.co.nz.

Race Relations Day
Because 21 March falls on Good Friday this year, events will be taking place throughout the month, both before and after Easter. Details can be found on our website at www.hrc.co.nz.

¹Sources: www.educationcounts.govt.nz, www.library.lgnz.co.nz, Ministry of Health
²Source: Department of Corrections


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

In the end, Mr Pragmatic calmly read the signs of impending defeat and went out on his own terms. You could use any number of clichés to describe Peter Dunne’s exit from Parliament.

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>

ALSO:

Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>

ALSO:

Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election