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Peters Urges Mps To Shun “Apartheid” Vote

All MPs should vote against the apartheid-based Bay of Plenty Regional Council (Maori Constituency Empowering) Bill because it represents an abhorrent form of separatism, said the New Zealand First Leader, Rt Hon Winston Peters.

The Bill is expected to be introduced to Parliament today by the Member for Waiariki, Mita Ririnui to establish a Maori only constituency for the election of councillors.

“This is a form of electoral apartheid which will do nothing to advance the cause of Maori representation and it will further harm race relations.

“The problem of under-representation of Maori on local authorities is a direct result of apathy among potential candidates and voters.

“It is not the fault of the electoral system because there are numerous examples of Maori being highly successful in local body politics, competing against all comers – regardless of race.

“It is also important to remember that approximately half the Maori voting population is enrolled on the General Roll.

“In any case, the local body elections are about choosing the best candidate for the job, irrespective of race. Race should not be the issue,” said Mr Peters.

Mr Peters said that he had written to all MPs asking them to reject the proposed legislation.

Ends

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