Govt Moves To Separatism With BoP Decision
“The Labour/Alliance Government has taken the first step on the slippery slope of separatism by promoting race-based electoral roles and constituencies for Local Government,” says ACT Deputy Leader, Ken Shirley.
“The division of the democratic process on racial grounds is a very unwise initiative and will inevitably lead to a divisive polarisation of society with divided responsibilities and accountabilities.
“The fact that central Government has race-based rolls and constituencies is no justification for this initiative in the Bay of Plenty which is intended as a model across Local Government.
“The Parliamentary Maori Roll and constituencies were introduced as a temporary measure during the Land Wars of the 1860’s at a time when only property owing males over 21 had the right to vote.
“We have come a long way since then and all reviews of our electoral system has recommended the abolishment of the Maori seats, the most recent being the Royal Commission on Electoral Reform which reported in 1986.
“This proposal is not widely supported within the Bay of Plenty and the Regional Council has consistently refused to hold a referendum on the issue,” concluded Ken Shirley.