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7th Maori Seat - LessRepresentative Parliament

Seventh Maori Seat Is A Less Representative Parliament

The creation of a seventh Maori seat will mean a less representative Parliament, ACT leader Richard Prebble says.

"The extra Maori seat will result in one less list seat, rather than one less constituency seat, because MPs didn't follow the Royal Commission's recommendation," Mr Prebble said.

"It is list seats that represent the diversity of New Zealand society. Current list MPs include two Pacific Islanders, one Asian and seven Maori.

"The irony is that if Parliament had kept to the Royal Commission's recommendation of a 50/50 split of constituency and list MPs, Maori would have been represented roughly in line with the percentage of Maori adults.

"No one says Maori list MPs are less effective or less representative. It's interesting to note that four of the seven Maori list MPs are women - Donna Awatere Huata, Sandra Lee, Georgina Te Heuheu and Tariana Turia ' while only one of the six Maori constituency MPs is a woman.

"On past experience, the seventh Maori list MP will be a man, elected at the expense of a woman list MP. He will, again on past record, be an ineffective time-waster.

"If we hadn't had Maori seats at the last election, and the next six candidates on Labour's list had been elected instead, it would have meant two Maori, a Samoan, an Indian and two Pakeha MPs ' and five of the six were women.

"ACT remains of the view that separate Maori seats have not served either Maori or non-Maori well.

"Parliament should have followed the original Royal Commission's recommendation of a 50/50 split of list and constituency seats, with no separate Maori seats. If we did that, and also reduced the size of Cabinet, we wouldn't need a Parliament of 120 MPs. Ninety-nine would be sufficient for both good representation and good government.

"ACT will continue to campaign for the original Royal Commission recommendations," Mr Prebble said.

ENDS


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