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Brash applauds Maori seats referendum

Brash applauds Maori seats referendum

Today’s call by New Zealand First leader Winston Peters for a binding referendum on whether to retain or abolish Māori seats is an excellent idea, Hobson’s Pledge spokesman Don Brash said today.

Mr Peters said he would hold two binding referendums on the same day. They would be on two issues:

Whether to retain or abolish Maori seats,
Whether to maintain or reduce the size of Parliament to 100 MPs.
Dr Brash said it would be good for all New Zealanders to get rid of these seats.

“They have been an anachronism since 1893, when all adults 21 and over, men and women, Maori and non-Maori, gained a vote,” Dr Brash said.

“In 1986, the Royal Commission on the Electoral System recommended that separate Maori electorates should be scrapped if MMP were adopted,” Dr Brash said.

MMP was adopted but the Maori seats stayed.

“Having one roll for Maori and one roll for everyone else is an affront to modern democracy,” Dr Brash said.

“Bill English, John Key, and I, when in Opposition, all pledged that a future National government would hold a binding referendum on the Maori electorates,” Dr Brash said.

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