Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

LGNZ call to end Maori wards vote out of touch

LGNZ call to end Maori wards vote out of touch
In calling on Parliament to deny ratepayers the right to veto council decisions to create racially-based political structures, Local Government New Zealand reveals just how totally out of touch they are with the views of the overwhelming majority of ratepayers, Don Brash said today in response to a press release from LGNZ.
In every one of the districts whose councils decided to impose Maori wards – Western Bay of Plenty, Whakatane, Palmerston North, Manawatu and Kaikoura – large numbers of ratepayers petitioned for a poll, showing clearly that very many do not want race-based wards, Dr Brash said.
“Most councilors know this, which is why they are trying to prevent those views being expressed,” Dr Brash said.
“LGNZ argues that allowing ratepayers to have a vote when councils propose to create Maori wards is somehow a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi because ratepayers have no right to have a vote when general wards are created, or reconfigured,” Dr Brash said.
“But it is surely Councils which breach the Treaty by proposing racially-based political structures. The Treaty gave all New Zealanders equal rights, and certainly did not envisage racially-based political structures nearly 200 years later,” Dr Brash said.
“The patronizing suggestion that Maori New Zealanders are incapable of being elected to local councils unless special Maori wards are created is surely shown for the nonsense it is by the 29 Maori New Zealanders currently in Parliament, including the Leaders or Deputy Leaders of every party in Parliament, none of them dependent on the anachronistic Maori electorates to be there.”
Parliament voted on this issue in June last year, and decisively rejected a move which would have denied ratepayers the right to express a view on this issue.
Casey Costello and Don Brash, spokespeople for the Hobson’s Pledge Trust, wrote to the President of LGNZ yesterday and their letter is reproduced below.

25 March 2018

Mr David Cull
President
Local Government New Zealand

Dear Mr Cull,
It has come to our attention that you wrote to the leaders of Labour, New Zealand First and the Greens last Friday on behalf of the members of Local Government New Zealand urging them to remove those sections of the Local Electoral Act 2001 that allow for polls of electors on whether or not a city, district or region can establish Maori wards.
Your letter noted that the binding poll only applies to Maori wards and constituencies, and not to other wards and constituencies, “marking the provision as discriminatory to Maori and inconsistent with the principle of equal treatment enshrined in the Treaty of Waitangi. It is the view that either the poll provisions should apply to all wards or they should apply to none”.
Writing on behalf of the Hobson’s Pledge Trust, we could see merit in having the poll provision extend to all wards but are strongly opposed to abolishing the right of ratepayers to demand a poll when councils vote to establish Maori wards.
Creating racially-based political systems is directly contrary to what the Treaty of Waitangi proposed where, in Article III, it promised that all New Zealanders would have the rights and privileges of British subjects. While we are strongly opposed to such racially-based wards and see them as totally inconsistent with the Treaty, at very least, if councils do vote to establish such wards, ratepayers should have a right to express a view on the matter.
It has been suggested that Maori wards are necessary to ensure Maori New Zealanders are elected to local government. This is surely patronizing nonsense, as shown by the 29 Maori New Zealanders who are now in Parliament, only seven of them elected in the anachronistic Maori electorates.
When the Deputy Prime Minister, the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, the Leader and Deputy Leader of the National Party, the Deputy Leader of NZ First, and one of the co-Leaders of the Green Party are all Maori, any suggestion that Maori New Zealanders are somehow incapable of being elected to local government is offensive.
(It’s worth observing that none of the Maori MPs mentioned depended for their election on the Maori electorates. While Mr Kelvin Davis was elected in a Maori electorate, being #2 on the Labour Party list ensured that he would have been elected to Parliament even if he had not won that electorate.)
In some parts of the country there are more Asian New Zealanders than Maori New Zealanders, and yet nobody is arguing for Asian wards in local government to ensure adequate Asian representation in local councils. And if somebody did argue for Asian wards, they would be rightly denounced as racist or laughed out of the room.
Similarly, in some parts of the country there are very few if any women elected to local councils, yet nobody is arguing that there should be special wards for women.
You may not be aware that Parliament debated this specific issue in June last year when Marama Davison had her Member’s Bill drawn from the ballot (the Local Electoral (Equitable Process for establishing Maori Wards and Maori Constituencies) Amendment Bill).
It was overwhelming rejected by Parliament when the National, NZ First and ACT party MPs unanimously voted it down. There can be no valid reason for any different outcome now.
Yours sincerely
Casey Costello
Don Brash
On behalf of Hobson’s Pledge Trust
Hobson's Pledge Trust

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Lest We Forget: ANZAC Day - WWI 100 Year Anniversary

The Governor-General, The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, GNZM, QSO, will represent the people of New Zealand at the 2018 Anzac Day commemorations in Gallipoli. On Anzac Day, Dame Patsy will speak at the Joint New Zealand and Australian Dawn Service in Anzac Cove, and at the New Zealand Commemorative Service at Chunuk Bair later that morning... More>>

 

HiveMind: Fair Enough? How Should New Zealanders Be Taxed?

Have Your Say - Scoop and PEP invite you to share your issues, ideas and perspectives on the NZ tax system with other New Zealanders using Scoop’s HiveMind tool. This Tax HiveMind is intended to complement and feed into the review being run by the Government-appointed Tax Working Group (TWG), which is looking at the fairness, balance and structure of the tax system with a 10-year time horizon. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Thompson + Clark & Russia’s World Cup

Daily, the coalition government keeps running into examples of the toxic legacy left behind by National – and just as regularly, even the simple fixes are proving stubbornly difficult to enact. Take the case of the security firm Thompson + Clark ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The GCSB’s Security Hang-Up With Russia

So our GCSB has chimed in, alongside its British, Australian and US allies, with warnings about a “fresh wave” of Russian cyber attacks, although the warning has been curiously framed. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Europe Trip: CHOGM & Bilateral Meetings

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in Europe for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and meetings with counterparts in Paris and Berlin. More>>

ALSO:


Addressing Climate Change: No New Offshore Exploration Permits

The Coalition Government is taking an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Road Safety Summit: Actions To Improve Identified

The Local Government Road Safety Summit held last week identified actions that will lead to lasting changes to road safety in New Zealand, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages