Environment Canterbury Decides To Retain Democratically Unaccountable Councillors
Regional council Environment Canterbury has voted against introducing Māori wards for the 2025 elections. Instead, they have opted to retain the current system featuring two unelected appointed councillors with full voting rights.
Responding to this, Taxpayers’ Union Policy Adviser, James Ross, commented:
“Whether a council has Māori wards or not is a matter for all residents to decide, and Environment Canterbury should be commended for not pushing ahead with this change at a time when Labour’s anti-democratic ban on binding referendums is still in place.
“However, clearly the current system is wholly untenable. Māori ward representatives would at least be accountable to their constituents, but there is no such luxury with Environment Canterbury’s appointed councillors.
“No council should have unelected appointees with voting rights on its governing body, and Environment Canterbury’s current set-up is an affront to New Zealand’s democratic principles.”