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Local Government Amendment Bill

Ngāti Ruanui is urging the coalition Government to step back from racist doctrine and instead embrace a flourishing governance model.

The proposed changes under the would force councils with recently adopted Māori Wards to disestablish them or put them to a public vote. While any future Māori ward could once again be vetoed by the public.

Today (June 5), Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui Trust Taiao Officer Graham Young spoke to the select committee, via zoom, on our written submission.

Mr Young said Māori Wards unequivocally improved democracy.

“Since 2021, we have watched the green shoots of partnership flourish and begin to bear fruit in Taranaki.

“The local government structure has not collapsed, the voting splits have remained largely the same on key issues, and in fact, stability and progress has developed.

“Currently doors are opening, and we are seeing greater connectivity and stability across our treaty partners like never before.”

The submission also cited the number of councils that have spoken against the proposed changes.

“This is unprecedented and reinforces our belief that what the government is attempting to do is just plain wrong.

“Overreach into local government is not needed.”

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui Trust Kaiw’aka’aere Rachel Arnott said parliament was in danger of causing institutional damage.

“Māori wards were created as a vital step toward reasonable representation within local councils. They serve as a crucial structure in ensuring full participation and recognition in the governance process.

“These changes, however, are only designed to create division and upheaval.”

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