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BOP Regional Council On The Road To Ruin

BOP Regional Council On The Road To Ruin

Wednesday 1 Oct 2003 Ken Shirley Press Releases -- Other

ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader Ken Shirley today expressed great disappointment over Bay of Plenty Regional Council's decision to have Maori seats, and predicted that the move would cause immense polarisation of councillors.

"This move essentially invites the councillors to pander narrow constituencies, rather than representing the general interests of the region," Mr Shirley said.

"Inevitably, it will lead to Maori representatives taking more extreme positions, in order to meet the electoral demands of the Maori-focussed constituency they represent. This is a recipe for increased social disharmony and dysfunctional governance within the council.

"ACT opposes any laws that are based on race. What we have here is the introduction of race into the local body electoral system. The Maori seats are an anachronism in Parliament, with all reviews over the past 100 years recommending their abolition.

"Local bodies throughout New Zealand must not follow Bay of Plenty Regional Council's example. If they do think of going down that dangerous path, however, they should at least wait two election cycles - and be warned by the disaster that will unfold in the Bay of Plenty," Mr Shirley said.

ENDS


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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