Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Challenging low Māori representation in local government

MEDIA RELEASE

28 November 2014

Challenging low Māori representation in local government

Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox has questioned the Minister of Local Government about what initiatives are underway to increase tangata whenua (indigenous) representation on local and district councils.

“The questions were prompted by the courageous challenge set down by the New Plymouth District Council Mayor Andrew Judd for the government to consider changing the law to allow for 50-50 representation between Māori and non-Māori on local authorities to reflect the Treaty of Waitangi partnership.

“We commend his vision as we believe think it is woeful that only around 5.7% of representatives on local government identify as Māori,” says Mrs Fox.

During the Parliamentary debate yesterday, Local Government Minister, Paula Bennett said, “I do not currently have any plans to make changes to the current settings.” However, officials are working on advice about Māori participation in local government which she will consider next year.

Māori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell says the current legal provisions for creating Māori representation in local government are inadequate and difficult to secure.

“If you take the New Plymouth case, to get one dedicated Māori ward out of 14 you need to use the local voters on the Māori electorate roll and the position can be over-turned by a referendum that’s triggered by five percent of the population. It’s also a seat that’s up for re-consideration every six years,” says Mr Flavell.

The Māori Party has consistently argued for stronger mechanisms to achieve Māori representation as the absolute minimum in terms of meeting Treaty of Waitangi obligations.

In June 2010, Mr Flavell presented the Local Electoral (Māori Representation) Amendment bill which would require all territorial authorities and regional councils to establish Māori wards and constituencies to provide for Māori representation.

"Parliament wasn't ready for our bill then, but quite clearly local government is prepared to be more visionary, as this decision in New Plymouth reveals,” says Mr Flavell.

Mr Judd’s call for 50-50 representation in local government came on the back of the recent Waitangi Tribunal report that recognised Māori and the Crown signed the agreement as equals.

“The Treaty was never about division. It was about establishing a foundation for unity and mutual respect. We urge more decision-making bodies around Aotearoa to value the unique voice that tangata whenua bring to the table. Equal representation in local government is a benchmark that should be strived for,” says Mrs Fox.

Link – Local Electoral (Māori Representation) Amendment bill

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Politics Of Why We’re Not Getting An Inquiry Into The White Island Disaster

The Ardern government has made an art form out of reviews and inquiries- when to hold them, when to fold them, and when to shelve the findings, virtually untouched. Among other things, the WorkSafe criminal proceedings into the Whakaari /White Island disaster look like the outcome of a conscious political strategy. The government is choosing this route instead holding a proper inquiry, because it can conveniently narrow the focus only to (a) the events prior to the eruption and (b) solely to possible violations of our labour laws... More>>

 

UN SDG: A Greener, Cleaner, Brighter Future

'The world has a high fever and is burning up. Climate disruption is daily news – from devastating wildfires to record floods. The damage to people and the environment is immense and growing.' - UN Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

ALSO:

Carbon Neutral Policy: Gov Declares Climate Emergency

The Government has launched a major new initiative to combat climate change that will require the public sector to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. More>>

ALSO:

Pill Testing: Govt Moves On Drug Checking To Keep Young New Zealanders Safer This Summer

The Government will pass time limited legislation to give legal certainty to drug checking services, so they can carry out their work to keep New Zealanders safer this summer at festivals without fear of prosecution, Health Minister Andrew Little ... More>>

ALSO:

Tax: Government Fulfils Election Undertaking On New Top Tax Rate

The Government will today keep its election promise to put in place a new top tax rate of 39 per cent on income earned over $180,000. More>>

ALSO:

Media: Stuff Holds Itself Accountable For Wrongs To Māori

Stuff has today published the results of an investigation into itself, and issued a public apology, for the way the media organisation has portrayed Māori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, from its first editions to now. Tā Mātou Pono | More>>

ALSO:

Economy: Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management

The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance ... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels