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Affordable Auckland Attacks Creeping Apartheid

Affordable Auckland Attacks Creeping Apartheid

Affordable Auckland Leader Stephen Berry is disturbed by developments increasing the number of local body regions choosing racially based representation. The Waikato and Bay of Plenty Regional Councils already have Maori wards, while New Plymouth District Council voted to also have a Maori ward two days ago.

Stephen Berry is now mounting an offensive against a proposal to include Maori wards on Auckland Council. “It is bad enough that Auckland has been saddled with the Independent Maori Statutory Board which allows unelected members, on the basis of race, to vote on the Council. To further advance the cause of political apartheid by introducing racial wards is intolerable.”

“I passionately believe that every single individual should be treated equally by Council, without reference to any collective label, like every other individual. The Maori ward concept is an insipid proposal which will only damage race relations in Auckland.”

Berry believes it would be even worse for Auckland Council to follow this path due to the unique legislation which established the Supercity model. “Council has the power to establish Maori wards. However it does not have the power to disestablish the Independent Maori Statutory Board. Aucklanders could find themselves carrying two forms of racism in their governance structure.

“I also want to make special mention of John “Horse” McLeod, who resigned from New Plymouth District Council following a vote to adopt a Maori ward. Horse is a man of conviction who resigned on principle against electoral racism. I wish more politicians possessed the same volume of spine.”

The Affordable City nationwide local body umbrella has been dormant for the last six months while many of its members have engaged in the recent general election on the behalf of various political parties. Berry says he is making new moves back into the sphere of local body politics following his recent parliamentary candidacy.

“Watch this space,” he adds with a wink.


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