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Council set to erode democracy with unelected members

Hamilton City Council set to erode democracy with unelected committee members

1 AUGUST 2018

Hamilton City Council’s plan to appoint non-elected members to Council committees will erode local democracy, says Democracy Action.

Democracy Action Chair Lee Short says, “Voters in referenda across the country have rejected the introduction of Maori voting wards. This should have sent a clear message to councils that New Zealanders do not want racially-separated representation in local government.”

“Clearly, Hamilton City Council missed the memo – this proposal is potentially even more damaging than Maori wards. The new appointees will not be elected, so they will be unaccountable in their decision-making – even to Maori. The appointees will come from the local iwi and a Maori social service agency, will have full voting rights on their committees, and will receive full-time salaries paid by Hamilton ratepayers.”

“This decision will not be put to a referendum, so Hamiltonians will have to note exactly which Councillors support the new appointments tomorrow, and then replace those Councillors with pro-democracy ones at next year’s local election.”

“In the meantime, we have started a petition to tell Hamilton City Councillors that we do not condone their decision to undermine democracy with unelected, racially-determined committee appointees. You can sign the petition here: www.democracyaction.org.nz/hamilton.”


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