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Appointing iwi representatives an attack on democracy

Democracy Action is very concerned by Otago Regional Council’s move to appoint two Ngāi Tahu representatives to the Council, with full voting rights on the Council’s powerful Policy Committee.

Democracy Action Chairman, Lee Short, says:

“Ngāi Tahu are big business. The potential for conflicts of interest to arise are too great to ignore. To have representatives of a significant commercial entity appointed to serve their own interests is a very serious and unwelcome departure from our democratic and egalitarian principles”.

“Councillors would be acting with no mandate from the citizens of Otago. Such a move must be put to the people to decide whether iwi representation on council is in the best interests of the district.”

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