Maori Party on a roll with new bill

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The debate over Maori representation in local government will come to the fore again with the pulling of a Maori Party bill from the Parliamentary ballot today.

The Local Electoral (Maori Representation) Amendment Bill sponsored by Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell requires all district, city and regional councils to establish Maori wards and constituencies to provide for Maori representation.

So many decisions made by these authorities impact hugely on our people, so this bill aims to give Maori a real seat at the decision making table.

For too long our people have not been considered, or considered through toothless advisory groups.

“Effective representation in a democracy is a basic human right and it also enables our nation to move forward.

The need to have Maori representation arises from the Treaty of Waitangi and it is also expressed in article 18 of the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The bill proposes that the number of seats be based in proportion to the general Maori population of the relevant territory or region.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1005/S00093.htm

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