May 10, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Govt says NO to Māori Seats

2 min read

The Dominion Post just reported the following:

Māori Party plans to introduce amendments to create dedicated Māori seats for the new Auckland super city, after Cabinet today ruled them out.  Prime Minister John Key said ministers had given consideration to the issue, but decided against it, in a decision Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples described as “taking heed of politics”.

ACT leader Rodney Hide had threatened to quit as Local Government Minister if seats had been reserved for Māori

The move will leave the Māori Party disappointed as they had lobbied hard for some form of elected Māori representation on the council.

The decision by Cabinet today to confirm its earlier April “fast 10 day post Royal Commission decision” against having Māori seats on the new Auckland Council means the new city will start life with a fight on its hands, undermining the unity so fundamental to its future success and setting it up to fail, North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams said today.

The new Auckland Council will have to deal with the huge disappointment of Maori and the resulting on-going consequences for partnership, consensus and progress so vital to effective local governance…  Coming on top of the government’s decision to legislate away the right of Aucklanders to hold a referendum on the ‘super city’ and instead impose without a democratic vote the ‘one council, one mayor’ model under urgency, the new Auckland Council will start life with little sense of public legitimacy and no real sense of a public enthusiasm for its existence.” Mayor Williams said.

Mayor Williams said that the submission of the North Shore City Council to the Auckland Governance Legislation Committee urged the government to give greater consideration to Maori representation on the Auckland Council and to undertake further engagement with Maori to arrive at the best solution.

7 thoughts on “Govt says NO to Māori Seats

  1. Rotorua ‘shafted’ with loss of Eastern Bay of Plenty seats
    By Phil Campbell, Rotorua Review, 8 Sept 09

    The three separate Maori constituency seats had worked well for Environment Bay of Plenty (EBOP) changes were not envisioned int he near future.

    EBoP chairman John Cronin said in a statement recently that the Maori constituency councillors had taken part across the whole of the council, not just on Maori issues.

    “They do a good job both as councillors and presenting Maori issues, and carry out the same duties as any of the other councillors”, Mr Cronin said.

    Mr Cronin was stating EBoP’s case in wake of the Auckland furore in which provision for Maori seats in which provision for Maori seats in a new supercouncil has led to central government pique.

    EBoP has had separate Maori seats since 2001 and is the only council in the country with separate Maori representation.

    “The Council was working hard to foster Maori involvement in council decision-making processes, alongside having separate Maori constituency seats.”

    But before the 2007 local boby elections, two seats – one general and one Maori – were removed by the Electoral Commission, a situation in which Mr Cronin told the Review, Rotorua was being ‘shafted’.

    The Review had asked My Cronin if the Maori seats had worked so well, why had one seat )along with a General seat) been dropped, depriving Rotorua and Te Arawa representation through the removal of two seats.

    “When the Commission moved to reduce the number of seats from 14 to 10 (which included the three Maori seats), the ratio of Maori seats dropped accordingly as required by the Act.”

    “We only had to vote on the number of seats”, Mr Cronin said. “We had to meet in each constituency grouping area; in the ‘mesh block’ (same as general election) we had to agree to a certain tolerance level to meet it.

    “The only way we could meet (the criteria) was to come down to 10 general seats and then because we came down to 10, the Maori or Tangata Whenua seats would have to become two. Then we’d have to decide the split with those.”

    “It appears that on a population basis Rotorua was handed the hole in the koura flour bag, as it were. It worked out there would have been one seat taken out of the Eastern Bay, one general seat out of Rotorua and there wuold have been one Maori seat.”

    “The Electoral Commission decided to disregard the criteria they set up – we’re the only one they did this to – and that they would put back an extra seat to Whakatane and so they had no change.”

    “If we had known at the time that there was a likelihood they could do this – up until then it was an iron-clad as you must meet the criteria – we wouldn’t have bothered in the first place.”

    Making sensible boundaries also proved difficult, said Mr Cronin.

    “We couldn’t make sensible boundaries where people fitted unless you came to about 10, otherwise people from Eastern Bay or say Kawerau suddenly found they were a part of Rotorua.”

    “It wasn’t a Tauranga, Whakatane or Eastern Bay thing – it was a matter of where you put it, how can you make a sensible ‘mesh’ block of where people are?

    “With 10 general seats we could at that point make a sensible method of representation within the mesh box within the rules.”

    “When they changed all the rules, we went back privately and said if we’d known you were going to this we wouldn’t have bothered. The Commission said it was too late – that’s how Rotorua got shafted.”

  2. Hone said no Native Affairs, “thats not the end of it”. The Foreshore got squashed.. so we fight another battle… so suit up. Hone did say “thats not the end of it” they squashed the foreshore legis so we fight another battle. We’re always pushing shit up hill anyway.

  3. so what would the new supercity do when Maori stage protests for the world media at their precious world cup in 2011??

  4. Thats ratshit news ae, I don’t speak for Pita ma, but I would walk aye. In the words of Robert Nesta Marley: Don’t gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold. And: Jah would never give the power to the baldhead, come, come crucify the dread.

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