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Dr Muriel Newman

Public say NO to Maori seats on Council

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Far North Council

The result of the Far North District Council’s referendum on the establishment of Maori wards was released last week. Voters in Northland have said a resounding “No” to Maori seats on their local council, by a two to one margin. Of the 38,946 electors on the electoral roll, just over 35 percent or 13,624 voted in the referendum, with 68 percent or 9,315 opposed to Maori wards and 32 percent or 4,309 in favour.

The result is even more notable because nearly 44 percent of the Far North District is of Maori descent – well above the national average of around 16 percent. The Northland result is consistent with the result of a referendum in the Wairoa district in 2012, where their council’s Maori ward proposal was defeated in spite of Maori constituting 46 percent of their electoral population.

Maori Wards are provided for in the Local Electoral Act 2001. Under the Act, councils can opt to consider Maori seats through a referendum process, as the Far North has done. If councils decide to introduce Maori seats unilaterally, without asking residents and ratepayers, the decision can be challenged if 5 percent of local electors support the call for a referendum. All referendum decisions are binding on councils for the following two elections.

The reality is that New Zealanders do not want to be defined by race – not even those of Maori descent. The only people who want to divide the country by race are a small but vocal minority of tribal activists and supporters – supporters like Mayor Andrew Judd in New Plymouth, who has called for a law change to require half of all local authority council representatives to be Maori “because they’re our treaty partner”.

While sovereignty advocates know that reinventing the Treaty of Waitangi to claim that Maori are equal partners with the Crown is the key to achieving electoral privilege, the public can see through this cultural veil. They believe that if iwi want representation on their local council, then rather than demanding special privileges or seats based on race, their candidates need to work hard and stand on their own merits, like every other aspiring councillor. But they also need to show that they have the best interests of the whole community at heart since voters in local body elections tend to support candidates who will work for the community at large, rather than a segment of it.

That of course does not suit the ruling elite within Maoridom who say they need to be at the council table, “but should not have to rely on voters’ whims to get there”. As a result, in many parts of the country, corporate iwi are attempting to bypass local democracy and bring their representatives onto councils by the back door. They are pressuring councillors to appoint their delegates onto councils with voting rights. But any such move would fundamentally alter the democratic makeup of a council, and by convention, major constitutional change should only be undertaken with the express approval of voters through a public referendum process.

In fact, any change to the way people gain a vote around a council table should be subjected to the same checks and balances as the establishment of Maori wards, whereby section 19Z of the Local Electoral Act gives a local authority the right to introduce Maori wards, and section 19ZB gives local electors the right to challenge that decision through a binding poll.

That such provisions do not apply when councillors appoint Maori representatives onto a council with voting rights – despite the effect being virtually the same as creating a Maori ward – is probably due to the fact that when the original law was drafted, gaining Maori representation on councils via appointment rather than election was not something that had been contemplated.

However, times have changed, and local electors should have the same right to challenge a council decision – through a public referendum process – if council appointees are granted voting rights that have the effect of changing the voting make-up of an elected council. Changing the Local Electoral Act along these lines is a fundamental issue of democracy, not race.

It is the duty of elected councillors to put the interests of the wider community ahead of the demands of powerful vested interests who want to control the local government decision-making process. That’s why the Far North District Council needs to think very carefully about their next move, now that the Maori ward referendum result is in. They have already indicated that if the proposal failed they would need to consider alternative non-electoral means of ensuring effective Maori representation. But given that their community has categorically rejected race-based representation, they need to reflect on what their obligations under the Local Government Act actually are.

The Local Government Act requires councils to “provide opportunities for Maori to contribute to the decision-making processes of the local authority” and to consider ways of fostering the development of Maori “capacity”. However, the Act also states very clearly that councils must prioritise the good of the whole community. That’s why many councils around the country have discharged their responsibilities by establishing local Maori liaison committees or advisory boards – they are not required by law to do any more than that.

New Plymouth will be the next local authority to hold a referendum on Maori seats. Last year Mayor Judd pushed for the establishment of a Maori ward after his proposal to appoint unelected iwi representatives with full voting rights onto council committees was defeated.

However, the Maori ward proposal was challenged under the Local Electoral Act by local resident Hugh Johnson, a retired engineer and former Lower Hutt councillor, who collected 4,248 signatures – far more than the 2,700 needed – for a petition forcing a referendum on the matter. Registered electors in the district will receive voting papers from April 24, and the poll will close at noon on May 15. The result will be announced later that day.

Mr Johnson explained that he had called for a referendum because voters should have a say in a change as fundamental as the establishment of a Maori ward. “I believe we are one country, one lot of people, not divided. The Maori seats in Parliament separates the Parliament and we don’t need to spread it out into the local government area. It’s as simple as that. If you wanted to get voted on council, you go through one voting system.”

Last year the issue of establishing Maori wards was also raised in Tauranga, but was opposed by the City Council. However, iwi representatives on the city’s Tangata Whenua Collective, an advisory body made up of iwi members and councillors, are now calling for greater decision-making powers. The matter is being considered by the council.

It is the same story in Rotorua. While the district council rejected Maori seats, saying there was no mood in the community for race based representation, they are nevertheless considering appointing iwi representatives with voting rights onto the council. This is yet another case where a council’s plan to make fundamental constitutional changes to local democracy, by altering the voting make-up of the council, should be subjected to challenge by local electors through a public referendum process.

The usual arguments used by the iwi elite to pressure public officials and justify their demands for preferential treatment come from their claims that they are Treaty partners with the Crown and that they did not cede sovereignty.

In 2013, Judge Anthony Willy, a retired District Court Judge and former Canterbury University Law Lecturer, investigated the voracity of these claims for the NZCPR. On the question of partnership he found, “There is not, and never has been a constitutional partnership between the Crown and Maori people”. He explained that under the Treaty of Waitangi, Maori and the Crown are not partners in any sense of the word, but rather, owe each other duties of good faith which are akin to those owed by parties to a commercial transaction. He concluded, “Indeed it is constitutionally impossible for the Crown to enter into a partnership with any of its subjects.”

On the question of sovereignty, late last year the Waitangi Tribunal produced a report for northern tribes, which concluded that when their chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, they did not cede sovereignty to the Crown. This was such a bizarre conclusion that I asked Judge Willy, to re-examine the question of sovereignty for us.

In this week’s NZCPR Guest Commentary, Judge Willy explains that the answer to who holds sovereignty over New Zealand can be found in the instructions given to Captain William Hobson by the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Lord Normanby:

“The official British Government position concerning who exercised sovereignty over New Zealand at the beginning of the nineteenth century is summarised in the instructions given by Lord Normanby to his appointed Consul Captain William Hobson before he sailed for New Zealand on the 25th August 1839.

“Her Majesty’s government has authorised you to treat with the aborigines for the recognition of Her Majesty’s sovereign authority over the whole or any part of those Islands which they may be willing to place under Her Majesty’s dominion… It has therefore been resolved to place whatever territories may be acquired in the sovereignty by The Queen in New Zealand.”

“This is precisely what happened. Hobson treated with as many of the native chiefs as he was able to muster and after much debate for and against (as was forecast by Normanby in his instructions) they signed the various iterations of the Treaty of Waitangi making it clear beyond any doubt that by virtue thereof sovereignty over New Zealand passed to the Crown.”

Judge Willy concludes with this comment, “It seems to me equally idle to now contend (as I understand does the Waitangi Tribunal) that the only sovereignty obtained by Britain was in relation to those chiefs who signed the Treaty. The fact is that since the signing of The Treaty New Zealand has been governed as one sovereign state with, until recently the acquiescence of the overwhelming body of its peoples. As a lawyer would say that is both a de facto and a de jure recognition of a settled state of affairs and cannot now be called into question.”

Through his investigations, Judge Willy has found that the two claims being used by tribal activists to push for special privileges, namely that iwi are Treaty partners with the Crown, and that they did not cede sovereignty, are factually incorrect. They are myths that are being carefully nurtured and embellished by tribal corporations in their pursuit of power and control over public resources.

All local body and central government politicians, who allow themselves to be persuaded by these fallacies, should recognise they are being manipulated – and by distorting public policy decision-making through such misrepresentations, they are not serving their communities well. 


If unelected representatives with voting rights are appointed onto councils, should the Local Electoral Act be amended to enable local electors to challenge such decisions through a public referendum process? 


*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.


Click to view x 120


Most definitely. Winifred
Democracy should mean elected representatives only full stop. To represent people you must be elected. Let us keep our democratic freedom. Ross
Democracy must be enforced by the use of binding Referendums when it is challenged by back door methods. Douglas
Without a boubt. Big is not better. Don
Would I be allowed to come to a hui on speaking rights on a marae, sit at the front (with the wife a few rows back) and have my say. Oh yeah! William
Article three of the Treaty gives Maori the Queen’s protection and rights accorded to British subjects. Surely thaht says it all. They have the same rights and, no extras from other British subjects. John
Without a doubt. David
There are no Maori left in New Zealand; some 16% of the population are of Maori decent and should be referred to as such. Paul
Sick and tired of this rubbish. Christopher
There is no way that any non elected people should be allowed to make decisions the act should be amended so that any such decisions are challenged and not allowed to stand. Mary
Race based preference in any form needs to be abolished in the interests of all New Zealanders. Tom
Nor should we be paying them to be there as they haven’t been lawfully elected into their – taken by stealth – so-called positions. Brian
Democracy is going out the window with this proposal. Fraser
No racial apartheid///one law for all. Guus
The passing of such a proposal provides licence to acquire other people’s wealth and , or , property. Poliiticians, local or national, should clearly state their views in this matter when seeking election. Peter
Most definitely. This is a fundamental democratic right. Charles
If we wish to live in a democracy then no unelected person should have voting rights at any level of national or local government. Graham
Yes but unelected reps in council or govt should not happen in the first place,appointees should have no voting rights at all. James
There should be no unelected representatives with voting rights on any council, this would be a blatant breach of basic democracy! Allan
At least. Murray
Unelected representatives is utterly unacceptable in a true Democratic society and must be stopped for the good of all New Zealanders. John
Absolutely YES! The Local Government Act mandates that Councils act in a democratic manner. Mark
Why do we need Maori wards, Maori advisory boards or Maori anything? Isn’t the new MP for Northland your MP, Muriel? Time for Winston Peters to act as he’s often stated and begin the racial seachange with a smaller parliament and no special Maori seats or preferential treatment anywhere. Monica
Racism to the core The government need to step and stop this division in nz. Greg
It is time to put a stop to false evidence – Maori clearly did understand that they conceded rights to the queen – cofirmed in 1860 and logically needs to continue. Maurice
We are a democracy – local councils should respect this. Henry
Maori or any other racial representation, should not considered in the first place. Thomas
All representatives with voting rights should be elected. Sheila
Absolutely. Clyde
Unelected persons, with voting rights, who are appointed onto Local Territorial Authorities, should be immediately removed from those positions held. They have never been Democratically voted into such positions by the Ratepayers, whom have been wrongly forced to finance them, hugely!A referendum must be urgently had, for Ratepayers to challenge this totally Undemocratic Council mismanagement!! We Want and Demand! Democratic Rules!! Michael
The disgusting rules when Auckland’s so called Super city was created by Rodney Hide allowed a huge unelected Maori committee to be formed.Ratepayers were given no choice, indeed its was never mentioned to ratepayers beforehand. It was a travesty to democracy in NZ and Auckland ratepayers, who are paying for an enormous budget in order for the unelected committee to run it’s racist policies.. Maori elite will never be satisfied until they have complete control over everyone in New Zealand. Lorraine
To allow voting rights to anyone who is not elected to a position in local or national government is simply racism or even quite simply corruption. John
It’s time to stop this rubbish, Maori are not Aboriginals nor are they the indigenous people of NZ. One vote for all, one law for all, full stop. Steve
This is now one country, with no room for racists. Tom
It is called democracy – a word many in power seem to have forgotten. Christine
Ascertaining the views of all New Zealanders, for or against, would actually be democracy in action. Appointment, with full voting rights, of anyone (to a Council or Local Body organisation) on the basis of race alone would hardly be democracy in action, would it?. Apathetic acceptance of a situation in which people, ALL of mixed blood in fact, being appointed to councils, as representatives of a n0-longer-existing pure-blooded Maori “race”, would no doubt just be the start of a gradual transition to what many might refer to, in the future, as New Zealand apartheid – I kid you not!! John
Special rights for any section of the community have been proven in many countries to be unfair. Alan
Elected members is democracy. Appointed members based on other criteria is not. Are we democratic or not? Nick
Democracy should mean elected representatives only. Richard
I strongly disagree with unelected representatives or reserved places based on race being allowed on any government or council. Mark
Auckland is suffering from just such representation. Maori Advisory Board members are making decisive votes against the decision of other Councillors and changing the outcomes to suit their purposes -such as requiring 10 IWIs to do a cultural impact survey at great expense on one’s property in order to build anything. Judith
We have to resist the subversive move to undermine our democracy from a concerted effort to exploit misplaced guilt heaped onto non Maori by Maori activists. Willy
This is a democratic country isn’t it? Well, it used to be until the PC brigade re-wrote the Treaty of Waitangi in the second half of the last century, to the detriment of ALL New Zealanders. Les
That thin edge of the wedge again! Helen
Fed up with the greedy activist gravy chain. Dianne
Of course!! Everyone should have equal and comparable voting rights. All should stand equal before Council decision-making using existing avenues such as appearing before Council and its Committees and making relevant submissions. Bruce
NO. Waste of time. Once they are there, any move will bring out the moari “that’s RACIST” screaming, spit-flying attack. Simply it’s just MOARI RACISTS practising MOARI APARTHEID. How does it feel to be NOTprivileged? Mark
Dump all non elected Maori votes, Dump all the Auckland non elected seats. stop len brown form further watering down our rights. Neil
The present situation with the Auckland Council is intolerable because it adds an additional layer of cost to the running of Council that to a major extent is borne by ratepayers, and in effect it provides Maori with more than one vote which is undemocratic. If in fact it is felt that there should be separate Maori representation on Council, an alternative method would be to give the option to those on the Maori electoral roll to vote for a Maori candidate – even better still, encourage Ngati Whatua and/or other iwi to support a Maori candidate. Barry
Lets keep it a fare deal to all. Richard
Such appointments make a farce of democracy. Don
Nice people but we don’t need race segregation. Les
Absolutey. Once again there is no place in N.Z. democracy for unelected people to have votingrights Iin a council or Parliament that have been elected by the general public of N.Z.. Of course it is only the Maori activists and their ilk that are demanding it. Once again. Mike
To represent the people you must be elected. Carroll
This is the only way to guarantee democracy in local body politics. David
Democracy must be defended at every turn. We must be ever watchful, or it will be watered down if not disappear forever. Kevan
It surely has to be this way. What does worry me is, why has the NZ Ministry of Joyce i.e. Steven Sama, not doing just this, as being the RIGHT thing to do. We will end up no better than any of the African countries have succeeded in being better off in using tribal affilliates to run a 21st century economy. You only have to look to Zimbawe as an example. The country is a cot case, so to is it’s president. Yet it has been managed in this way, since they got rid of the thieving Imperialist pigs who stole everything from The People of The Land. Now that is all they have…… people on unproductive land. And until senility, or avarice becomes a marketable item, they will remain in the cess pit that they now occupy. Wiremu
The APARTHEID that exists and is being more entrenched in NZ every day MUST be stopped. Geoff
Yes but it will not happen….the reason is obvious The Government has instructed and given the Local Government Commission the power to amalgamate Local Bodies irrespective of the wishes of the ratepayers At the same time they have decided that Maori be given the right to have seats on Committees, Councils and Boards on the new Super Councils by the appointment process. Shades of Hitler%u2019s Germany and Stalin%u2019s Russia at their worst. This will created a huge bureaucracy that will rule with the ultimate power of a dictatorship, and once established it will be virtually impossible to remove. The blame lies squarely on us all. Because of our apathy, indifference, selfishness, and the general laid back attitude of letting others decide the critical issues. This lack of attention and protection of our democratic system will eventually turn Local Government into a new form of Bureaucratic Communism, from which there will be no escape. Individuality in this country is dying, and we all will bear the blame for its eventual demise, and with it the end of democratic freedom as we know it. Brian
One country one people all equal rights. Patricia
Most certainly! Laurence
This apartheid must be eliminated from all legislation. Sovereignty was ceded with the signing of the treaty, this has been endorsed by Maori with the acceptance of the rule of law. Firstly with the direct Colonial Governance of Hobson, then with elected colonial governments. Only to be stuffed up by politicians. Michael
The country cannot get ahead while a small group of self interested maori keep government and councils looking back at an outdated treaty. Kabe
Yes. Or if a council chooses to cede some of their voting rights to others, that should only last for their term of office. But I don’t get the argument around it being constitutionally impossible for the Crown to enter into a partnership with its subjects. Maori people were not the Crown’s subjects before the treaty was signed. And were they expected to get an independent lawyer to review the Crown’s constitution before they signed the treaty? Jay
There needs to be a mandatory appeal process to same the rest of us from such nonsence proposed by those with their own agenders. Chriis
No way should unelected representatives be allowed. The public should have the right to say no to this form of puppetry. Seats on any democratic board should be elected. Putting a person onto a board because of the colour of their skin is shameful. It seriously damages democracy. Peter
Unelected represetatives should have no say. David
It is about time we abolished the Maori seats in Parliament, as well as we are all New Zealander’s. Peter
The Maorification Wedge will soon be driven home. The Govt. gives in to everything asked for by these so-called Maori elite. What justification do those members of Govt. think when imposing all things Maori and seemingly have an inability to use the word “No” to most of the ridiculous claims being made through the Treaty of Waitangi Tribunal.. Arthur
Where is the strong leadership that is required to put an end to this partnership nonsense? It is time the MP’s stood up and showed the necessary leadership required by abolishing the Maori seats in parliament. Chris
… but I must add that such an option should not be in the Local Government Act. There should be no opportunity for Councils to confer special voting rights to anyone whatsoever. That type of condition creates an opportunity for surreptitious corruption of the democratic process. Dianna
One section of the population cannot have special privileges if New Zealand is to be a democratic country with equality before the law for every citizen. Martin
‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.’ Edmund Burke had it right. Mike
One law for all. The elected representatives should be decided upon the best available. William
Yes but consider this also. Unconditional majoritarian democracy gives people the power to vote away their freedom. Tyranny can be imposed on a nation by either a dictator or by democratic majority voting. How do you think the term, ‘democratic socialism’ came about ? Tribalists and socialists love unconditional democracy. We need a lot more constitutional law-makers who are skilled in reason-based objective law that upholds individual and private property rights. Until that day arrives nothing substantial will change. Do you hear me Sir Geoffrey Palmer? Don
No Backdoor By pass of Democracy. Herb
I think if Winston wins the Northland bi-election he will do whats in his power to stop this nonsense. Sheena
Absolutely…. but the horse has already bolted. Des
Absolutely!!!! NO BLOODY APARTHEID IN NZ THANK YOU. Let them get elected on their individual merits just like the rest of US NZers. After all, we are all ONE people aren’t we???? Dave M
Yes, let’s face it maori don’t want to be patronized. Nevkath
Although there should be no unelected representatives there in the first place – this is supposed to be a democracy. Stewart
One country, all equal under the law. Jock
There is absolutely NO justification for giving Maoris ANY special privileges, including parliamentary seats and special voting rights. Maurice
This is locals democratic right and is one sure way to combat racism and separatism. Rog
The normal democratic process must prevail. No back door deals are acceptable. Those that wish to have voting rights at the table must be those that have been voted into that position by the people. Murray
giving voting rights to special interest groups that have not been elected by the people is undemocratic. I’m amazed that some councils are going down this path. Des
Absolutely. David
Elected representatives and referendums to try and maintain democracy. Bonnie
I would also suggest that the council be required to call new elections with those standing for election to pledge not to attempt to usurp the intent of the existing laws of the country. John
This would be undemocratic to have unelected people on concil…let them stand and be voted in by their peers. Raewyn
It’s simple democracy. Chris
We don’t need unelected people on our councils with voting rights we have enough now and they are called staff. Les
Unelected representatives should have NO voting rights – only an “advisory” (non-binding) role. Eric
We should all have a right to have our say about things. Robert
We need to rid ourselves of race-based representation at all levels of Government. While the abolition of Maori Seats in Parliament may take some time yet, as a Nation we should not add to additional race-based representation at local body level. Where it has occurred, and indeed even the existence of paid advisory bodies need to be included in a law which permits the calling for a binding citizen referendum to determine if their existence should continue as part of the local body’s organisation. Michael
Having unelected reps. with voting rights is an affront to democracy! Ian
When will NZ Governments learn to treat us all as equals and not favour any one race. It is the opposite to a democracy which governments say we are. They are such liars. Eric
Democratic principles must apply and equality equality for all respected irrespective of ethnicity. Bryan
Remove all reference to race from all our laws and statutes and the battle is virtually won. Also make it widely known that the so-called “partnership”is a bald faced lie, perpetuated by those whose overweening sense of entitlement and flat out greed overrides all other considerations. The claiming of special privileges on the grounds that their ancestors arrived before the Europeans did is getting rather threadbare. Time we derailed the gravy train, sacked the Waitangi Tribunal and looked to the future as one nation. Scott
Cut out “race” as has been done in a number number if countries Brian
The Local Electorate Act MUST be amended to enable local citizens to challenge any council member who is appointed rather than elected by a public vote. If persons with a link to large organisations are appointed rather than elected that organisation will be in a position to dictate to the Council. Graft and corruption will follow and that will turn us into a third world country where any favour can be bought. Ernest
we should also be able to dismiss any councilar who unlawfully appoints a unelected person into council regardless of race and bar them for life from being a councilar anywhere in the country. because my rates pay there wages so I should have a say who is or isnt in the council. Richard
Apartheid is establishing a hold because of public apathy. Wake up you lot. Mitch
Unelected members with voting rights should NEVER be appointed to a council of any sort. Alan
The only obvious step. George
We are one people in this country and I object to stating an ethnic type when asked on govt and local body forms. Maurice
They should stand and be voted in like everone else. Bill
Same rules for everyone without exception -otherwise race is a dividing factor in our nation. Jasmine
The Auckland City Council which has already appointed unelected Maori to Maori seats must be challenged. The cost to ratepayers is a huge extra burden and must be recinded – urgently. Walter
NZ is rapidly approaching a form of racial separation – Apartheid, as it was known in South Africa. This is not what we want or need in NZ. We want a united country – not a divided one. Brian
We need to change the Electoral Act to ensure that NZ is completely democratic. Maoris and women should not have quotas. There was a move by the looney left to have women make up 50% of MPs. This would have prevented an all woman parliament and was a stupid idea. K
Only elected candidates should have any say in council. Elizabeth
No to racist representation. Graeme
Absolutely – this is becoming such a divided country. Maori are more than capable of standing on their own two feet. Fiona
We are supposed to be a democratic country and our government at all levels of society is thought by us all to be equally democratic. One person, one vote. Peter
Unelected representatives with voting rights should not have been appointed onto council in the first place. This is righting a wrong that should never have happened in the first place. Roy
No brainer. Les
The brainwashing in schools,is now having an effect. Geoff
God help us if maoris get a free ride on councils. DEMOCRACY must be maintained for elections. Race based parties must be eradicated from our systems. PETER
As with Parliamentary seats, local government should not have race based separation. Where referendum votes have been held on the issue, the Maori seats and wards have been rejected, even in areas with a majority Maori population. They must be prevented completely. Get the message and stop the huge waste of time, money and effort. Chris
Representation only by election! Ron
Unless you are elected by the public you should not be there, very simple. Graeme
Who are these lazy mixed race lunatics ? Are they so afraid of work ethic, that they have forgotten how to acheive something through effort. In other words, after receiving two point four billion dollars in unearned hand-outs, they now think they should be given unearned administration powers. All citizens in this country prosper & move forward when sound administration is in charge. Imagine if you can, the effect of these everything for nothing types would have if given any administration powers whatsoever.. Allan
We don’t need divided councils there is enough trouble with elected members with out throwing in unelected people which will would be a disaster. Russell
Unelected maoris to councils is Another blatant act of race based policies promoted by Govt and coucils alike. Correction by our incompetent and weak politicians leaves NZ recognised around the world as a racialist country. David
Apartheid in any form is abhorant. Ray
One country one people, how hard is this concept to understand? United we stand, divided we fall, Simple. Donald
We are all one people. Arthur
I am not Maori. I am fed up with claims by some Maori that they are somehow “special” & “different” from all other NZers. Many such claimed-to-be-Maori have non-Maori last names. This aspect of their ancestry is NEVER acknowledged..Are they ashamed of that aspect of their ancestry? Isabel
The appropriate action right now is to stop this silly nonsense with an appropriately worded Act of Parliament. Peter
The amendment should be made as soon as possible, but I don’t imagine Chris Finlayson will take any notice of the majority against race based appointments. Irvine
The Treaty had nothing to do with NZ as a country, it was about offering British citizenship to “all the people of New Zealand” on a “same as the people of England” basis. The Treaty was conducted by Lieu Gvnr Hobson of New South Wales (NSW) and after he witnessed the last signature his superior, Gvnr Gipps, extended the boundaries of NSW to cover “all of the islands of NZ. and here we would have remained but for our “true founding document” quietly resting in Archives NZ, Wellington. This document is Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter of 16-11-1840 and NZ became an independent British colony because of it after it was ratified on the 3rd of May 1841. This Charter gave us our first constitution and English law only, Common sense will prevail, Queen Victoria did not have the power nor the authority to grant Maoris .racial privilege because of the Magna Carta and English law. George
Un elected representatives with voting rights ??? Thought we were a democracy. Malcolm
No brainer. Bruce
Heaven forbid that it will come to this. Ron
Maori should not have any more rights than pakeha’s, all Maori are more non Maori by percentive Edward
That’s not democracy. Tony
Very definitely! Frank
To have un-elected representatives vote on issues with no recourse is not democratic. David
Maori tend to screw up everything they touch. I don’t want them to be in a position to vote on anything which affects me, particularly if they are unelected. Wal
One Country, one people. Ian
Councils are showing that they are not serving the interests of the public therefore the public needs to have a process available to contest decisions made by Council. Elaine
Maori represent 15% only of our population, so it is against all principles to give these rights to greater than the proportion than that they represent. Monty
How can we claim to have a democratic society if we allow unelected representatives on to councils? Mary
The public need far more referendum based veto rights not only to ensure that the democratic voter process is not undermined but to have the opportunity to remove unsatisfactory mayors and or Councillors and to immediately halt unsustainable policies, especially those that have no mandate or represent only a minority interest. Richard
Absolutely. We have to be nuts to accept it now.It is worse than a ‘gravy train’; more like a ‘caviar train’ and should not be tolerated. Dick
The views of unelected persons on local councils cannot be given credence by a voting public since the principle of race-based privilege is repugnant to most New Zealanders. Peter
NZ is a democracy end of story. Kevin
Parliament should go further, to amend legislation so that no public representatives, at the level of either national or local government, may be appointed without being voted in through the normal electoral process. This is the only way in which democracy may be upheld: Western society has spent the last three centuries to rid itself of the bribery, nepotism and other sorts of graft that inevitably flow from unelected appointment, and we must not betray that tradition now. Graham
Democracy lives by the will of the people not decisions made by the few. Ray
What a society we are getting; part maoris with political agendas, high-jacking the electorate, filching our tax dollars, and sometimes stretching the truth on historical matters that make their position seem more tenable. Thanks for nothing David lange!! Bill
No one race should have greater rights than another. Paula
We are a democracy and therefore there should, if necessary, be the required amendments to ensure that we remain a democratic country, which sadly is being eroded away bit by bit. Audrey
Elected representatives only. John
When will this separatist nonsense end. Adrian
Unfortunately no change will happen. John Key and his corrupt cohorts would sell their mothers to keep the Maoris happy!! Alan
The law should be amended to prevent unelected representatives from being appointed to councils with or without voting rights. Terry
Locals should not be subject to the opinions or ideologies of unelected representatives who are not accountable to them. Who do such representatives represent and who are they accountable to?? Pieter
It looks like a loop-hole that Maori are exploiting to gain votes around the council. It’s anti-democratic. JD
Absolutely the public should be able to demand a referendum when a council tries to subvert democracy. Chris
Race-based representatives should have no part in local government. Karen
Giving citizens the right to call a referendum will act as a brake on council irresponsibility. Bruce
Councillors have no right to distort democracy through appointing voting members onto their councils. That is the responsibility of local electors. The proposed law change would prevent that occurring. John
Yes – it would stop iwi from trying to push their members onto councils without having to be elected. Roger