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27 October 2017
Waipa District Council is to consider establishing a Māori seat on Council.
At Tuesday's Council meeting, elected members will discuss a staff recommendation to establish a Māori ward for the next two Council elections. The recommendation is supported by the Council's Iwi Consultative Committee.
If the recommendation goes through, a Māori ward will be introduced in time for the 2019 election. Establishing a Māori ward would mean one councillor would be voted in by those Waipa voters on the Māori Parliamentary electoral roll. Based on the 2013 census, Māori represent 14 per cent of Waipa's population, spread across the district.
Every six years, all councils throughout New Zealand are required to review how their city or district would be best and most fairly represented. The potential establishment of a Māori ward is part of Waipa's review.
Waipa District Council has already supported the retention of the ‘first past the post’ voting system. Next year elected members will also review the ward boundaries and number of councillors and also consider changes that may be necessary to provide better representation in growth areas.
On Tuesday, Council could choose not to make a decision about a Māori ward and instead let the community decide via a public poll. A poll, either agreed to by Council or demanded by the public, would cost approximately $100,000 to ensure it met all legislative requirements, the staff report says.
Tuesday's meeting in the Te Awamutu Council Chambers begins at 9am.
Media enquiries, contact Jeanette Tyrrell 027 5077 599