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31 October 2017
Waipa District Council will not establish a Māori seat on Council for the next local body election.
Instead the Council has unanimously asked for a report on how to better to engage with Māori and the wider community for options to improve Māori representation on Council.
At today's Council meeting, elected members discussed a recommendation to establish a Māori ward for the next two Council elections. The recommendation was supported by the Council's Iwi Consultative Committee.
The recommendation was lost 8-5. Those who voted against establishing a Māori ward were Councillors Elwyn Andree-Wiltens, Judy Bannon, Marcus Gower, Sue Milner, Liz Stolwyk, Bruce Thomas, Grahame Webber and Vern Wilson.
Those who voted in favour were Mayor Mylchreest plus Councillors Susan O'Regan, Clare St Pierre, Hazel Barnes and Andrew Brown.
Today's discussion was driven by a statutory requirement that every six years, all councils must review how their city or district would be best and most fairly represented. The potential establishment of a Māori ward was part of Waipa's representation review. There was a legal requirement for a Māori ward to be considered.
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