The recent decision supported by most Western Bay councillors (except Crs Mike Lally, Kevin Marsh and Margaret Murray-Benge) to vote for race-based Maori wards has predictably led to an outcry in the community.
A petition for a poll to vote on the councillors' decision has been commissioned and the 1708 signatures needed to force a poll would seem a mere formality.
Having regard to past polling history on various NZ councils' race-based issues, it is fair to assume 80 per cent of public will vote against race-based Maori wards. As there has been no formal consultation with the public and nor have their views been canvassed, this seems a clear breach of the Local Government Act. If this no vote comes to pass, those eight councillors and the mayor, swayed by vested Maori interests and wooed by waiata and warbling who enthusiastically supported this aberration, should immediately resign because such a countermand vote would be tantamount to a vote of no confidence by Western Bay electors in them. This could result in eight councillor by-elections plus a mayoral election.
Tellingly it appears no elected members ever told the public of their Maori Ward aspirations at 2016 elections, plus recent public excluded meetings/forums and hidden separatist agendas reek of underhand scheming.
R Paterson, Matapihi.