Why not to have Maori Wards

Margaret Murray-Benge
Councillor, Kaimai Ward

A few days ago, Western Bay District Mayor Garry Webber shared his views about why Western Bay should have a Maori ward.

He noted that various laws require local authorities to provide opportunities for Maori to contribute to the decision-making process. Quite so.

And in the Western Bay we have not one but two Maori committees specifically set up to ensure that our Council hears the views of Maori. These committees include representatives from the 11 iwi in the Western Bay District. So we are certainly discharging our responsibility to hear the views of Maori.

He seems to imagine that having a Maori ward would be an improvement on the current situation, where having just a single Maori elected in a Maori ward would more effectively enable Councilors to take the views of Maori ratepayers into account.

That of course assumes that there is a single “Maori voice” on local government issues: that one person can effectively represent the views of all those who chance to have a Maori ancestor (always with ancestors of other ethnicities as well of course).

The Mayor correctly notes that the law enables ratepayers to demand a poll when a Maori ward is proposed, but not when geographical wards are created or modified. He implies that this is a bias in the system, and implicitly agrees with Local Government New Zealand in calling for the removal of the right for ratepayers to demand a poll when a Maori ward is proposed.

But he conveniently ignores the fact that creating political systems which are quite explicitly based on race is fundamentally different from redrawing geographical boundaries.

All New Zealanders should strongly reject attempts to create racially-based political systems.   Vote NO to the creation of a Maori ward!

Margaret Murray-Benge

Councilor, Kaimai Ward



Posted on 17-05-2018 19:17 | By Carcass

The principle of the treaty was dreamed up by some sick people in N Z and now is set to wreak our country

DUMBKOF and Angels

Posted on 17-05-2018 09:26 | By Colleen Spiro

Asians DID NOT SIGN THE TREATY. Murray-Benge does not respect the Principles of the Treaty, being associated with Hobsons Pledge. She Should stand down as a Councillor

Puppet on a string

Posted on 16-05-2018 21:04 | By backofthequeue

My ancestors arrived in NZ prior to the signing of the Treaty. Family history records that they were similarly misled as were local Maori. In an attempt to rise above the grievance industry at play today I am simply saying that what some argue is to be in their favour can in turn result in the opposite. We are either all equal or we are not.

Brash Puppet

Posted on 15-05-2018 19:02 | By plane_jane

backoftheque - what is it you fear as we begin to invite Maori to the decision making table? Do you forget that originally it was the Treaty that gave your settler ancestors the right to be here? Therefore it’s time you started living up to your end of the bargain!Angels - Check your history bro! It was Maori who your ancestors signed a treaty with allowing you to be here - not asians. There is nothing to fear by providing Maori a seat at the decision making table. Scaremongering in order to hold onto power at its finest right here - and Don Brash’s puppet should be ashamed of herself

Vote for a Maori ward

Posted on 15-05-2018 16:27 | By Blessed

Will it really make a difference? I mean really?, what really has changed around here?. What is the voter turn out? What race and age are they? I’d vote to split the WBOP area up Te Puke DC and Katikati DC lol, if only that was at all possible. Seen Maori work in Forestry, hospitality, healthcare, Affco, KIWIFRUIT,I wonder if people will actually take time out of their lives and vote.

Hear hear

Posted on 14-05-2018 20:55 | By backofthequeue

Race based representation = The beginning of the end. Proponents of Maori wards should think very carefully of the Pandora’s Box they seek to open.


Posted on 14-05-2018 14:39 | By dumbkof2

totally agree with angels. the asian community are far more active than %99 of iwi

What about the other minorities

Posted on 14-05-2018 12:03 | By Angels

Why should the other minorities have seats as well . The Asian community is as much represented as well.I think if we check out financial numbers etc the Asian community is far more in touch with the communities. The own more property, pay more taxes, etc etc. They use very little government assistances. They are very socially responsible and never seem to place the race card !!If we are to allow 1 minority a say in spending, etc etc. we should allow other minorities as well.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to make a comment. Login Now