Council votes in favour of Maori wards

Whakatane District Council has voted in favour of a resolution that would enable the establishment of Maori wards. File photo.

Whakatane District Council elected members have voted in favour of a resolution that would enable the establishment of Maori wards.

The elected members heard submissions from the public before deliberating and voting six to five in favour of supporting the introduction of one or more Maori wards.

Whakatane District Mayor Tony Bonne says this result is testament to the importance of fostering strong and meaningful relationships with Maori across the district and ensuring Te Ao Maori is recognised and supported at the council table.

“I have had the opportunity and privilege in my role as mayor to engage with Maori on a number of partnerships, and I see this as a continuation of the work we have been doing to foster growth and positive relationships within our rohe so we can move forward together.”

Whakatane District Council initiated the discussion around Maori wards at its June 29 meeting, where it was required to determine the electoral process for the next triennial elections. It resolved to pursue further investigations which involved seeking feedback from iwi, and more broadly from the public via social media and traditional channels and reported back to council.

By November 23, the council will give public notice of the right of electors to demand a poll on the matter.

The Local Electoral Act 2001 allows a poll of five per cent of the electors enrolled at the previous triennial election to demand a binding poll to be held on a proposal whether or not to introduce Maori wards for the next two triennial elections.


council job

Posted on 25-11-2017 07:55 | By ow

maybe robin bell could stand for council ?

NZer, your accusations of racism do not make sense

Posted on 24-11-2017 15:11 | By Peter Dey

You say that Maori election candidates are racist. Racism is believing that one race is superior to others. You have no evidence for that claim. You are simply expressing personal prejudice which has no foundation at all.

@ Robin

Posted on 24-11-2017 14:15 | By MISS ADVENTURE

NZer has got you cornered on that, add to that wee fact is that your mate Peter will be completely overwhelmed by having to come up with a new "thought", (it’s going to be dramatic shock for him) ... In end result NZers comments are on the money, in fact you have even confirmed it all anyway by saying even more... that not even part Maori will vote for part Maori. That message is a little like shooting ones own foot by choice and preference in fact. Despite all these deficiencies and short comings you want to short curcuit all that and just hand the lovely warm seats to a few self appointed radicals and expect that to be a good/acceptable result.

NZer, NZ law does not say that everybody has to be treated the same

Posted on 24-11-2017 10:10 | By Peter Dey

You are still misusing the word democratic. NZ democratic law does not say that everybody has to be treated the same, just that we all get one equal vote. Saying that everybody has to be treated the same is just your own mono-cultural belief not fact. Maori electoral wards treat Maori differently because it is more fair and still democratic.


Posted on 23-11-2017 16:33 | By NZer

Maori can stand for election if they want. What people dont like about Maori candidates is they are raceist so naturally all New Zealanders dont vote for them. Nobody likes race based laws. You need to accept it Robin and move on.


Posted on 23-11-2017 16:29 | By NZer

Nice try on trying to change the meaning of democratic. So like wise we can assume as all democratic nations treat all their people the same then we are to do so. Any thing else is just pure raceism Peter. As the treaty was signed by England and not NZ we should throw it it 5he bin as it means nothing. If not take it up with England. It is totally fair that non Maori voters dont vote for Maoris Peter. It is their vote so they can vote for who they like. Only someone that is raceist would think it unfair.

The term, self representation is self explanatory.

Posted on 23-11-2017 13:40 | By R. Bell

All politicians who enter the polling booth and vote for themselves, exercise that freedom. Every citizen has the right to stand for office in order to further their own World View, but not Maori.They are shut out by prejudice and intransigence. Claims of Apartheid, segregation, separatism, racism and race based privilege are all symptoms of the desperate minds of those who harbour an elitist agenda. We should all reject it. Robin Bell.


Posted on 23-11-2017 13:10 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Yes that is the case, where a claim is made that is not real, never was and/or has already been settlements multiple times and often with mutliple tribes then yes it is favouritism. So Peter, please provide the actual treaty extract that says exactly what you are saying ... as Claudia Orange is quoted as saying "... that si going to be hard to explain ..."

The treaty and property?

Posted on 23-11-2017 13:08 | By MISS ADVENTURE

There were no extrax rights in the treaty for proeprty, the only provision (one of the three) was that only the Government could purchase land from part Maori tribes. So Peter, please provide the actual treaty extract that says exactly what you are saying ... as Claudia Orange is quoted as saying "... that si going to be hard to explain ..."

@ Peter

Posted on 23-11-2017 13:05 | By MISS ADVENTURE

you say "now free to make whatever restitution it sees fit", perhaps so for real claims and events, but that works both ways. To date it is hard to find a legitimate and real claim that has been settled in the last couple of decades. If there is one then it would already have been settled prior and likely severval times already on a "full and final" basis.

@ Peter

Posted on 23-11-2017 13:03 | By MISS ADVENTURE

You say "extra property rights" were contaiend in the treaty, can you please provide the correct quote from the signed treaty that actually says that. Even Claudia Orange said that and I quote ... "that will be hard to explain". Good luck on that mission Peter.

NZer, non-Maori voters do not relate to Maori candidates

Posted on 23-11-2017 12:44 | By Peter Dey

NZer, the most obvious reason that non-Maori voters do not vote for Maori candidates is that they do not identify with them. The result in the Bay of Plenty is that Maori communities, who make up about 25 per cent of voters, are not represented on councils. That is unfair. A Maori ward system would be totally democratic and more fair to Maori. Treating everybody the same is socialism. Democracy tries to treat everybody fairly.

MISSADVENTURE, you misuse the word segregation

Posted on 23-11-2017 11:48 | By Peter Dey

MISSADVENTURE, segregation in the USA was forcing black people to live in separate communities. Integration in the USA involved the bussing of black students to white schools. Maori electoral wards do not force Maori to live in separate communities. They do not change the one person one vote system. They simply get over the unfairness that non-Maori voters do not elect Maori candidates.

NZer, so democracy does not mean treating everybody the same

Posted on 23-11-2017 11:36 | By Peter Dey

NZer, now that you have looked up democracy and it does not mean treating everybody the same, you can see that Maori wards are democratic, and also more fair to Maori. No racism is involved.

NZer, all democracies assume that eligible voters get one equal vote each.

Posted on 23-11-2017 11:24 | By Peter Dey

NZer, from the dictionary democracy is a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives. So the whole population gets to vote and they get one vote each, which is not stated in the dictionary but assumed in our democracy. Our elected representatives have decided to make redress to Maori, with good reason.

NZer, the Treaty gave Maori extra property rights

Posted on 23-11-2017 11:10 | By Peter Dey

NZer, the Treaty gave Maori the right to possession of their lands, estates, forests, fisheries and other possessions for as long as they wanted. This right was dishonoured by successive governments. Our democratically elected government is now free to make whatever restitution it sees fit. This is not favouritism. It is redress for injustice. It does not claim Maori are superior, so it is not racism. The Treaty is a partnership. The government is free to treat Maori as partners.

self representation?

Posted on 23-11-2017 10:08 | By MISS ADVENTURE

That signals separartism and segregation. The essence of democray is that one man one vote, that there is no preference for one over another. If warm comfy seats were introduced for all ethnic groups proportioanl to bloodlines etc then that would be fair, a little crazy but I guess fair. having "special" roles for voters of a particular race/crede also falls into the segregation category. No different than South Amercian 50 years ago when blacks/whites had separate doors to buildings, separate seating, separate toilets. is there a difference here, NO!


Posted on 22-11-2017 18:14 | By NZer

Nobody gets self representation. The reason Maori never get voted in by the Majority is because Maori have raceism policies that only help Maori. The majority of voters dont like these raceist policies so they never get voted in. Non Maori only want everyone to be treated the same which is fair. Not race based politics as Robin would like. Pete look up democracy and it does not meantion your definition of one vote per person. Democracy as per the dictionary says majority rules. Something that you dont like......

One eyed Pete

Posted on 22-11-2017 18:06 | By NZer

And we all know that the Treaty was to give Maori the same rights as everybody else not more rights like you are trying to brainwash everybody into believing. You are trying to justify raceism!

Captain Sensible, hopelessly inpractical

Posted on 22-11-2017 15:35 | By Peter Dey

Captain Sensible, you ask why many other groups do not get the same special consideration that Maori get. No other groups signed the Treaty of Waitangi.

MISSADVENTURE, totally confused about apartheid and separatism

Posted on 22-11-2017 15:32 | By Peter Dey

MISSADVENTURE, apartheid was control of the government by a racial white minority. You are totally confused when you use the word apartheid about Maori in New Zealand getting recognition of separate rights according to the Treaty of Waitangi. Separatism would be Maori having their own separate government. No Maori group is asking for that. What we now have is greater integration of Maori culture into the mainstream. You are being separatist when you object to this.

NZer, socialism believes in treating everybody the same.

Posted on 22-11-2017 15:20 | By Peter Dey

NZer, you do not make sense when you talk about fairness and democracy. Everybody has different assets. Our democracy does not interfere with people’s assets. It is socialism that treats everybody the same, not democracy. You accuse other people of being socialist, but your beliefs are socialist.

NZer, your idea of democracy is not in the dictionary

Posted on 22-11-2017 12:47 | By Peter Dey

NZer, your idea that democracy is treating everybody the same is not what is in the dictionary, and not how our democracy works. Democracy is everybody getting one equal vote for representatives to govern us. That is what New Zealand has. Our democratically elected parliament is free to make decisions to honour the Treaty of Waitangi. It is not separatist or racist to recognise that we are two (and more) separate cultures.

Maori are to be treated like everyone else,

Posted on 21-11-2017 09:16 | By R. Bell

Really!!! Apart from the arrogance and Treaty denial in that statement, the fact is they never have been. They have never been given the dignity of self representation, voted in by Maori to represent Maori issues. They are denied these fundamental rights by stealth, aided and abetted by Central Gov’nt, who give in the Local Gov’nt Act and take away by allowing it to be overthrown by prejudice, so intense that the usual culprits seek to redefine racism,to suit their own agenda. Non Maori have those fundamental rights by virtue of the inherited system backed by the numerical majority, but for some that is not enough, the want total dominance, after all they see themselves as the intellectual elite, eh!!! nzer.


Posted on 20-11-2017 18:08 | By NZer

Maori are to be treated the same as every other New Zealanders. That is democracy. The cornerstone of our country. That is fair and every citizen is treated the same. No favours for certain races. That is fair for all. Every civilised country does this ! If not move to Zimbabwe.

The power of persuasion Murray,

Posted on 20-11-2017 16:59 | By R. Bell

Is what you deny to Maori. Of course one or even two Ward seats would be tokenism to a degree, but,far better than the zero they have now. By your own admission the current "representation" is toothless and in terms of "at the table" negotiation worthless. What Maori are left with is no representation and even worse no chance to influence. As long as there is a constituency willing to deny proper representation for Maori by Maori, there can never be the desired participation you also agree with.( I think) Therefore Murray the people you need to ask your red herring questions are those that decide such detail as before mentioned. You ignore peoples rights at your peril. Robin Bell.


Posted on 20-11-2017 07:49 | By NZer

Needs to give up on his raceism and allow democracy to rule. It is undemocratic to have special rules for one race. No was founded on democracy and Maori signed their agreement understanding that,

R. Bell, I suspect 'you get it', just too stubborn to admit it!

Posted on 19-11-2017 22:35 | By Murray.Guy

R. Bell, curious as to the basis for your assertions which bear little resemblance to reality. What is your ’actual experience’ in regards the workings of local government? As a Ward Councillor a Maori Ward representative would be but one vote. Tauranga City Council has a Tangata Whenua Committee with a majority vote (albeit toothless). Totally agree that existing participation and consultation leaves much to be desired (from my personal hands on experience) but I also know that this is where I would be starting, to enhance what we have, rather than just another round of tokenism that serves only to further undermine the integrity of processes and outcomes. Your reference to ’red herrings’ are all to typically offensive and irresponsible. Communities are entitled to understand fully the implications and outcomes of matters that affect them, BEFORE they sign up, ’warts and all’.

Murray Guy, you just don't get it.

Posted on 19-11-2017 12:04 | By R. Bell

Whilst not intending to usurp Kiritiwa, I have to comment. Yes Maori "participation"is meaningful, yes the Maori world view is considered, it is however always at the whim and fancy of the dominant representatives. Maori currently have no VOTING rights over matters that often impact them more than anyone else. Sadly consultation alone does not serve them well. Continued denial of those facts and the fact that Maori, at local body level are denied( by numbers) representation is a disgrace.Your "red herring"questions should be directed to the Electoral Commission or similar body. There is no question it is a mess, but not insurmountable. Robin Bell.

Kiritiwa, agree, not apartheid but ...

Posted on 19-11-2017 09:20 | By Murray.Guy

Establishing a Maori ward is about ensuring the Maori world view is part of the decision making of Council (which is actually provided for under the Local Government Act), such a ward is not to the detriment of non-Maori and is certainly not based on the premise that Maori are superior to anyone else. REALITY is that while the premise ’may be’ not superior, Maori are more entitled under this Ward proposal and other many considerations. The ’Maori view and participation’ in decision making is today extensive, meaningful and via a multitude of Local Government Act and RMA processes, and these will not be replaced with a ’Maori Ward’. If a community has ’At Large’ voting only, do Maori voters get an additional vote? Do those in a Maori Ward get another bite at the cherry and vote in a geographical ward? Too many unanswered questions, fish hooks!


Posted on 17-11-2017 18:40 | By NZer

Is still trying to justify raceism! You are only kidding yourself. Even Africa would be ashamed of your attempts.


Posted on 17-11-2017 08:51 | By Kiritiwa

The apartheid regime was designed to deny people of colour of their rights, to their detriment, in order to give power and privilege to white South Africans on the presumption that they were superior to people of colour. To compare the establishment of a Maori ward to that regime is both factually inaccurate and an insult to those who suffered under apartheid. Establishing a Maori ward is about ensuring the Maori world view is part of the decision making of Council (which is actually provided for under the Local Government Act), such a ward is not to the detriment of non-Maori and is certainly not based on the premise that Maori are superior to anyone else. In fact these steps try to lift Maori participation that enriches the whole community. So please don’t bring up the old apartheid line.

As dumb as the dey is long missy.

Posted on 17-11-2017 08:03 | By R. Bell

Government policy for ever has been to recognise the unique position of Maori. Some early ones ( of which you are a remnant) were particularly misguided, and thought they could marginalise Maori to extinction ( see govn’t files on record). The rights of Maori are indisputable ( see The Treaty of Waitangi) and are recognised by all confident and proud New Zealanders, unshackled of the prejudice that strangles you and your buddies. Robin Bell.

Separatism or Racism?

Posted on 16-11-2017 22:16 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Well actually it is the same thing now arent they. Seats that are only aavilable for a miniority race based selection processm, only a minority race allowed to be on the electoral roll. All sounds like aparthied to me, I am sure that not so long ago many here in NZ put their oar in about that subject when a rugby team arrived and wandered around NZ about 1981 or so? Intersting how the game and rules change to suit the Dey of the week?

Separatism it ain't capn.

Posted on 16-11-2017 14:04 | By R. Bell

Separatism is where laws are deliberately intent on keeping races apart, such as the law in South Africa prior to the banishment of the racist policies. You use the term minorities to cloud the issue. There is no law in N.Z that says the minorities you mention cannot represent themselves,but like Maori they are shut out by the majority. All immigrants know that Maori are partners in the formation of N.Z. and as such have special considerations. Maori are major contributors to our economy. To compare Maori to any other ethnic minority shows the paucity of your arguments, which are baseless and racist. Robin Bell.

@ R. Bell

Posted on 16-11-2017 12:40 | By Captain Sensible

So why can’t amputees have the right to represent themselves in NZ, or Asians, Arabics, Africans, Aztecs ? Why is it only the part-maori that get these obscene race based privileges? In areas like TeKaha where there are a majority of maori, do the non-maori get these special rights to represent themselves? Hahaha of course not. You admit to separatism....and then hilariously try to justify it!!!!

@ R. Bell

Posted on 16-11-2017 12:39 | By Captain Sensible

So why can’t amputees have the right to represent themselves in NZ, or Asians, Arabics, Africans, Aztecs ? Why is it only the part-maori that get these obscene race based privileges? In areas like TeKaha where there are a majority of maori, do the non-maori get these special rights to represent themselves? Hahaha of course not. You admit to separatism....and then hilariously try to justify it!!!!

Vague and judgmental Murray,

Posted on 16-11-2017 10:53 | By R. Bell

Typical of the diversionary nature of prejudice, rampant in Tauranga. " Granting" the Maori people the right to represent themselves at all levels is an example of a mature confident society. That right is theirs by inheritance, nothing to do with appointed officials, nothing to do with " gutless central government," everything to do with racial prejudice and the power of a selfish or uninformed majority, still bogged down by indoctrinated prejudice. Will it ever change? Robin Bell.

what minorities Colleen?

Posted on 16-11-2017 09:12 | By Captain Sensible

So what "minorities" should get a free place on the Council....amputees, vegetarians, Asians, Africans, Arabics, left handers, Islanders, or, which is always the case in NZ......Maoris only. There are plenty of part maori in Parliament now who got in on merit with no special treatment. The NZ definition of ’democracy’ would make Zimbabwe sit up and take notes.

Democracy does not serve minorities

Posted on 16-11-2017 09:03 | By Colleen Spiro

For those bleating it is undemocratic, our racist culture will not vote Maori Councillors, and democracy never works for minorities. I would much rather see Maori have a say, than white priveleged people, having 90% SECRET MEETINGS, then just abusing democracy, by pushing big ticket WANTS for them, than forget about the average persons NEEDS.

A Maori Ward doesn't give anyone 'more votes', OR does it?

Posted on 16-11-2017 08:28 | By Murray.Guy

What a bloody shambles. Maori Wards, to be or not to be. We’ve gutless central government once again choosing to pass the buck to local authorities in regards ’wards’, in regards voting methodology, appointed (so-called) representatives some representing their own ego and bank balance, a plethora of ’Maori consultation committees and processes ... and a few who seek to take advantage to the detriment of community unity and ’best outcomes’. An almost total lack of community consultation in regards community representation, ’warts and all’, an unwillingness to pro-actively debate options with honesty and transparency. In regards the the Establishment of a ’Maori Ward, I would have thought, those who chose to register as a ’Maori Ward voter’ would be restricted to vote in ’their chosen Ward’ and for the Mayor, just as I am restricted to vote for my Ward Councillors and the Mayor.

Stop crying

Posted on 15-11-2017 20:22 | By Eddie Munster

Captiva Senile and co. Neither of you live in Whakatane. Your old, white council already voted against Maori wards 3 years ago. Keep your whinging to yourselves please.

Once more

Posted on 15-11-2017 20:06 | By rosbo

Political Correctness yet again


Posted on 15-11-2017 17:34 | By NZer

At its worst!

Of course its race based Christine 1965,

Posted on 15-11-2017 16:15 | By R. Bell

Did you not know that New Zealand was founded by Two races not one. Did you not know that Maori were given control of Forests, Lands And Fisheries. Maori only get one vote same as you. The whole of the citizen body as you call it includes Maori as Maori, not all jumbled in together. Now that would be undemocratic, don’t you think? Robin Bell.

This is

Posted on 15-11-2017 15:11 | By Merlin

This is separatism which is rife in New Zealand.I worked for government Departments some years ago and we had training courses for all as well as separate courses for the Maori members of the staff.That is double dipping.It is time for them to stand up as New Zealanders and not have these concessions.

Why oh why

Posted on 15-11-2017 13:37 | By Christine1965

Each citizen is equal and each has a vote.A council members first duty is to the citizen body as a whole not a certain race or group.This is clearly a race based decision so why oh why

another nail

Posted on 15-11-2017 12:53 | By Captain Sensible

....and another nail in the coffin of "democracy" albeit a very watered down unique NZ version. Any one of those racists masquerading as councillors, ever heard of equality I wonder?

Leave a Comment

Sorry, Sun Media is no longer accepting comments on this article.

Opinion Poll

Did the ’unruly’ traveller family get a fair go in NZ?