The recent letters on the subject of Maori local body representation are deeply concerning. R Prince (The Weekend Sun, December 15) uses a lengthy quotation from a Dr Brian McDonnell to reinforce his argument. What Mr Prince failed to do was repeat the full text, which includes the Dr's reference “Maori people have been marginalised in the past, and there are specific wrongs to be righted". Political marginalisation is one of those wrongs.
N Mayo similarly fails to justify his position. Relying instead on erroneous terminology such as apartheid and separatism, terms used by local representatives M Lally and M Murray-Benge, in a completely non-contextual way, in order to inflame passions. Surely we are better than this.
On a personal level I support a Maori ward. Not because it gives any advantage, but because it helps to reinstate justice. It takes nothing away from non-Maori, rather it adds different perspective and includes our co-founders in a meaningful way. N Mayo sees that as tokenism: he is right, but it's not the negative tokenism he implies, it is a positive move that will improve all outcomes for Maori and by extension all of us.
R Bell, Omanawa.