I understand WBOPDC has two Maori committees representing East and West, and the members collect a generous meeting allowance for attendance.
The RMA is clear that councils must consult with Maori and the Local Government Act ensures that communities are consulted.
Whilst council members are elected from wards, their allegiance is sworn ‘to the district at large’.
Maori ward members would only promote Maori interests (as did the Maori Party in government) and would therefore fail in their ‘duty of allegiance’ to the wider district’s ratepayers.
My 20 years in local government saw Maori interests generously and fairly represented at the council table.
The decision to have Maori wards, made by the Mayor and seven councillors does not represent the whole district when wider consultation of ratepayers has not taken place.
M Anderson, Pyes Pa.