Western Bay electors will have their say on whether or not the District Council should establish Maori wards, when voting opens next week.
Western Bay of Plenty District Council is holding a binding poll to see whether Maori wards should be introduced for the next two triennial elections in 2019 and in 2022.
Voting documents are being sent to all electors on the District's electoral roll (comprising electors from both the general and Maori parliamentary rolls) from Friday April 27 and electors have until noon, Saturday May 19 to return these.
The poll has come about because in November 2017 Western Bay councillors voted to establish one or more Maori wards.
Consequently, an independent petition from over five percent of Western Bay District electors who opposed the move was handed to Council requiring a poll.
The Local Government Act requires all councils to have processes in place for consulting with Maori. The establishment of a Maori ward is one way to guarantee this.
If you believe you are eligible to vote but haven't received a voting document by Thursday May 3 please check that you are enrolled to vote and contact the electoral office for a special vote - 0800 922 822.
Completed documents can be returned by post, or hand delivered to a ballot box at one of Council's service centres (Barkes Corner, Te Puke, Waihi Beach, Katikati, and Omokoroa).
The results of the poll will be publically notified by May 21, 2018.