Majority against Maori wards

Progress results of a binding poll show electors have voted against Māori representation around the Council table in the Western Bay and in Whakatane.

In November 2017, the majority of WBOP District councillors (9 for, 3 against) voted to establish one or more Māori wards as part of a six yearly representation review that legally requires Council to consider Māori representation.

Consequently, a valid independent petition from more than five per cent of Western Bay District electors who opposed the move was handed to Council in February 2018, requiring a poll.

As a result, a poll, which involved voting papers being sent to all eligible electors on both the General and Mori Parliamentary Electoral Rolls, opened on Friday April 27 and closed at midday today, Saturday 19 May.

A similar story in the Whakatane District, also resulted in a poll being initiated.

Progress results show electors do not want Māori wards in either of the two Districts.

Voter turnout in the Western Bay was around 40 per cent of eligible electors.

  •   •  21.5 per cent of electors who voted were for Māori wards

  •   •  78.2 per cent of electors who voted were against Māori wards

Mayor Garry Webber says he accepts the result.

“In announcing its decision in November last year Council acknowledged that not everyone would agree. We were also clear that due process, which included the call for a poll, would be followed and the result of that process respected.

“Today’s result, which is binding for the 2019 and 2022 elections, is clear so it’s time for Council to move on with the rest of the representation review.”

In the Whakatane District a total of 5856 electors, 56.39 per cent, have voted against Maori wards, with 4504, 43.37 percent, in favour.

"Votes placed in ballot boxes at the Whakatane District Council Civic Centre this morning, and at the Murupara Service Centre before 4.30pm yesterday will be included in the preliminary result, which is expected to be available later this afternoon," says council public affairs manager Ross Boreham.

"The Electoral Officer will declare the final result of the poll on Monday."

Final results for both districts will be available on Monday May 21, once all valid special votes have been counted. The official public notice of final results will be appear in papers on Wednesday 23 May.

The next phase of the representation review focuses on whether current representation arrangements (Mayor, 11 Councillors, three wards, five community boards and 20 community board members), provides for fair and effective representation, or if changes can be made to improve the District’s representation.

Council is considering feedback and will go back to the community with an initial proposal for future representation arrangements in the second half of 2018.


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Idealism gone mad morepork,

Posted on 23-05-2018 08:58 | By R. Bell

The nine councilors in W.B.O.P.D.C. engaged in "duty bound"decision making. Result, vilification and now calls for their resignation. Your quest for your own version of utopia is only possible with the realisation of socantor01’s prediction, simply because marginalisation breeds discontent, discontent breeds reaction, you know the rest if you study history as you claim. Robin Bell.

Words, meaningless words morepork.

Posted on 23-05-2018 08:34 | By R. Bell

First you don’t understand Maori issues. Second, Maori issues represent a minority view validated by the treaty but largely ignored by councilors elected by the pakeha majority, for very obvious reasons.Why do you think your mentors hobsons pledge engage in anti treaty propaganda? Meeting your representative "face to face" is not an option when generations have tried it and failed. As one racist councilor in Whakatane said on Monday "There is no way I’m gonna be dragged kicking and screaming onto the Marae to discuss anything" There in lies the problem. It is a cultural and political matter that Maori Wards would largely solve.Many Maori have left N.Z. because of inherent racial and cultural indifference, perpetrated by an uncaring majority. You are clearly one of them. No matter how often you deny it. Celebrate your victory, but remember It’s not over yet. Robin Bell.


Posted on 22-05-2018 18:43 | By morepork

I’m sorry to see your cynical take on this. Fortunately, I don’t see "Maori as a cultural or political entity" disappearing, and I certainly wouldn’t want them to. It’s far too easy to carry a chip on your shoulder over past wrongs. I too am "an old white man" who studies history (not just NZ...) and like to think I have a fair understanding of it. Yet our views diverge widely. I see Maoritanga woven into our culture as part of what makes us unique. NZ has a chance to show the world that diversity CAN work, that there are MANY benefits from it and that mutual respect for one’s countrymen and a system that is democratic and fair for ALL citizen’s is not a pipe dream. Apartheid is the antithesis of this and so is "special treatment" in the guise of "positive discrimination". It is an axiomatic failure.


Posted on 22-05-2018 18:32 | By morepork

Just to keep the record straight, I did not suggest (snidely or otherwise), as Robin said I did, that Maori should leave; that would be ridiculous. What I DID suggest was that in a democracy if people are unhappy with their representation they have a right to do something about it. You can meet your representative face-to-face and explain your issues, he is duty-bound to take on board what you say and either work for change or explain why change is not possible if it isn’t. You can also work, of course, to change minds and get a different result at the next election. But, if all else fails and you can’t get what you want, then you must compromise or let it go. And I am NOT connected with "Hobson’s Pledge", Robin, although I largely agree with their position, in particular with the Maori Wards issue.


Posted on 22-05-2018 16:43 | By NZer

You are quite correct. No race should be singled out and that is what Maori wards do. Peter. Clearly does not understand Democracy. Look it up in the dictionary and weep Peter. Nowhere does it say anything about unfairness. It would be unfair to have Maori wards but not Asian or Australian wards eh Peter... keep crying about it Peter. Nobody is listening. Accept the result Peter.

When the majority get it wrong,

Posted on 22-05-2018 15:59 | By R. Bell

in New Zealand it is always Maori who suffer most.When South Africa banned Maori from visiting as part of the All Black side, the majority of pakeha supported the decision.When the N.Z government decided to ban South Africa from visiting the pakeha majority protested. When South Africa were given the green light to tour the majority pakeha celebrated, a small minority protested against that tour 1981.Within a few years the majority were proven wrong and Apartheid was banned by the world.Take note, racism is unacceptable. Robin Bell.

NZer, you do not understand democracy

Posted on 22-05-2018 15:20 | By Peter Dey

NZEr, in democracy the majority rules, but democracies make laws to ensure that people get treated fairly. There is nothing in the democratic system that says unfairness should be ignored. Maori are not represented on the local council. To be fair they should be, so a way should be found to provide for Maori representation. There is nothing in democracy that says that unfairness is acceptable.


Posted on 22-05-2018 15:01 | By NZer

Robin you have said the answer yourself. In the example you gave where in the UK Asian communities dominate on council it will be because the majority of voters wanted that. No special wards there mate. You need to accept that kiwis will not tolerate your race based rubbish. Accept it and move on.

I'll tell you how it works morepork,

Posted on 22-05-2018 12:28 | By R. Bell

yes the Asian community in Auckland is approaching 30% and yes in the future they will no doubt want more say in the affairs of Auckland. If you want a classic example, look no further than the U.K where Asian communities dominate many councils. I can assure you it does not sit well with many, who simply refuse to adjust.I can also assure you that most if not all Asian people understand and sympathise with the Maori indigenous people whose only request is to be treated with dignity, in all things, including local bodies. Robin Bell.

Robin oh Robin

Posted on 22-05-2018 10:20 | By NZer

Morepork is just telling you what the majority of Kiwis know. You can deny till the cows come home. Nz is a Democracy and it is law that things are decided by the majority. This is the law. Suck it up.

Two outstanding Maori politicians.

Posted on 22-05-2018 09:11 | By R. Bell

When I used those examples it was and is an example of the diversity of the Maori world. The evolution of N.Z. has created a wonderful opportunity for people like Winnie And Simon. No question. It is a matter of choice. However those same choices are not a consideration for those Maori who choose to live as Maori, a fundamental human right, not cancelled out by colonisation, the treaty or any act of parliament.In fact reinforced by numerous U.N. declarations and endorsed by numerous N.Z governments since the 1970s. There is no doubt morepork other ethnicities will be a consideration in the future but that can never be a reason to deny Maori rights. One of which does not include your snide suggestion that if they don’t like it leave.Look at the history of democratically elected governments presiding over the marginalisation of Maori, and weep. Robin Bell.

Arrogant and supercilious,

Posted on 22-05-2018 08:51 | By R. Bell

No one to my best knowledge has ever suggested that Maori need special privileges. All of the so called privileges claimed by you and your fellows misrepresent the truth.For instance one clown regularly claims Maori receive "hundreds" of such privileges, among them Maori only Hospital wards.None. Maori only medical facilities. None exist. What do exist are some that have the capacity to cater to tikanga Maori, why, morepork, because many Maori respond better and heal more quickly therefore saving you and the rest of us, taxpayer dollars. As a pakeha who clearly only has superficial contact with Maori,how can you possibly understand that? You can’t, which makes particularly vulnerable to extreme groups like Hobsons "pledge".

Have you finished morepork?

Posted on 22-05-2018 08:23 | By R. Bell

If so, I will with (Sunlives permission) respond. Your quotations are direct from Hobsons "pledge" manifesto and contain all of the rhetoric they are famous for. From day one of our legislative history, Maori have been and remain a separate entity, they have had separate options in central gov’t since 1865, they have exercised that right, with varying degrees of support since that time. At no time during that period has that option been called separatism, never. That you and your mentors Hobsons "pledge" ignore the facts of history centred around the treaty and subsequent Constitutional Acts, that "gave"Maori those rights is tantamount to enforced assimilation.That Brash, yourself and many others now claim those rights are racist is perhaps the single most despicable example of cowardly denial, any nation has been guilty of. More to come. Robin Bell.

@ Robin Bell responding to

Posted on 21-05-2018 16:57 | By morepork

You take 2 outstanding (part Maori) politicians and say they don’t count because they are working in mainstream politics and not on specifically Maori issues? Maybe they are showing a model that others could do well to follow... "Maori have different needs that are not met by populist politicians like Peters OR the majority of non Maori politicians" Really? If your needs are not met by the elected representatives of the Democracy you live in, what is the remedy? (Hint: It is available to ALL citizens in said Democracy...) Given that the population of Auckland by Ethnicity is now approaching 30% for Asian people, will you argue that Asians are TWICE as entitled to "special treatment" as Maori? And yet the Asian community seems to be OK with representation by "populist" politicians. Perhaps, having experienced 2 systems, they recognize that the Democratic one, while not being perfect, is definitely"better"...

@Robin Bell on shaming

Posted on 21-05-2018 16:41 | By morepork

Robin states we should all be ashamed. I’m not. In fact I’m proud that common sense prevailed on this particular binding referendum. Only people on the "Maori Roll" would have been eligible to vote in a Maori Ward and that is blatantly Racist. (The overall trend is for more people moving OFF the Maori Roll than are signing up to it, so it looks like the message is getting across). If Maori want their interests protected they need to join the main stream and bring Maori issues to the attention of everybody, just like any other issue. There is more Maori representation in Parliament currently than there has ever been, and that’s a good thing. It is arrogant and supercilious to suggest that Maori need special "help" or privileges (just because they’re Maori...) when Maori representatives are proving effective in Education, Government, Commerce and Community.

@Robin Bell

Posted on 21-05-2018 16:24 | By morepork

You are correct that I did miss the FPP votes and I thought about that. The fact is that when there are only two options (Museum or No Musuem/ Separate Maori Wards or not), then FPP really is the only way that Democracy CAN be exercised. People vote FOR or AGAINST something, and the block of people voting is the entire enfranchisement; there is no need for PR/MMP because there are no "proportions" to be represented. I agree that Hobson’s Pledge have done an effective job of raising awareness about legislation that is prejudicial and Racist and I’m glad they did. We are growing as a successful, diverse Nation, with a level playing field for all. ALL minorities need to be respected; Maori and Maoritanga will have a special place, but we need to progress as a single collective identity with equality for all, on the World stage: "Kiwi".

Stop crying Bell

Posted on 21-05-2018 15:34 | By NZer

Accept that you are wrong and have lost and accept that really no one agrees with you... you are arguing with your self mate. The people have voted and you lost. Give it up...

Wrong on all counts nzer,

Posted on 21-05-2018 10:46 | By R. Bell

so is morepork. The splinter referred to by morepork exists only in the seriously distorted minds of those seeking to protect their power, compounded by false and misleading propaganda from the likes of Hobsons "pledge". It works as we have seen but that will never make it right, as the Americans are currently starting to realise. My agenda? oppose it and you in the name of my multi racial, multi national family. Robin Bell.

A helping hand for teamjelly.

Posted on 21-05-2018 10:27 | By R. Bell

Winston Peters is ethnically of Maori descent, he does not and never has represented Maori interests, which differ from your interests.Same goes for Simon. It is NOT the prejudice against Maori ( although that does exist in these columns) it is the failure to accept that Maori have different needs that are not met by populist politicians like Peters OR the majority of non Maori politicians. They need AND have a right to representation by Maori for Maori. Hope this helps. Robin Bell.


Posted on 21-05-2018 07:26 | By NZer

You are totally correct my friend. People like Robin have a clear agenda and will cry racist if they dont get there way. Good on you kiwis dont let heritics like Robin start a race war. Nz is a multicultural country and people like Robin cant seem to accept it...


Posted on 20-05-2018 18:05 | By teamjelly

If the European community is so politically rascist against people of Maori DescentThen can someone please explain how Winston became Deputy Prime-minister

Morepork you seem to deliberately,

Posted on 20-05-2018 17:23 | By R. Bell

distort the truth. Tauranga City, WBOP BOTH use First past the post F.P.P. as their voting method as did the recent referendums.That is exactly why Maori representing Maori can never be fairly elected. That you can live with such distortions in a so called democracy is a stunning reflection of prejudice and majority lack of empathy.Colleen is absolutely, indisputably correct. Robin Bell.

@ happykiwi

Posted on 20-05-2018 16:59 | By Captain Sensible

Anyone who disagrees with you should have their comments banned. Oh dear, I trust you are aware of the names of people through history who have said that previously?!!


Posted on 20-05-2018 14:12 | By Feruno

It is time to put aside segregation, and ALL in New Zealand, be New Zealanders . The Treaty has been flogged to death, and a few Maori are worth many millions, while the majority of New Zealanders are being forced to carry the ’poorest in NZ ’ by buying them school lunches and shoes .

@Colleen Spiro

Posted on 20-05-2018 13:51 | By morepork

Democracy DOES work for minorities if you have MMP or Proportional Representation, which we do. It ensures that the minority voice is heard and regarded. (It DOESN’T mean that a minority can inflict their will on a majority...) Do you seriously think that ANY sector of the community represented by 15% should be allowed to splinter the whole and have its own system? Fortunately, there are many Maori of goodwill and common sense who see a future in one nation and they are running successful businesses and representing themselves and their communities in both National and Local government. We will NOT lose Maoritanga and its influence on our community and neither should we; it is part of our Kiwi heritage. But seeing a level playing field for ALL NZers is also part of our heritage.This is a good result for all of us.

@ Murray.Guy

Posted on 20-05-2018 13:36 | By MISS ADVENTURE

generally you are right, however you should also have noted that no other minority ethnic group as the preference, laws and representation advanatages as part maori do in NZ. There are others who would be perhaps equally and perhaps more so in need and entitled but as yet are not represented.

@ Angels

Posted on 20-05-2018 13:28 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Exactly right

Unbelievable ignorance from the usual sources.

Posted on 20-05-2018 12:41 | By R. Bell

Clearly it works, as opposed to it being right. Murray Guy claims Maori signed up to democracy, now Murray that IS bollocks. They signed up to protection, that was never forthcoming.The 1852/3 N.Z Constitution Act section 71 gave Maori autonomous, self governing regions.They were never implemented but remained in law until 1984.That disgraceful self serving policy of greed stained this country and continues to do so, as evidenced by the clear race based results announced yesterday. You should all be ashamed. Robin Bell.


Posted on 20-05-2018 12:34 | By rastus

History shows that Maori have been voted onto councils and other bodies long before MMP was introduced - Right here in Tauranga we have been ably represented in past years by strong, sensible people (who by the way, not that it is important or was not at the time also happened to be of Maori descent) so all you bigots on both sides of the fence, how about talking about facts not your interpretation of history

here we go again

Posted on 20-05-2018 11:46 | By happykiwi

As per usual all the racist comments are flowing. Sunlive you are a disgrace for printing them and Socantor I actually get exactly what you were saying. Not many people would but you and I know why.And by the way I am a 45 year old white male.

Great no racist seats

Posted on 20-05-2018 09:51 | By Angels

No one of any colour,religion etc should be given a special seat or vote in a democratic sytem The race card is always a game that is played when a few want more than the rest of the people.Stop encouraging racism.

Waste of time

Posted on 20-05-2018 00:31 | By Number eight

Over 78% voted for no Maori wards,out of the 78% of voters,how many were of Pakeha decent?Probably 100%,Maori wards getting the ok never stood a chance,what a waste of time and money.I do wonder if it were not for MMP or the Maori seats and how many Maori candidates were high up the list, how many would actually get voted in,in a general election if it were first past the post.Most likely just like over 99% of local body councils,none!Maori being the minority don’t stand a chance.


Posted on 19-05-2018 22:22 | By Colleen Spiro

15% of the population are Maori. So even if every single Maori voted, they still would never tokenism and colonisAtion continues. Feeling proud Hobsons Pledge ?....

@ socantor01

Posted on 19-05-2018 19:33 | By Captain Sensible

When a (part) race that is used to endless race based privileges is forced to accept equality, they seem to think it’s a form of discrimination!! Funny how maori waited until all the Treaty signatories were dead by a hundred years or so before they start bleating about it!!

WBOPDC Ward voting

Posted on 19-05-2018 19:18 | By tia

What a totally negative statement socantor01. Why should any ethnic or cultural group be afforded special treatment? I comment Cr’s Murray-Benge, Lally and March for taking the stand they did. Maori, Asian and Pacific Islanders to stand for council just like any other New Zealander so why should they be given preferential treatment?


Posted on 19-05-2018 17:45 | By NZer

Maori new that would happen when they signed the treaty. They knew they were signing up for democracy where the majority rules.. nothing like whinging about it later on....

socantor01, that will be the Dey, a Bell type bollocks

Posted on 19-05-2018 16:04 | By Murray.Guy

Back in 1842 the Maori Chiefs of the day recognised that democratic governance was sustainable option for them, that the future was one nation, one people, diverse ethnicity’s. Legislation provides for ’Maori specific’ consultation and input and numerous considerations are in place. As with the balance of the community, we must constantly improve.


Posted on 19-05-2018 15:23 | By maildrop

Moari culture and language has never been more in the limelight so that’s not disappearing any time soon. There are more Moari MPs than ever before. It’s just that they have chosen to be in other parties rather than Moari or Mana. Maybe they have realised that the time for seperatism and activism is over, so yes, Mana and Maori Parties might disappear soon. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing and I would suggest it’s a sign of the progress made. Sure, there will always be some who have a race based gripe, we see it on Sunlive, but they are just racists themselves, deep down.


Posted on 19-05-2018 15:15 | By dumbkof2

socantoro1 the people have spoken just accept it and move on or mabee it’s you that should disappear

Maori Wards

Posted on 19-05-2018 14:09 | By socantor01

Looks like a continued domination of the minority by the majority that started back in 1842.View of an old, white man who actually studies and understands history. Just continue on folks, and Maori as a cultural and political entity will disappear, just as you want it to.

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