Tag Archive: Maori electorates

No chance of Maori wards

Today, the results came in for the Palmerston North City Council referendum on whether to establish a Māori ward, and with 68% voting no, the results were overwhelmingly against. 

And, I think that just about does it for any councils ever voting in favour of Māori wards.

While there are the Māori seats that Māori can register to vote in during the general elections, local councils have no such feature, and many were hoping to phase it in several districts.

Over the past week, however, Palmerston North, Manawatu, and Whakatane have all voted against Māori wards.

However, I saw Palmerston North as the last opportunity for Māori wards to happen.

Palmerston North is New Zealand’s seventh biggest city and a highly liberal area. It’s both a stronghold for Labour and the left.

If a referendum can’t succeed in such a liberal area, where can it succeed?

Entrenching the Maori seats?

It was a members day on Thursday, meaning that members bills were drawn from the ballot, and one of those that was drawn was Rino Tirikatene’s entrenchment of the Māori seats bill.

Entrenchment would mean that to get rid of the seat entirely, 75% of parliament has to vote in favour of getting rid of that seat. Currently, all general seats are entrenched, but Māori seats are not.

So, at the moment, a simple majority could see the Māori seats removed from existence.

While it’s almost certain that Labour and the Greens will support this legislation, entrenchment of anything requires a supermajority – 75% of parliament needs to vote for this.

Meaning that it’s National’s choice whether or not this passes.

National has had a policy that’s been around forever of getting rid of the Māori seats at some point – but they’ve also had a practice of procrastinating on that policy.

And with the Māori duo of Simon Bridges and Paula Bennet in the leadership and deputy leadership roles of National, I think this piece of legislation has a chance of getting through.


Lawrence Yule – Meet the Newbies

In episode two of Meet the Newbies, I talk to former Hastings Mayor, and the new National MP for the Tukituki, Lawrence Yule, in a six minute podcast on the Hastings by-election, his focus on the environment, and his thoughts on the Māori electorates.

COMING UP MONDAY: Deborah Russel, Labour New Lynn MP, on her varied background and the size of electorates. Coming Monday, only on this blog.

New Tukituki National MP Lawrence Yule