Maori Seats in Waikato

October 28th, 2011 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Nikki Preston in the Herald reports:

iwi are urging the Regional Council to introduce two in time for the 2013 local government elections.

But the regional council has mixed views on Maori representation and a lively debate is expected at tomorrow’s council meeting.

I’m not a fan of race based seats. The parliamentary seats are a historical reality, but that is no reason to expand them into local government. While well intentioned, they can only end up with greater division.

My preference would be to consider giving Iwi which fall within a region’s boundaries, certain rights. I’ll detail what they may be some other day.

Maori are 20 per cent of the population of the Waikato region, and since the council was set up in 1989 there have been no Maori representatives elected.

I can understand why that leads some to say the seats are needed, but one vital stat is missing. How many Maori candidates have there been? Can anyone answer that question?

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9 Responses to “Maori Seats in Waikato”

  1. backster (2,184 comments) says:

    Well they could commission a private company to do a cost benefit study of the Maori Department and the Maori Consultative Force on Len Brown’s Council. A plastic Whaka on the Waikato River may well appeal to the Waikato Ratepayers.

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  2. Bob R (1,386 comments) says:

    ***Maori are 20 per cent of the population of the Waikato region, and since the council was set up in 1989 there have been no Maori representatives elected.***

    I suspect in future this kind of reasoning will be used to push for polynesian and asian seats.

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  3. Jadis (146 comments) says:

    Last election I can think of only one Maori candidate for Waikato Regional Council – Tipa Mahuta (Nanaia’s sister)

    In 2007, I can’t think of any Maori candidates.

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  4. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    Have they considered pushing for STV instead? The block voting system used at Environment Waikato substantially favours majority groups: 45% of the population can near guarantee themselves 100% of the seats (the 45% isn’t usually homogeneous, so they don’t get all of the seats, but the inbuilt disproportionality still favours larger groups with numbers in defined areas).

    STV would enable a group with 15-20% support spread over the whole region to pool that support into approximately 15-20% of the seats.

    You ask why Maori haven’t run often – the simple point is that someone pitching themselves as a representative of the 20% who are Maori, and focusing on their votes couldn’t be elected, even in a ward with 5 or 6 councillors. FPP/Blockvote does that to minority voices: 20% spread over a wide area just isn’t enough to elect someone under blockvote. Under STV it would be.

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  5. Muzza M (291 comments) says:

    Are Maori members of the human race or are they some alien species that requires its own representation to protect it from the majority who are members of the human race.

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  6. kowtow (8,718 comments) says:

    My preference is for all citizens to be treated equally and for differences based on ethnicity,sexual preference ,religion etc to be binned.

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  7. Paulus (2,656 comments) says:

    Typical left wing white liberal thinking, probably female, but that’s Waikato.

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  8. V (742 comments) says:

    Is it really well intentioned?

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  9. Dazzaman (1,144 comments) says:

    No Maori candidates EVER in the Waikato RC……..Whew, Cambridge & the jetboating cow cockies can breathe a sigh of relief now.

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