The Herald will be updating coverage of the Hikoi here.
I find it ironic that several of the Mayors will be joining the Hikoi. If they were so in favour of Maori seats, why did they not have them created on their existing Councils?
And while I have no problem with the Hikoi overall (the right to protest is vital), it would be useful to have greater clarity about what exactly is being demanded.
Is it to have one or more seats elected by people on the Maori roll only, or is it also to have one or more seats directly appointed by local Iwi?
The original Royal Commission proposal was highly flawed. I blogged on 31 March:
Three Maori Councillors for 90,000 persons on Maori roll is one per 30,000. Ten Ward Councillors for those on general roll of 1.28 million is one per 128,000.
So even if you accept there should be Council seats reserved for those on the Maori roll and/or mana whenua, the Royal Commission proposal gives four times the voting strength by allocating three seats. The correct number, it seems to me is one seat.
Some may say 3/23 is 13% and that is close to the Maori population of 11% of Auckland. But that overlooks that those on Maori roll also get to vote for the ten at large seats. The correct comparison is population on Maori roll vs population on the general roll in the wards.
So does Phil Goff and Labour support what the Royal Commission proposed, even though it gives those on the Maori roll four times the voting strength of non-Maori?
There has been talk about the lack of Maori on Auckland local bodies. And I can appreciate the concern. But has there been an analysis measuring the success rate of Maori candidate and non-Maori candidates? Is the problem more that non many Maori have stood for office in Auckland? I don’t know – but would like to see such an analysis made available to the select committee.
Finally a prediction. We keep hearing that only white people in Remuera can win an at large seat (a nice form of reverse racism). I dispute that. If John Tamihere and WIllie Jackson stand for an at large seat, I reckon they would bolt in.