A Wairarapa council has approved the appointment of unelected iwi representatives, with voting rights, to its standing committees.
Masterton District Council voted on Wednesday to appoint representatives from Wairarapa’s two iwi, Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Rangitane o Wairarapa, each with speaking and voting rights, to its policy and finance, and audit and risk, committees.
They also have speaking rights at full council meetings, which ratify the recommendations from the two standing committees.
I think it can be a good thing to have Iwi representatives as non-voting members of appropriate Council committees, or even of the Council. It can be an effective way to make sure they are consulted. I think Iwi do have special interests in certain areas of natural resources.
But I am totally against voting rights. Doing so undermines democracy. You should not have unelected people voting which means a majority vote may only be achieved because of them.