Hobson’s Pledge reports:
Petitions in both Palmerston North and Kaikoura were validated on Wednesday, which means that all five districts where councils have voted to establish Maori wards will have a vote in May on whether or not those should proceed.
Campaigners in Palmerston North presented 3776 signatures by the 5pm February 21 deadline when 2727 were required, while those in Kaikoura presented 373 signatures when 300 were required.
Petitions in Manawatu, Western Bay of Plenty, and Whakatane had been validated a week earlier.
Manawatu required 1004 signatures and delivered 1600, Western Bay of Plenty required 1708 and delivered 4051, while Whakatane required 1161 and delivered 1800.
Radio New Zealand wrongly credited Hobson’s Pledge with gathering enough support to force votes in five districts.
Had the reporter asked a few more questions, he would have found out that groups were collecting signatures in Western Bay of Plenty, Whakatane, and Manawatu before we helped put out a flyer in all districts.
I’m pleased to see votes occurring.
The motivations of those who want separate Maori wards are noble. They want better representation on Councils of Maori. But I think separate race based seats is a bad idea, and much prefer other solutions.
MMP has shown you can achieve high levels of Maori representation without needing Maori seats.