Maori wards rejected

Stuff reports:

Palmerston North people have spoken and more than two-thirds who voted were in opposition to creating separate Māori wards.

Results from a binding poll came in on Saturday night, with 14,567 voting against wards for the city council and 6530 voting for. 

The percentage was 68.87 against and 30.88 per cent for.

I’m pleased. I don’t think separate wards are a good way to increase Maori representation. I think they are divisive, even if well intentioned.

In Manawatū District, voters came out more than three-to-one in opposition to creating separate Māori wards.

Results came in on Tuesday, with 7062 voting against, and 2038 in favour.

Some 43 per cent of electors cast a vote, with 18 votes counted as blank and one “informal”.

That’s 75% against.

And Sunlive reports:

Voter turnout in the Western Bay was around 40 per cent of eligible electors.

  •   •  21.5 per cent of electors who voted were for Māori wards
  •   •  78.2 per cent of electors who voted were against Māori wards

And further:

In the Whakatane District a total of 5856 electors, 56.39 per cent, have voted against Maori wards, with 4504, 43.37 percent, in favour.

Whakatane is almost a majority Maori area (43%). If Maori wards can’t get passed there, they are unlikely to anywhere.

This is of course why some in Government wants to change the law to take the decision away from ratepayers and voters. They think the people make the wrong decision, so they must be stripped of the power to decide if they want race based seats or not.

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