New Plymouth and South Taranaki will both have a Māori ward after the 2022 election.
Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta was in New Plymouth on Monday to announce proposed legislation that will uphold council decisions to create Māori wards.
At present the wards can be overturned in public polls triggered by petitions supported by 5 per cent of council voters.
Mahuta proposes to have the new legislation through Parliament by February 21 to ensure that the nine councils around the country that were faced with holding a poll, including New Plymouth, will not need to.
This is a constitutional and electoral outrage.
The Government is going to ram a law change through Parliament under urgency to take away the vote from residents and cancel legally triggered referenda because they think people will vote the wrong way.
The Government thinks that voters can’t be trusted to make the right decision on Maori wards, so it is going to legislate away the right for referenda under urgency.
This is beyond disgusting.