By 77 to 43 they voted for the first reading of the Rotorua District Council (Representation Arrangements) Bill.
This bill over-rides the existing electoral law which requires wards to be roughly the same size, so that a vote in one ward is worth as much as a vote elsewhere. The same law applies at a national level with a 5% tolerance.
But what this bill does is legislate for 22,000 voters on the Māori roll to elect three ward Councillors and 56,000 voters on the general roll to elect three ward Councillors. This means the votes of people on the general roll will be worth 39% of the votes of those on the Māori roll – which is of course restricted to those who have had at least one Māori ancestor.
So Labour and Greens have voted for a bill that will, in Rotorua, reduce the votes of those on the general roll to 39% of those on the Māori roll. And the media deem this barely worth reporting on.
Make no mistake, if this law passes for Rotorua, it will eventually become the standard everywhere – for all Councils, and eventually for Parliament. Anyone who denies this is deluded. The Māori Party openly advocate for this.
This bill needs to be defeated. We need tens of thousands of submissions against it. You can make a submission here. This is not the time to sit on the sidelines.