On April 15, some of us attended the Maori Affairs Select Committee hearing in Auckland to support those presenting oral submissions in opposition to the Electoral (Entrenchment of Māori Seats) Amendment Bill. While more of the submitters at the hearing in Auckland spoke in favour of the bill than against, we were heartened to hear from Dan Bidois afterwards, (Dan is one of the National MPs on the committee), that the majority of the written submissions opposed entrenchment.
This was good news, as the submissions had not been made available on the Maori Affairs Committee website until just this week, and this did not come about until after repeated phone calls of complaint over the last few weeks. They can now be read HERE.
It was promised at the hearing we attended that recordings of the oral submissions would be available to view online. We are still waiting!
Lee Short, (DA chair) has made the written version of his oral submission available below.
Call to action: The working group suggest everyone contact both National and NZ First leaders and MPs, urging them to oppose the bill at the second reading. This has become especially important after learning recently that Jo Hayes (National list MP) has admitted there is an internal battle happening over what National will do about the Māori vote, with some in the party wanting to reverse its policy of not standing candidates in the Māori seats. Therefore, it appears there are some within National who may well be in support their retention, (and maybe even entrenchment?)