Councils: Waipa, Hawke’s Bay, Horizons, Horowhenua, Hamilton
As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, the new Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Act 2021 extended the deadline for councils to consider Māori wards for the 2022 triennial local government elections to 21 May 2021. This has brought forward a flurry of proposals and votes.
Very rarely publicly discussed by the local bodies concerned is the number of Māori wards each territorial authority or regional council plans to introduce. Click here to download a spreadsheet outlining the total number of Māori wards for each Council. This spreadsheet was created by the Local Government Commission.
Below is a summary of local bodies who have recently announced they are considering the establishment of Maori wards.
Waipa: The Waipa District Council has opted to ask their community if they support the introduction of a Māori ward. Assuming no change to the current total membership of council, Waipa would have one Maori ward and 12 general population wards. The council has a page on their website which outlines what they are proposing and how to have your say. You will find a consultation document you can download at the bottom of the page. You have until 5pm Monday, 19 April 2021 for your submission. All the info is HERE.
NB: Waipa already has iwi representation in council. From late 2020, four iwi representatives, known as Te Kanohi, were appointed to four formal Committees of Waipā District Council to bring a Māori world view to each Committee and be a voice for mana whenua interests across the district. These representatives have voting rights on their respective Committees.
Hawke’s Bay: The Hawke's Bay Regional Council has also decided to undertake community consultation before establishing a Maori ward for the 2022 election. Assuming no change to the current total membership, the Hawke’s Bay would have two Maori wards and seven general population wards. You have until Thursday, 22 April 2021 for your submission. All the info is HERE.
Horowhenua: The Horowhenua District Council is seeking feedback for the introduction of a Māori Ward. The period for feedback closes at 5pm on Tuesday, 4 May 2021. You can have your say by completing an online survey at www.horowhenua.govt.nz/haveyoursay or emailing [email protected] (Please write ‘Māori wards feedback’ in the subject line). Alternatively, you can drop a completed feedback form to Council’s main office at 126-148 Oxford Street, Levin, or Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō, Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom or the Shannon Library.
Horizons: Horizons Regional Council originally decided not to implement Maori wards for the next election, but has since backtracked and agreed to investigate having Māori wards in time for the 2022 election. Assuming no change to the current total membership, the Horizons region (in the Manawatū-Whanganui area) would have two Māori wards and 10 general population wards. Chairwoman Rachel Keedwell is encouraging all councillors to collect as much feedback as possible, specifically from Māori in their areas, so the council could make an informed decision, which must be made by May 21.
See media coverage in Stuff: Horizons Regional Council changes stance on Māori wards, may have them by 2022
Hamilton: After making the decision just last week not to establish Māori wards for next year's local body election, the Hamilton City Council are to reconsider the introduction of Māori wards, but only after consultation with the community. Community engagement will be held from April 16 until May 10. A final decision will be made on May 19. N.B. The council has already introduced seats for five Māori representatives on council committees.
As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, the following council’s are also seeking feedback on Māori wards for their areas:
- Whakatane District Council by Friday, 30 April 2021.
- Wellington City Council. It is recommended to provide feedback well before Thursday, 13 May 2021, which is when Council staff will report back to the Strategy and Policy Committee on the results of the engagement.
- Invercargill City Council. Māori Ward’s to be considered at the performance, policy, and partnerships committee meeting on Tuesday, 11 May 2021. Please provide feedback well before this date.
PLEASE FORWARD THIS INFORMATION TO ANYONE YOU KNOW THAT LIVES IN THESE AREAS SO THEY CAN HAVE THEIR SAY TOO