LGNZ’s referenda stance serves politicians over people

ContactLee Short, Chairman
Democracy Action
09 281 5173
[email protected]

Auckland, Mar 28, 2018 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

In response to Local Government New Zealand’s recent call for changes to Māori wards legislation, Democracy Action founder Lee Short says,

“Local Government New Zealand is supposed to be about protecting and enhancing local democracy, but here they are trying to take away the right of communities to control how their local council is elected. The move is totally inconsistent with what they claim to stand for.”


“Changing a community’s council from universal suffrage to a race-based system is a significant change to the relationship between electors and their council. Trying to undermine and remove the only tool for electors to force a binding referendum is a move designed to give politicians more power at the expense of the people.”

“If LGNZ were genuine about wanting this change to ensure an equal playing field, they’d be pushing for the referenda clause to apply to all changes in the way councillors are elected, and not just Māori wards. That is something we would support. Instead, they appear to be taking the self-serving option.”