The Local Electoral Act’s binding poll system is a form of direct democracy that enables local electors to choose for themselves by simple majority vote whether or not they support race-based council representation. However, to trigger a poll 5 percent of electors must support a petition to hold the referendum. Campaigns to do so have already started in several regions.
Please offer your support and encouragement to those who are standing up for the right to have a say on whether we support designated race-based seats at the council table.
The petition is well underway, having already gathered over half of the signatures needed to force a poll. However, this is not without its challenges, with a counter-group doing its darndest to sabotage this initiative, including a threat to start a boycott war against any businesses who dare to offer the public the opportunity to sign the petition. This was followed last week by the bizarre apology by the editor of the Stuff Taranaki newsroom, for publishing the petition advertisement.
If you can help New Plymouth, please contact:
Kevin Moratti: email [email protected] or phone: 0274-246868
Murray Chong: phone 021 936837
In Tauranga, the petition facilitators report that the response from Tauranga residents has been overwhelmingly supportive. Already delivered 2,260 signatures have been delivered to the Chief Electoral Officer and they are close to attaining another 1,000 signatures. This support is demonstrated by a recent SunLive poll, which is running at 87% opposed to a Māori ward, giving a clear indication of local sentiment.
A Notice of Motion to hold a referendum on Māori wards concurrently with the upcoming by-election was put forward by four councillors – Hollis, Kiddie, Robson and Morris - at an extraordinary meeting held on 20 November. This proposal would have had considerable cost savings for the council. However, it was voted down after an at times acrimonious meeting. You can watch a video recording of the meeting by clicking HERE.
If you are able to help with the Tauranga petition signature gathering, please contact Concerned Citizens at: [email protected]
If you would like to send your views and/or messages of support or disapproval to Tauranga councillors, their contact details are available HERE
Democracy Northland has been established to spearhead a campaign to gather enough signatures to demand polls in the Kaipara District Council, Whangarei District Council and Northland Regional Council areas. This campaign has gotten off to a flying start, with hundreds of Northlanders already signed up. However, as much of Northland consists of rural communities, gathering enough signatures - 11,000 all up - will be challenging. If you or anyone you know can help in any way, please visit the Democracy Northland website for forms and contact details. You can also visit the Democracy Northland Facebook page here.
Former Northland Regional Council deputy chair John Bain feels so strongly about our broken democracy that he resigned from his position when the council took the decision to introduce separate seats based on race without a poll being taken. Please click HERE to see the reasons why John felt compelled to take such a stand.
Please note, the signatories on the petitions must be on the electoral roll for the area concerned.
Last Monday, 23 November, both the Taupō and Gisborne District Councils voted to establish Maori wards in their areas. The Taupō resolution was supported by the majority, with councillors Anna Park, John Williamson and John Boddy voting against it. In Gisborne, the vote was unanimous.
Latest media coverage
Taranaki Daily News: Unanimous South Taranaki District Council vote for Māori wards is welcomed
Waatea News: Hawkes Bay makes cautious stop towards Maori seats
The Gisborne Herald: Unanimous vote for Maori wards
Rotorua Daily Post: Taupō district council votes to adopt Māori ward seats