Wairoa District Council will introduce designated Māori representation through the setting up of one or more Māori wards (in addition to general wards).
In a poll run aside the local elections in September 2016, Wairoa electors voted 54% to 46% in favour of the establishment of Maori wards on the council.
- This is permitted under the Local Electoral Act 2001.
- Representatives for Māori wards will be elected by people who are enrolled on the Māori Parliamentary Electoral Roll.
- Electors of these wards would not be able to vote for members of the general wards.
- Similarly, people who are enrolled on the General Parliamentary Electoral Roll would vote for members of the general wards but not for members of the Māori wards.
- All electors would still vote for the Mayor.
Poll on Māori Representation
The Wairoa District Council held a poll, as part of the 2016 Local Authority Elections, to see whether it should introduce one or more Māori wards for at least its next two triennial elections.
Council will undertake a detailed review of its representation arrangements (number of wards, elected members etc.) including:
- the number of general and Māori wards;
- the number of representatives to be elected for general and Māori wards;
- the ward boundaries and names.
The review must be completed by 31 August 2018. There will be a right to make submissions on the Council’s proposals and a right of appeal to the Local Government Commission.
The number of Māori ward representatives would be determined by a formula based on the ‘Māori electoral population’ of the Wairoa District Council, as defined in legislation. Based on the size of the present Council (six members plus the Mayor), there would be three members elected from one or more Māori wards and three members elected from one or more general wards. All elected members, whether elected from general or Māori wards, represent the entire community.
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