A topsy-turvy world . . .
This is to exercise my right of reply to Lara, who played the racist card in her reaction to my letter (Gisborne Herald, November 23).
The Maori wards debate draws attention to a topsy-turvey world we live in.
Gisborne District Council has proposed a voting system which divides Gisborne citizens based on race while arguing that such a system is anti-racist.
Meanwhile, anyone who criticises such a race-based voting system is smeared as racist.
My letter was an open invitation to anyone to make the case for Maori wards in Gisborne.
Curiously, Gisborne's mayor and around five councillors seem happy to put themselves out of a job by reserving five seats for Maori-roll candidates to represent, not only Maori roll voters, but the general electoral population as well.
Maori-seat councillors are not required to be Maori, but must be voted for by Maori-roll voters, Maori candidates may be elected to general seats.
Is this not a virtue-signalling shambles?
Even the argument that Maori wards petitions are racist because no other ward option may be challenged by a petition may be resolved by opening all wards decisions, rural or urban, to the possibility of referenda.
But no, the Minister prefers to remove a democratic check rather than extending such a check.
Are the mainly non-Maori councillors who voted to proceed with Maori wards motivated by a quaint type of paternalism, and not appearing to understand that a race-based ward is by definition racist?
Surely, in a multicultural society such as we have, any governance structure should be racially neutral with political rights based on citizenship, not ethnicity.
I'm still waiting for someone to make a compelling case for Maori wards.
Mike Butler, Hastings