Backwards step for us all
Mayor Stoltz is conspicuous by her absence now as reaction to the ridiculous ward scheme is building.But it seems the Deputy Mayor can't resist the temptation to justify the council's choices.
I don't believe councillor Wharehinga should even be a member of our council when he displays such ignorance of the concepts of democracy. This one-eyed promotion of a race-based system of representation is a backwards step for all of us. There is no justification for the ward system, other than allowing one section of the community to vote for a representative based entirely on race, contrary to democratic principles.
Josh reports he knows the wishes of the community from the overwhelming feedback received. I am sure his supporters have rallied to give their feedback, making him feel good. But human nature being what it is, those opposed will not have bothered; they will have their say in a referendum in true democratic fashion.
He says “the majority of the community gave feedback . . .” but would it not be correct to say “the majority of feedback was in support”, because I don't believe the majority of the community responded. If they did, I would like to see the numbers please.
Josh should also be aware of the number of regions where the proposal has been overturned by a significant majority. In 2018, more than 70 percent of voters in Manawatu and Western Bay of Plenty voted against having dedicated Maori representation on their councils; in Palmerston North, 68 percent voted against and in Kaikoura, 80 percent voted against.
Well Josh, I think we should have our referendum to remove all doubt and not just trust what you say.
Josh should be aware that figures quoted on the RNZ news site for the most recent opportunity for Maori to change rolls, more Maori moved to the general roll than moved from there to the Maori roll. Surely this tells you that generally Maori appear happy with the status quo. I suggest that figures relating to the ward issue will be similar.