Quandary for candidates
Jeremy, unfortunately I think Craig Bauld has hit the nail on the head when he says that should Maori wards come to fruition, the likelihood of a Maori candidate being elected to council on the general role will be low to nil.
In the past when I have been selecting who to give my vote to for council, a candidate's race/ethnicity/cultural background has not come into it — the decision is made based on what abilities they can bring to the council table and to represent all ratepayers. If we are to have five councillor positions that only Maori can stand/vote for, my view will be that there are five Maori guaranteed on council to represent Maori, do we need any more?
No doubt there will be those who say that is a racist view. To me it is logical outcome. It will leave some of our current councillors in a quandary come next election as they will have to decide what ward they wish to stand in — one that represents Maori only, or one that represents all of us.
Lastly, if Maori make up 53 percent of our local population then all that needs to happen for Maori representation on council to increase is for Maori to put themselves forward at election time as candidates, campaign on the issues they are interested in, and for Maori to then cast their votes.
I fail to see what is so difficult about this. Perhaps Lara or Aimee could enlighten us as to what the difficulty is?