Māori Representation at Council
Under NZ law Kaikōura District Council is required to complete a ‘Representation Review’ by August 2018. This includes looking at what Council representation will look like for the 2019 and 2022 local elections. In November 2017 Kaikōura District Council voted unanimously to create a Māori ward, a decision supported by our local runanga. Māori wards are a way of ensuring Māori views and voices are heard at Council.
In Kaikōura’s case, establishing a Māori ward would guarantee 1 Māori Council seat out of 8.
One of the reasons Council decided not to seek a public poll on Māori wards is because a poll would cost Council $15,000 of ratepayer money. Instead, a public notice of the decision was printed in the Kaikōura Star in late November.
Kaikōura District Council were the first Council in the south island (Te Waipounamu) to decide to establish a Māori ward.
When elected, Council members take an oath to act in the best interests of the whole community, not just the ward from which they were elected. Successful elected members manage to balance both their responsibility to raise issues affecting their wards and make decisions on behalf of the whole community and future generations.
Recently, pamphlets about Māori wards have been circulated in Kaikōura, asking people to sign a petition/poll against Māori wards. These pamphlets come from a lobby group called ‘Hobson’s Pledge’, not from anyone within the Kaikōura community or Council.