12 May 2017

Greens bill to tackle establishment of Maori wards.

From Morning Report, 7:49 am on 12 May 2017

The Greens say that when it comes to establishing local government wards, there should be one law for all.

Green Party MP Marama Davidson's Local Electoral (Equitable Process for Establishing Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill was pulled from the ballot yesterday.

The Green's say the legislation will ensure that the establishment of both Māori and general wards and constituencies on district and regional councils follow the same legal process.

Currently, the establishment of Māori wards in local government can be put to a referendum, whereas general wards can't be - they are decided by councils alone.

The Greens says the bill was inspired by the work of former New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd, who unsuccessfully tried to establish a Maori ward in his district.

The co-leader of the Green Party, Metiria Turei told Morning Report the big issue of the bill is that our democracy needs to be enhanced and we need to get rid of discrimination against Maori in our laws.