17 Sep 2009

Election warning over Maori super-city seats

4:15 pm on 17 September 2009

The decision not to include dedicated Maori seats on the Auckland super-council will cost the Government dearly at the next general election, the Labour Party says.

The National Government has come under continued attack for its stance against designated Maori seats on the new council.

Labour Party MP Steve Chadwick warns the Government's decision to ignore widespread support for Maori seats will have consequences at the 2011 election. But Local Government Minister Rodney Hide is adamant any decision should be left to Aucklanders.

Greens urge STV voting system

The Green Party on Wednesday urged the Government to change its stance on the voting system for the super-council.

Green MP Sue Bradford told Parliament the Government is making a critical mistake by adopting the first-past-the-post system.

She said a system of single transferable vote (STV) should be adopted for electing the mayor, councillors and ward members. This would prevent the election of a mayor who was supported by only a minority of voters.

Ms Bradford said the Government's rejection of the idea of separate Maori seats on the new council makes the adoption of the STV system, a form of proportional representation, imperative.

National MP Tau Henare told the House the STV system is no panacea, as it failed to deliver extra Maori representation when it was introduced for district health boards.

Local Government Minister Rodney Hide said Cabinet has decided against the STV system.