30 Apr 2012

Nelson's ratepayers to vote on Maori ward

7:15 pm on 30 April 2012

For the next month Nelson City ratepayers will be voting on whether their elected body should include a Maori ward.

Last November Nelson City council became the first unitary authority in New Zealand to vote in favour of a Maori ward.

But some residents who were against the idea organised a petition calling for the council to conduct a poll on the issue.

Another poll, on whether the Nelson City and Tasman District councils should amalgamate, has only just been completed.

Acting chief executive of Nelson City council Richard Johnson says if the amalgamation proposal had been accepted the Maori ward poll would not have been needed.

But he says because the amalgamation proposal was rejected, voting papers have been sent out to registered electors for the Maori ward poll.

Voting closes on Saturday April 28.