11 Jun 2012

Former MP opposes Maori council seats

10:28 pm on 11 June 2012

Former National MP Sandra Goudie is calling for Waikato ratepayers to oppose two Maori seats that the regional council is introducing at next year's election.

At the weekend Ms Goudie published a form in the Waikato Times which she hopes 5%, or about 1400 ratepayers, will sign - triggering a poll on the seats.

She says Maori are already able to run for council and the new Maori constituencies will create unnecessary cost.

Ms Goudie says race-based seats are counter productive to the requirement for councillors to represent the community as a whole.

The Waikato Regional Council says the deadline to call for a poll on the introduction of the Maori seats expired in February.

But it says people can still call for a poll on whether to continue with Maori seats at the 2016 and 2019 council elections.