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Source: Taxpayers Union

18 MARCH 2021FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECouncillors across the country should join those in Whangarei revisiting the decision to introduce Māori wards for the 2022 elections, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union. Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “The nine councils that chose to establish Māori wards for 2022 did so with the reasonable expectation that the decision would be subject to a binding referendum. Now that the Government has disabled the petitions to initiate referenda, those decisions should be revisited.” “Councillors don’t need to go so far as abandoning Māori wards – they can simply agree to initiate a referendum themselves, and commit to honouring its result. This compromise is more likely to achieve support across the council table than scrapping the whole proposal.” “The legislation to disable Māori ward petitions was a Wellington-driven push to safeguard left-leaning majorities on local councils. Councillors shouldn’t abandon local democracy to appease the current Labour Party Minister for Local Government.”