Pe­ti­tion for Maori seats falls short

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

A poll for Maori rep­re­sen­ta­tion on the South Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil will not be held for the 2013 lo­cal coun­cil elec­tions.

Although a poll can still be pe­ti­tioned for the 2016 and 2019 elec­tions.

The com­mu­nity needed 745 sig­na­tures to pe­ti­tion for a poll on Maori rep­re­sen­ta­tion on the coun­cil, which if suc­cess­ful would have in­sti­tuted a Maori seat for the 2013 lo­cal elec­tions.

How­ever, 160 sig­na­tures were elim­i­nated due to be­ing in­valid.

South Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil’s elec­toral of­fi­cer Richard Fisk said 585 sig­na­tures were val­i­dated from that pe­ti­tion. There had to be at least 745 valid sig­na­tures re­ceived.

‘‘A poll for Maori rep­re­sen­ta­tion will not be held for the 2013 elec­tion, how­ever that is not to say that a poll will not be held at all. We have 585 val­i­dated sig­na­tures that can be added to, to make up the amount of 745 sig­na­tures to en­sure a poll will run that, if suc­cess­ful, would in­flu­ence the 2016 and 2019 elec­tions.’’

Among the rea­sons why there were not enough valid sig­na­tures was that peo­ple from out of the dis­trict signed the pe­ti­tion, or pro­vided in­com­plete ad­dresses or had sim­ply failed to en­rol on the Par­lia­men­tary Elec­toral Roll in time.

‘‘When fill­ing out a pe­ti­tion for a poll, the name and ad­dress that peo­ple pro­vide must match what is on the elec­toral roll.’’

Mr Fisk said that if a fur­ther 160 val­i­dated sig­na­tures were added to the 585 that the coun­cil had al­ready then the coun­cil would need to run a poll af­ter May 21, 2012 on Maori rep­re­sen­ta­tion for the 2016 and 2019 elec­tions.

‘‘ Coun­cil could still hold a re­view of its over­all rep­re­sen- tation ar­range­ments for the 2013 elec­tions. How­ever, that would not be a com­pul­sory re­quire­ment for coun­cil this time around. In any case, the hold­ing of a re­view would still not al­low for the set­ting up of sep­a­rate Maori rep­re­sen­ta­tion for 2013, ’’ Mr Fisk said.

The coun­cil has in­di­cated that if a poll was to go ahead it would cost ratepay­ers $30,000 to run it, how­ever if the coun­cil had de­cided to in­sti­tute Maori rep­re­sen­ta­tion when it come up for re­view last year, ratepay­ers would not have sus­tained the cost of a poll un­less it was pe­ti­tioned for.

Photo: SU­SAN­NAH CON­WAY

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