Vote goes against Maori wards
Results of a binding poll show Western Bay electors have voted against Ma¯ ori representation around the Council table.
In November 2017, the majority of councillors ( 9 for, 3 against) voted to establish one or more Ma¯ ori wards as part of a six- yearly representation review that legally requires Council to consider Ma¯ ori representation.
However an independent petition from over 5 per cent of Western Bay District electors who opposed themove was handed to Council in February
2018, requiring a poll.
As a result, a poll, which involved voting papers sent to all eligible electors on both the General and Maori Parliamentary Electoral Rolls, opened on April 27 and closed at midday on Saturday, May 19.
The results show electors do not want Maori wards in the Western Bay. Voter turnout was around 40 per cent of eligible electors.
21.63 per cent of electors who voted were for Maori wards.
78.08 per cent of electors who voted were against Maori wards.
Mayor Garry Webber says he accepts the result of the poll.
“In announcing its decision in November last year Council acknowledged that not everyone would agree.
“We were also clear that due process, which included the call for a poll, would be followed and the result of that process respected.
“Today’s result, which is binding for the 2019 and 2022 elections, is clear so it’s time for Council to move on with the rest of the representation review.”
The next phase of the representation review focuses on whether current representation arrangements — Mayor, 11 Councillors, three wards, five community boards and 20 community board members— provides for fair and effective representation, or if changes can be made to improve the District’s representation.
Council is considering feedback and will go back to the community with an initial proposal for future representation arrangements in the second half of 2018.
Today’s result, which is binding for the 2019 and 2022 elections, is clear so it’s time for Council to move on with the rest of the representation review.’
MAYOR GARRY WEBBER