I'm astounded that in 2017 the Western Bay of Plenty District Council is even contemplating voting for Maori wards (page 3, The Weekend Sun, November 24).
I agree with Kaimai councillor Margaret Murray-Benge that if Maori wards were voted in it would be nothing short of apartheid.
Mayor Garry Webber is saying that the district's constituency is made up of 11 iwi and 74 hapu, one of the highest ratios in NZ.
Can he please tell me then why the same ratio of Maori have not represented themselves, without having to be ‘spoon-fed' once again?
If anyone, of any race, creed or colour, wishes to be elected as a councillor or MP then we already have a perfectly fair system in place, based on merit, not on gratuitous white liberal pampering. Of course it also requires interest and energy.
I believe that one of the main reasons that some Maori haven't advanced into modern society is not their fault. It's the fault of progressive white people who are patronising them and causing complacency and stagnation. And I reckon most Maori think the same.
If only five per cent vote for Maori wards then there's a real chance they'll be introduced and that's not democratic or fair in my book.
P Kelly, Te Puna (Abridged).