Council petition exceeds 2300 signatures

Te Puke councillor Mike Lally is pleased a petition to force a public poll on Maori wards in the Western Bay of Plenty has exceed the number of signatures required. File photo.

Electors in the Western Bay of Plenty look set to have their say on whether Maori wards should be introduced on the district council, as petitioners exceed the minimum number of required signatures to force a district-wide vote.

Te Puke councillor Mike Lally has been one of a small group of volunteers petitioning members of the public to call for a vote, after councillors voted 9-3 in favour of establishing Maori wards at a meeting on November 21, 2017.

He says he and his fellow petitioners are pleased with the progress they’re making.

“We need 1708, but we’re targeting 3000. There are a lot of sheets out at the moment we haven’t got back yet, but we have until February 21 to hand in the petition.

“We’ll be at the Te Puke A&P show on February 10, and I’m doing presentations at a couple of rest homes too.”

Katikati resident Christina Humphreys is one of the volunteers working to get signatures in her part of the district.

She says it was slow-going to start with, as people were apprehensive about what they were signing.

“The council hadn’t really told anyone about the vote, so people didn’t know what was going on. It was up to us to let them know. We’ve been door-knocking and doing mail drops, and going into the retirement villages here.”

She says they’ve gathered around 800-900 signatures from Katikati alone – and they’ve only been called ‘racist’ twice.

“This is about democracy. Maori are quite capable of standing and being elected on their own merits. All Maori wards do is create more divisiveness and separatism, which we hate.”

Mike says the signatures on the petitions will be checked against the electoral roll to make sure all signatories are eligible to vote.

“What’s interesting is that a lot of Maori have signed it,” he adds.

“I rang the people who did the poll down in New Plymouth, and they said they found exactly the same down there – many Maori didn’t want separate wards. We would never have found this out until we did this petition and sat on the street to find out what people really think.”

He believes some of the councillors who initially voted ‘yes’ to Maori wards may have reservations about their decision.

“Now it will be for the people to have a say, whether they want Maori wards or not. Based on what we’ve seen, it’s not looking good for the council.”

A demand for a public poll must be received by February 21, and a poll held by May 21.

If there is no demand for a poll, the council’s decision is final.

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Cr Lally talks but doesn't answer questions.

Posted on 28-01-2018 15:24 | By waxing

I’m pleased to see that Cr Lally is talking again about the issue. Could he please though answer the question that has been put twice to him: how does he consult with Maori in order to do his job as a WBOPDC Councillor and who (if any) does he consult with (individuals and/or organisations)? If he doesn’t, then not only is he in breach of his legislative obligations, but how can he ever talk about democracy when it appears his version only encompasses Pakeha?

Your all forgetting the treaty

Posted on 25-01-2018 10:15 | By R. Bell

Maori have a treaty bound right to representation. Tino Rangatiratanga and kawanatanga, remember!! No other ethnic group has that right. In that respect Maori are special. Here’s the thing, the more you drive the wedge, the more likely it is that Maori will engage in more sympathetic arrangements with offshore enterprises. Like the Chinese. Maildrop, Maori get no more votes than any other. FACT. Robin Bell.

Off again Bell

Posted on 24-01-2018 19:22 | By maildrop

One man one vote. Everyone gets their say but not everyone gets their way. That’s democracy. Tough to take when your views are not necessarily shared or acted on. But here’s the thing - there are many people of all races and backgrounds and different viewpoints that are not represented in government or Councils. You’re not special.

Bell still unaware that other minorities exist!

Posted on 24-01-2018 12:42 | By Captain Sensible

OMG Bell is claiming that by not allowing race based privileges for maori, it is discriminatory!! When a race has become so used to race based privileges and special rights that are denied to everyone else, equality is extremely hard to take!

If the public poll is ill informed,

Posted on 24-01-2018 08:15 | By R. Bell

the result is a foregone conclusion. The notion that iwi based Maori can possibly be elected on the general roll is utter nonsense. Democracy is therefor denied, by those who claim to be champions of democracy. Enforced political assimilation can only lead to more division and only satisfies those who desire such division. Leaving Maori yet again subject to discrimination. Robin Bell.

Increase diversity not seperatism

Posted on 24-01-2018 07:19 | By 1genx

If WBOPDC changed to a district wide voting system we would likely see more diversity on Council.

Have to agree.!

Posted on 23-01-2018 21:16 | By The Caveman

NZ is ONE country, which now has DOZENS of different ethnic groups. WHY should ONE so called ethnic group (that is now MORE European than they will admit - be claiming the "we were here before you" get ANYTHING more than the rest of the population???


Posted on 23-01-2018 20:05 | By Merlin

Definitely No to seperatism if they have concerns re their culture or traditions they can make submissions the same as everyone else has to.

Most excellant folks

Posted on 23-01-2018 15:57 | By MISS ADVENTURE

So they should have their say and it indeed needs to be binding for sure. This race based separatist type stuff needs to be sorted and dealt to once and for all. There is no place in NZ for racism of this or any nature.

Good work

Posted on 23-01-2018 15:44 | By Captain Sensible

Good work! Stop this rampant undemocratic racism that discriminates against 85% of Kiwis.

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