The claim that Maori are trying to gain some extra advantage by having Maori electoral wards is misleading. The justification for Maori wards is simply fairness.
In sport, fairness is important, so competitions for men and women are separate. An equal competition would be unfair to women.
In council elections non-Maori voters outnumber Maori by about four to one, which is unfair to Maori candidates because non-Maori voters mostly vote for non-Maori candidates. This is not racism. It is just familiarity. So Maori candidates have not been elected, and the Maori section of our bicultural community does not participate in council decisions. They are excluded.
Maori wards are a way of including the Maori community. They are not separatism, divisive, or undemocratic. They are inclusive. The present system favours non-Maori candidates.
Maori wards do not give Maori candidates any extra advantage. They remove the unfair advantage that non-Maori candidates have under the present system. Councillors who voted for Maori wards appreciate the difference between equality and fairness, and voted for fairness.
P Dey, Welcome Bay.