Uphold Democracy in New Zealand, Let the people vote on Maori Wards.

Uphold Democracy in New Zealand, Let the people vote on Maori Wards.

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Rawiri Smith started this petition to Jacinda Ardern and

Have you heard the news? Yesterday, Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced that the Government will be moving under urgency to change the law to stop people having their say on Māori wards for local government. 

According to Stuff:

At present the wards can be overturned in public polls triggered by petitions supported by 5 per cent of council voters.

Mahuta proposes to have the new legislation through Parliament by February 21 to ensure that the nine councils around the country that were faced with holding a poll, including New Plymouth, will not need to.

Make no mistake: this will entrench left-wing (high rates) majorities on our local councils.

Labour’s plan is a constitutional and electoral outrage. They’re ramming a law change through Parliament under urgency to cancel legally triggered referenda because they think people will vote the wrong way.

In 22 out of 24 referenda, the public has voted against introducing Māori wards – that’s why Labour wants to retrospectively change the rules!

More Māori wards will mean more Labour-friendly councillors. In this US, the gaming of electoral boundaries is known as “gerrymandering” a cynical manipulation of electoral processes that needs to be called out.

Unlike for Parliamentary seats, there are no rules in local government to ensure that wards are of roughly equal size. That means that Māori wards can (and will) be used to screw the scrum in Labour’s favour around council chambers around the country.

We need to fight back!

If anything, local councils need more democratic accountability – not removing the one area of direct democracy.  

What we need to have is it to be left the same so that the people of Aotearoa have their say and democracy is upheld. 

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