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Ed Sheeran

Laws keen to torpedo Māori role

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Otago regional councillor and former Whanganui mayor Michael Laws doesn't want to share a seat on council committees with Māori representatives.

He's describing a proposal to appoint two iwi representatives to the policy committee as privileged and racist.

He says the recommendation from council staff an extraordinary assault upon democracy.

Mr Laws says the council has only just received a secret report that outlines potential illegalities in the way its resource consent processes privilege three groups - local iwi, DOC and Fish and Game - and now, it wants to extend that privilege to just one of those groups.

He says its a backdoor way of getting not Māori wards, but iwi-only wards.

Councils around the country are struggling with how to adress Māori representation, as efforts to create Māori wards or seats are likely to be overturned by referenda.


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