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Ed Sheeran

Hobson's Pledge tactics from Trump playbook
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Māori Party MP Debbie Ngarewa-Packer is comparing lobby group Hobson’s Pledge to racist supporters of American president Donald Trump.

The group has been delivering flyers in South Taranaki to whip up opposition to the council’s plans for a Māori ward.

Ms Ngarewa Packer says it’s an attempt to continue white privilege because, like Trump supporters, Hobson’s Pledge members seem threatened by any challenge by any threat to their monocultural view of the world.

The attempt to gain support for a petition that would trigger a binding referendum on the Māori seat plan has also drawn a response from the Taranaki Mayoral Forum.

The region’s three mayors and the chair of the Taranaki Regional Council asking Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta to amend the Local Government Act to remove the provision for binding referenda.

“We are deeply concerned that the current legislation represents a barrier to progress in Aotearoa’s cultural evolution,” their letter says.

“The current legislation treats the creation of Māori ward(s) differently to the creation of geographic wards and in our view is inherently unjust and out of step with contemporary New Zealand values.”

New Plymouth District Council also plans to introduce a ward in time for next year’s election.

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