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Ed Sheeran

Tauranga commissioners uphold Maori ward choice

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Tauranga City Council commissioners have unanimously voted to establish a Māori ward.

It confirms the decision of the former council to support a Māori ward, and it’s a poke in the eye for the 5000 people who signed a petition that would have triggered a binding referendum under legislation which was repealed last month.

The Taxpayers Union lobby group says the decision was undemocratic and breaches the convention that commissioners should run the council in a caretaker mode.

But Tauranga kaumātua Buddy Mikaere told yesterday’s meeting claims the move would be undemocratic was laughable, as the commissioners were using a process created by a democratically elected Government.

He says tangata whenua supported the establishment of a Māori ward.

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