Maori voice an obligation
|05 Dec 2014 12:48 PM|
Maori Party MP Marama Fox says creating Maori seats on councils is a way to restore some rangatiratanga to Maori.
In response to questions from the new MP, Local Government Minister Paula Bennett has said she has no plans to make changes to the current settings where councils decide every six years on whether to have separate Maori representation.
Mrs Fox says that system isn’t working.
She says the Waitangi Tribunal finding in the Te Paparahi o Te Raki report that rangatira who signed the Treaty of Waitangi had no intention of giving up their sovereignty highlights the need for change.
"We need to look at better representation in councils and I know the debate goes 'people should get there on their merits' but actually there is a moral obligation in this country to represent the voice of Maori, given the way in which that voice has been stripped away from Maori over the last 175 years," Mrs Fox says.
Meanwhile, the Local Government Commission has factored Maori representation into its plan for a Greater Wellington that would merge nine councils up to Kapiti and Masterton.
It’s proposing a Maori Board and a Natural Resources Management Committee, which would have a joint membership of council and iwi representatives and advise council on environmental and resource management issues, regional planning, and treaty settlement matters.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH MARAMA FOX CLICK ON THE LINK