The Government has given councils until May 21 to adopt Maori seats if they wish them to be in place for the October 2022 local body elections.
So, in that context, on Wednesday (Feb 24) the Regional Council again takes up the issue of dedicated Maori seats. Here are the options being considered:
- Adopt Maori seats outright in time for the 2022 election,
- Conduct a high-speed ‘consultation’ process meant to inform a May Council decision on how to proceed, or,
- Let stand the existing HBRC decision (taken last November 18), which calls for a non-binding poll on the issue at the October 2022 election.
Here’s the Council’s current position:
Instructs the Chief Executive to give notice to the Electoral Officer that a Poll on the question of whether the region should be divided into 1 or more Māori constituencies is to be held at the next election on 8 October 2022, subject to legislative change in the interim; to be preceded by robust engagement and consultation.
If Maori wards are created, only those on the Maori roll could vote for those candidates.