Māori Ward Changes Impact Hauraki and Thames Coromandel District Councils

Written by on April 5, 2024

At a meeting of the Hauraki and Thames Coromandel District Council’s on 26 and 31 October respectively, both of our local Council’s voted in favour of the establishment of Māori wards in each of their respective Districts. This decision was in the case of the two councils, made by a vote of the council and as such will be impacted by the decision of the new coalition government to require a referendum of ratepayers to confirm support for the Māori wards.

The implication of yesterday’s announcement by Local Government Minister Simeon Brown, will mean councils that have resolved to include Māori wards without holding a poll of voters can do one of two things:
• Rescind the earlier decision to establish Māori wards or resolve to disestablish Māori wards; or
• Hold a binding poll of electors with the 2025 local elections.

This will of course be subject to the new legislation being passed and enacted which is expected to happen by late July 2024.

For both local Council’s a decision will need to be made soon as to which option they will follow. If the decision is to continue with Māori is to continue with the earlier decision to have Māori wards, then it will require a referendum to be held with the 2025 local body elections.

Reader's opinions
  1. Buddy Mikaere 850F Manaia Rd (SH25), Manaia, Coromandel   On   April 20, 2024 at 2:37 pm

    Well done to our two Councils for having the courage to provide for a Maori voice in their forums. With the addition of a Maori perspective it will mean that Council decisions are more soundly based and will take into account the views of the “whole” of our community. The Maori ward issue may well get defeated at a referendum but I think the momentum is established and it is just a matter of being patient as our communities evolve towards a different way of thinking. You have to wonder though, how come the establishment of any other ward isnt subject to a referendum?

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