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Plan to deny citizens their democratic right - Democracy Action

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Pro-democracy lobby group Democracy Action says Nelson City Council has recognised the overwhelming public opposition to a Maori ward and has rightly decided to shelve the idea. However, their broader campaign to change the law regarding a referendum after a Maori ward is approved must be opposed.

The organisation’s spokesperson, Lee Short says: "Race-based seats have no place in a modern democracy. We believe that all New Zealanders should be equal before the law."

"We are opposed to the Nelson Council’s campaign to remove the legislation which allows a binding referendum on a Maori ward if 5% of voters sign a petition. Time and time again communities around the country have voted against the establishment Maori wards, making it clear they do not want our country to be riven by racial division."

"The people of Nelson voted against a Maori ward in 2012. They would have done so again in 2020. The Council needs to get the message and return to a focus on its core business," says Mr Short.

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