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New Parliament demonstrates that Maori seats should go

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Pro-democracy lobby group Democracy Action believes the record number of Māori MPs in the next Parliament confirms what many have long known, the dedicated Māori seats should go.

Democracy Action spokesperson, Lee Short, said: "We welcome and congratulate the Maori MPs on their success at the election. It is confirmation that Māori candidates can and do win general seats or earn high party list rankings".

Māori seats were originally created to guarantee representation for Māori in Parliament. "That justification is not valid in modern multicultural New Zealand. Their time has clearly passed. Indeed, the 1986 Royal Commission on the electoral system recommended the abolition of the Maori seats if MMP was adopted".

"We reject the Māori Council’s call that the result they called ‘a landslide not only for Labour but for Māori’ justifies a push for ten Māori seats at the next election. We should be moving to get rid of electoral separatism, not increasing it".

"Democracy Action would prefer Parliament to abolish the seats directly through legislation, but there continues to be a lack of political will. Instead, there should be a binding referendum at the 2023 election on the future of the Māori seats where all New Zealanders, not just Māori, can have their say", said Mr Short.

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