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Horizons Regional Council asking whether to establish Maori representation

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Horizons Regional Council is asking our communities whether Council should have Māori representation through a short survey.

Horizons Chair Rachel Keedwell says that due to a recent law change, Council has the opportunity to consider whether to establish Māori constituencies in time for the 2022 local elections. "Council hasn’t yet reached a position or made a decision, however we need to do so by 21 May," says Cr Keedwell.

"To help us gauge an appetite, we have sent out a short survey to those enrolled on the Māori electoral roll as they’re the most affected. This survey is also available online for anyone to complete before 8am Monday 10 May.

Horizons Regional Council is currently made up of 12 councillors covering six constituencies; two for Horowhenua, two for Manawatū-Rangitikei, four for Palmerston North, one for Ruapehu, one for Tararua and two for Whanganui.

The number of Māori constituencies Horizons could have is set out in legislation. In the Manawatū-Whanganui Region, it is likely there would be two Māori councillors. They could represent one Māori constituency each or both could represent a single Māori constituency that covers the whole region. "If Council choose to progress with establishing Māori constituencies, voters enrolled on the Māori electoral roll vote would vote in a Māori constituency and voters on the general roll would continue to vote in their general constituency.

"As no one can be enrolled on both rolls at the same time, no one gets to vote in more than one constituency.

"A decision to establish Māori constituencies would apply for both 2022 and 2025 local elections at a minimum. Council would engage with our communities again before making any recommendations through a formal consultation process. "If, based on feedback through the survey, Council decides not to establish Māori constituencies for the 2022 local elections, Council could still consider whether to make changes for the 2025 local election."

The online survey and further information including frequently asked questions are available online at https://haveyoursay.horizons.govt.nz

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