Maori wards undemocratic

The 2013 Maori Electoral Option has now closed. It gave New Zealanders of Maori descent the opportunity to choose whether they want to be on the Maori electoral roll or the general electoral roll when they vote in the next two general elections. That means that those Maori are stuck on that roll for that time.

If Maori wards are introduced in any council or local authority, it is compulsory for those Maori on the Maori electorate roll to vote for a candidate in that ward. I do not believe that this is democratic for Maori. I am sorry if Alan Armstrong (Letters, January 3), who seems to me like he wants to return to the dark ages, disagrees. Nowhere does Parliament insist that Maori vote for Maori. They have an electoral choice in a general election.

My letter was intended to be informative, not controversial. My argument was not that wards are undemocratic but that Maori wards in the context of the electoral rules referred to in my letter are undemocratic for some Maori, not to mention the electorate at large, in the long run.

I still believe that both Maori and non-Maori should think carefully when taking part in a referendum on a Maori ward and also consider how much representation iwi already have on councils and local authorities without (also undemocratic) a compulsory in effect non-elected seat.
R E Stephens
Mount Maunganui


Retrograde step in recycling

My letter from my waste collection company puzzles me as to how the changes to glass recycling and new bins for better communities initiative is going to produce an increase in the amount of recyclable glass collected. In my view, this is a retrograde step when the recyclable glass currently is so easy to dispose of with the newspaper and plastic.

The 0800 number has received a number of responses against the proposal that have apparently fallen on deaf ears.

I can foresee bottles smashed in gutters and thrown in roadside business' gardens as happened before when glass recycle bins were stationed in the 13th Avenue corner of what used to be the Foodtown car park.

It was a disgrace with smashed bottles scattered around the Bin and derelict cartons containing smashed bottles stacked on top of each other, old TVs and car tyres etc. The question is, are we going to get a reduction on bin fees for saving the cost of sorting the glass and transporting it to the bins? I thought Cameron Rd had enough congestion without adding to it.
W D Humphrey
Tauranga South