In reply to Murray Reid from Tuakau (Letters, May 12), Maori being well represented in national politics is not evidence against Māori wards because the systems for national and local elections are quite different. Don Brash (Letters, May 4) makes the same mistake.
National elections are fair to Maori. Local elections are not fair to Māori, and national statistics show this.
Murray says that Māori are at fault in local politics by choosing not to be involved. That is unfair. The local election system is biased, and only the Pakeha majority, not Māori, can change it.
Murray is wary of Māori councillors having a single focus. Pākehā councillors already illustrate that. Three of them chose to ignore their Māori constituents by opposing Māori wards.
So we already have a problem of councillors not representing their constituents fairly. Māori communities have a different point of view. It is not being fairly represented and it should be.
My attendance in the early hours of Tuesday at Tauranga Hospital revealed a fabulous facility where a professional service was delivered from arrival to departure by reception and medical staff.
In my opinion, Tauranga citizens are indeed privileged to have such facility, servants and service, so readily available when needed.
People eligible for the Māori roll are currently being given the chance to choose to stay there or opt for the general roll. Nationally more than 2000 have left the Māori roll just one month into the Māori Election Option process.
The provisional number of people in Western Bay of Plenty District at the 2017 census was 49,000 of which 7840 (16 per cent) were Maori. The Electoral Commission reports that for WBOP District there are 33,409 on the general roll and 3166 on the Māori roll giving a total of 36,575 enrolled voters. Only 8.6 per cent of those enrolled are on the Māori roll.
This means that only about half of enrolled Māori voters are on the Māori roll. If WBOP District follows the national trend the number will be decreasing.
This is one more reason why we should not have Māori wards.