Māori wards work in a similar way to Māori seats in the General Election. Creating Māori wards as part of the Napier City Council make up would see two seats specifically in place to represent Māori voice and interests based on the electoral formula.
Those on the Māori voting roll will be able to elect a representative in those wards. Any ward system means ward councillors work for the City as a whole, while also representing the interests of their ward.
Mayor Kirsten Wise wants to make sure everyone in Napier has plenty of time and opportunity to find out for themselves what Māori wards are and how they work ahead of the Council decision.
The primary aim of Māori wards is to ensure Māori are well represented in local government decision making.
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There are currently four wards in Napier: Ahuriri, Onekawa-Tamatea, Nelson Park and Taradale. People are only able to vote for candidates in their ward and for the Mayor
If Māori wards are established in Napier, those on the Māori electoral role will be able to vote for candidates in the Māori wards. Whether those wards are geographical or categorised in another way would be worked out as part of a full review of representation ahead of the 2025 local government elections. This review looks at the whole council make-up again including whether there are wards, the number of councillors and how Māori wards could be included.
Much like central government elections, voters on the Māori role will only be able to vote for candidates running in Māori wards, while those on the general role will only be able to vote for general role candidates.
Mayor Kirsten Wise knows it's crucial to make sure the community has all the information it needs to give informed feedback about how it's represented at local government level.
"Although the decision sits with us, we work on behalf of our community so before we make a call we want our residents to share their views with us" Mayor Wise says.