Northlanders wanting to make submissions on Local Electoral Act changes around communities being able to demand a poll on their councils' Māori wards decisions - currently being debated in Parliament - have until 5pm today to do so.
The Government's Māori Affairs Committee is calling for submissions on the Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill being discussed in the house
This bill seeks to amend the Local Electoral Act 2001 (LEA) to improve Māori representation in local government.
It aims to do this by removing provisions in the Act that allow for the use of binding polls in the decision to establish Māori wards or constituencies. It would also remove the use of binding polls in decisions about whether a local district or region should be divided into multiple Māori wards or constituencies
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The bill would set out a transitional period to give local authorities the opportunity to make or revoke resolutions about these polls, their outcomes, and any decisions to hold them, in time for the 2022 local elections. This transitional period would end on Friday, 21 May 2021.
Three Northland councils recently decided to bring in Māori seats – Northland Regional Council along with Whangārei and Kaipara District Councils. More than 14,000 Northlanders have since signed petitions demanding a poll on those council decisions.Changes to the LEA would mean these poll demands are no longer valid.
The submission document can be found here: