The Taranaki community is invited to have its say on whether the Taranaki Regional Council should create a Māori constituency for the 2022 local authority elections.
Consultation opened today.
The public is being asked the question 'Do you support the establishment of a Māori constituency for Taranaki Regional Council?'
That would mean people on the Māori electoral roll would vote for candidates standing in the Māori constituency. Voters on the general roll would continue to vote in the general constituencies.
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The council has stated its preferred option is to introduce a Māori constituency. However, councillors are wanting to hear the views of the public before they make a final decision.
A hearing will be held on April 6 where submitters can choose to present their views in person. Following the hearing, councillors will deliberate and vote on whether to proceed with a Māori constituency for the 2022 elections.
If the answer is yes, a representation review will be held to confirm how many constituencies there will be, their borders and how many councillors will represent each.
Council chairman David MacLeod says it is crucial Māori perspectives and cultural values are fairly represented and understood at the council decision-making table, alongside those of the wider community.
He says while the council has been open with its preferred option, councillors will consider all feedback with open minds.
■ For more information or to make a submission online visit www.trc.govt.nz/haveyoursay. Alternatively, call 0800 736 222 to request a paper version of the submission form. Submissions close Friday, March 19.