We need a council that reflects the community
I love our peaceful democracy. We only need to look around the world to see the grim fate of failed democracies. Of course, these are days of relative prosperity and we should be alert to the cracks that could be the flash points for strife.
Locally our democracy is failing to deliver a council that reflects our community.
VW Ballance pointed out that we can all stand and vote equally but there is a weakness in his solution that, "Maori need to field suitable candidates ... and Maori need to vote for them".
• Premium - Letters: OK boomer, Chloe Swarbrick, housing market, transport and James Shaw
• Premium - Letters: Casting vote crucial
• Letters: Let's get creationism facts
• Premium - Letters: Bring back the death penalty
There were good Maori candidates, but if you are a third of the population, that support alone won't get you over the line. I don't think it is good enough to be all right with all white, it means a disenfranchised minority.
We have had Maori seats in Parliament for 152 years. Along with MMP, this has produced one of the most representative parliaments in the world - to the great benefit of our society.
So let us continue a civilised debate locally until we solve the very real problem that our council is not reflective of our community. I can't see how it can threaten anyone to have a guarantee of Maori representation reflecting their important status and proportionality in the community.
Which of the Whanganui District Council councillors will accept the mayor's patronage and sit as chair of one of the council committees? Which of the councillors is prepared to accept the pay, privilege and power that goes with the position?
Which of the chosen councillors would then accept the mayor's wish for iwi representation, with full speaking and voting rights, on their committee?
Those councillors who do will have to explain to the people of Whanganui what system of governance would then exist here. Because in accepting the mayor's wish, they would be forsaking the very basic principles of democracy. Democracy does not come with optional extras such as those proposed by the mayor.
Wallace's big knockout at Night of Assassins
Body recovered from Whangaehu River in Mangamahu
In conclusion, the mayor should be ashamed that he would even think of placing the councillors in such a position. Asking them to forsake the very system under which they were elected in return for the baubles of office.
Here we go again. Angela Stratton (November 8) thinks it would be wonderful if only we're allowed to know about all the people who were here before the Maori. What she is actually saying is, "No, no, no, there is no way brown people found New Zealand before white people did". This is a subtle form of white supremacy.
And like many with this prejudice, she is unaware of it and it's quite harmless. But when taken into the governmental situation, as in colonial times here in Aotearoa NZ, such attitudes become dangerous to the native peoples. And modern statistics confirm this.
GUIDELINES The Chronicle welcomes letters from readers. Please note the following: •Letters should be kept to 350 words and must not be abusive.
•Include your name, address and daytime phone number - for verification purposes, not for publication. Noms de plume are not accepted.
•The editor reserves the right to edit, amend or reject any letter.
•The views expressed are not those of the Chronicle or its staff.
•Letters may be published in other NZME publications.
Send your letters by email to; email@example.com Or mail them to: Editor, Whanganui Chronicle, 100 Guyton St, Whanganui 4500.