New Zealand News

WEAll Submission on Māori Wards

Published on May 29, 2024

The Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll) Aotearoa today submitted that it strongly opposes the intent of the Local Government (Electoral Legislation and Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill (Amendment Bill). We believe it breaches Te Tiriti. If passed, this Bill will undo collective progress made to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the better local decision making progressed through Māori wards.

Read our submission here Māori Wards submission – WEAll – 2024

As a Te Tiriti o Waitangi led organisation, the Wellbeing Economy Alliance Aotearoa is committed to maintaining and strengthening our collective progress to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Māori Wards are effective. They are an important contribution to addressing the often unintended cultural bias which can present as structural racism in our governing systems and improved council relations with Māori constituents. 

Local Government must uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations. The Local Government Act 2002 reflects the Crown’s responsibility to ‘take appropriate account of the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and to maintain and improve opportunities for Māori to contribute to local government decision-making processes’. Māori Wards are an important way for Māori to be involved in decision making about their whenua and embody the Treaty principle of partnership. Their input and world view is vital to sustainable outcomes for our environment and our communities. When Māori do well, we all do well. Māori wards just help make this a reality.

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