Council votes in favour of the Ngā Tapuae o Matangi Māori Ward

In Manawatū District Council’s meeting today, Elected Members discussed and voted to formally set their views on Central Government’s proposed Local Government (Electoral Legislation and Māori Wards and Constituencies) Amendment Bill.

This bill brings Māori Wards into question and specifically to the Manawatū District, the Ngā Tapuae o Matangi Māori Ward which was previously established in August 2021.

While the report presented was drafted by CEO Shayne Harris, there were a number of people seated in the public gallery including three public representatives that spoke to Council in favour of continuing to hold a Maorī Ward seat.

The motion that council 'does not support the disestablishment of the Ngā Tapuae o Matangi Māori Ward' passed with a with a vote of 11-1.

Mayor Helen Worboys says, “today was an important day for our District and our community.  Elected members have reaffirmed their commitment to an ongoing, positive, shared future.”

Also passed in today’s meeting was the motion that MDC does not support Central Government mandating of binding referenda, and Council voted in favour of a making a submission on the Bill once opened for submissions.

Council has taken a firm stance in helping to hold a voice in previous conversations at a Central Government level including Three Waters and earthquake prone building legislation.  This upcoming submission, which will be drafted by Council Officers and signed off by Elected Members, will continue to cement MDC’s active involvement in high level, influential conversations while representing the growth as a result of Māori Wards and it’s constituent.

Multiple Elected Members shared the sentiment that over the last number of years of Cr. Bell representing the Ngā Tapuae o Matangi Māori Ward, the conversations and engagement from a Maorī representation, particularly throughout the recent Long-term Plan engagement, has increase with a number of submissions made by individuals, organisations and maraes.

Mayor Worboys encouraged the District “to embrace this important chapter in our shared future”.