Topics: Elections, Politics

The fight for a Māori voice

By Ripeka Timutimu, Rukuwai Tipene-Allen

Palmerston North City Mayor Grant Smith is standing by his decision to get Māori wards on council. Smith told Maori Televisions program Native Affairs that it was better to have Māori at the table, than not. 

Last October Palmerston North City Council voted to include Māori wards in the next local body election in 2019, but that action was stopped in its tracks by local Palmerston North man, Don Esslemont. He presented a 4000 strong petition to the council which triggered a citizens initiated referendum on the issue

Palmerston North City Mayor says it is time Māori have a seat at the council table. 

The referendum will be held on May 19th, and the decision by the council will be binding.

The full story will air tomorrow on Native Affairs, 8pm on Māori Television.