Topic: Politics

Waipa mayor says no Māori voice on Council

By Kawekōrero, Kayne Ngātokowhā Peters
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Mayor of the Waipa District says better Māori representation is needed at council level.

This comes after eight of the 13 councilors voted against creating Māori ward seats.

Mayor Jim Mylchreest joined Māori TV’s Kawekōrero Reporters to explain why he was one of the five who voted for Māori ward seats.

“Despite the fact that we have more than 6000 plus Māori living in Waipa district, they’re still a minority,” Mayor Mylchreest said.

“So if you’re just relying on a First Past The Post system it doesn’t fairly represent the community make up.”

The Waipa district has a population of around 46,000 and Māori make up more than 6000 of that. But Mayor Jim Mylchreest doesn’t feel Māori views are adequately represented at the council level.

“That’s why I voted in favour of a Māori ward. And this is just the problem that we have,” Mayor Mylchreest said.

“Obviously, now I have to support the Council decision.”

“The only way to address it is through legislative changes. Because if you rely on the polls system then it’s never going to change.”