Council votes in favour of the establishment of a Māori Ward

Published on May 19, 2021

Have your say on the Maori Ward.

Councillors voted unanimously to support the establishment of a Māori Ward, which will take effect for the 2022 and 2025 elections.  

By way of survey, the Horowhenua community recently had their say on whether or not its Council should proceed with establishing a Māori Ward in Horowhenua. The survey attracted 227 responses; the majority (178) indicated they were in support of establishing a Māori Ward. Members of the public were invited to speak at the May 19 Extraordinary meeting of Council and the response was universally in favour.

Our community had their say and it was overwhelmingly in favour of the establishment of a Māori Ward in Horowhenua says District Mayor Bernie Wanden.

“This decision is an important step in honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi and making the future of Horowhenua more democratic and inclusive for all voices of the district. The introduction of a Māori Ward is a historical moment for this Council, not only will it improve representation of Māori in Council decision making, it will assist us to improve our relationship with Māori, engage and communicate better, and ensure their voice is always heard.” Says Mayor Wanden.

Relevant information:

Wards are a way of dividing the district for elections to enable communities of interest to elect representatives.

Horowhenua is currently divided into 4 wards, Levin Ward, Kere Kere Ward, Waiopehu Ward and Miranui Ward.

The establishment of a Māori ward is one way Council may choose to have representation of a community of interest. Instead of grouping electors by geographic location like other wards, all electors who are on the Māori electoral roll will vote in the Māori ward.

If you are on the Māori Electoral Roll, you will also be able to vote for:

  • The Mayor
  • Any community boards (if you live in the appropriate area)
  • Horizons Regional Council

The only difference between voting for those on the Māori roll and the general roll is that those on the Māori roll vote for candidates standing for the Māori ward instead of the general ward. All other votes are the same.