1,000 signatures reached
To: Māori Affairs Select Committee, Parliament
Secure the Māori seats
Give the Māori seats the same level of protection as every other seat in Parliament.
The Māori seats are an integral part of our current Parliamentary system. We support the Electoral Entrenchment of Maori Seats Amendment Bill as they should be treated in the same way as other seats.
Why is this important?
Most New Zealanders value equality, and the way we relate to each other, across cultural differences and other differences in background. We cherish values such as respect, and we speak often about honouring the history and cultures that shape us. Many New Zealanders overseas talk about these values and practices as reasons they’re proud of the country they come from.
But our laws and politics don’t always live up to these values.
In our Parliament at the moment, the seven seats reserved for MPs to represent Māori are not treated in the same way as the general seats.
To abolish a Māori seat you only need a simple majority in the House (51%), whereas to abolish a General seat it takes a 75% majority. Māori seats are more precarious and treated differently from other seats.
And there’s no reason for this. The Electoral Entrenchment of Maori Seats Amendment Bill introduced by MP Rino Tirikatene will secure (or entrench) the Māori seats to make sure the Maori seats get the same protections as General seats.
There are currently seven Māori electorates and 64 general electorates. Each one represents a seat in Parliament. The Māori seats are a way of making sure the interests of Māori are represented.
If you choose to go on the Māori Roll, you will vote for someone in one of the seven Māori electorates. If an MP wins a Māori seat, they are mandated to advocate for Māori.
This can allow Māori to advocate for their language, values, beliefs and culture, and to enable Māori to do things in a way that may be different to the dominant Pākehā way of doing things.
This advocacy can ensure Te Tiriti o Waitangi is honoured in everything we do, or that Māori language and history is celebrated and taught in communities and schools.
This advocacy can help make sure government funding goes toward Māori-led solutions to poverty, homelessness and sick rivers, as well as government and business-led ones.
By securing the Māori seats we will guarantee there are people in Parliament who offer a Māori voice, not just a voice of the general population.
Entrenching the seats will also remove the chance of some politicians using the Māori seats as a political football when they want media attention.
We have the chance right now to make sure the cultural and political diversity of our country is protected. Sign now to show the politicians considering the Bill your support.
Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi.
With your contribution and my contribution, our community will flourish.
Bill to entrench the Māori seats passes first hurdle, NZ Herald, 5 Sep 2018 https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12119877
Harmony and the case for Māori wards, Stuff, 11 May 2018 https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/103750284/harmony-and-the-case-for-mori-wards
How it will be delivered
Your signature will be delivered together with others as a joint submission to the Māori Affairs Committee in support of the Electoral (Entrenchment of Māori Seats) Amendment Bill.