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To: Mayor Helen Worboys and Deputy Mayor Ford

Initiate Māori Wards for Manawatū!

Manawatu District Council met this morning, 20 May. The motion to revoke the previous decision was passed, and the follow up motion to establish a Maori ward now, in time for the 2022 election, was also passed, 8-3. Hooray!

On Thursday 6 May Manawatū District Council voted to defer the decision of the establishment of Māori wards until 2023. On 11 May a Notice of Motion was put forward by four councilors to revoke this decision. Two additional votes FOR a Māori ward are needed to revoke the 6 May decision.

Mayor Worboys & Deputy Mayor Ford have supported a Māori ward before, and have recently said in a press release that they would bring the deferral forward to 2022, at which time they would support a Māori ward. But this isn't soon enough, and those are promises that they may not be able to keep. Also, this proposal is not a real compromise, as it would still mean Māori won't get a seat at the table until 2025.

This petition is to urge them to change and reconsider their position at the next meeting on 20 May, and vote to establish Māori wards NOW.

Why is this important?

Fulfilling Te Tiriti o Waitangi responsibilities requires partnerships between Maori and the Crown. This forms the basis of the amendments to the Local Electoral Act 2001 which allows all local government authorities to establish Māori wards or constituencies to provide for Māori representation.

A Māori ward can give Mana Whenua a rightful seat at the council table as a Te Tiriti partner. The council that represents our entire district currently does not have any Māori sitting alongside them yet they continue to make decisions for Māori. This does not provide for tino rangatiratanga. We want fair representation for all people in the Manawatū District.

Matauranga Māori, Tikanga Māori - Māori knowledge, customs and perspectives are hugely beneficial in decision making when considering community care, sustainable land use, conservation practices, climate crisis responses, enterprise, economic development, tourism, and the protection of vulnerable members of society. Their inclusion at Council through Māori representatives is an expression of the active protection of taonga (Māori treasures) and leads to better kawanatanga or good governance. When engaging with Council, Iwi have always demonstrated their position and willingness to be inclusive and considerate of all members of the wider community.

The councillors who voted no or wish to defer Māori wards stated a number of perspectives, but the common reason was the 2018 referendum to overturn the 2017 decision to establish Māori wards. In February, the law that enabled this referendum and others like it was thrown out by Government, as it was discriminatory & racially biased. It is therefore discriminatory & racially biased to use this referendum as an argument.

In addition, that referendum had a voter turnout of 44.47%, meaning the 'majority' who voted NO to a Māori ward represents just 34% of voters in the Manawatū District. 66% of our District did not offer their opinion in that referendum.

Let our Mayor and Deputy Mayor, who voted to defer on 6 May and intend to vote again to defer on 20 May, know that you want them to CHANGE THEIR VOTE!

***This petition has been set up by an individual, to gather additional support from wider constituents in support of the Iwi collective Te Kotui Reo Taumata. While this petition is not administered by Te Kotui Reo Taumata, their representatives have contributed to the content of this page. The heading photo on this page is attributed to***

Please only sign this petition if you are a resident or on the electoral roll in the Manawatū District.
Check this map to see the District Boundary

Media Links

Iwi collective walk away from Partnership with Manawatū District Council until further notice


Waatea News
Manawatū Council faces backlash

Waatea News
Manawatu iwi give council taste of backlash

Manawatū iwi to protest council over Māori wards decision

Waatea News
Manawatū council vote slight on mana whenua

Manawatū District Council Defers Māori Ward Decision Until 2023

Māori Wards vote may be close as Manawatū councillors split over issue

The Daily Blog & Scoop
Manawatū District Council Must not defer Māori Wards to 2024 - Green Party

Hundreds protest Māori ward delay in Manawatū

Māori kicked in the guts over failed Māori ward bid in Manawatū

Local authorities urged no to wait for education on Māori wards

Māori ward in Manawatū District only pathway to an inclusive democracy

Te Ao Māori news
Manawatū Council vote against Māori wards dishonours Treaty partnership - Teanau Tuiono

Te Ao Māori news
Mayor backs down in face of hikoi protesting Māori wards delay in Manawatū
Te Pāti Māori backs hikoi protesting Māori wards delay in Manawatū

Hikoi to Manawatū District Council gains momentum

Te Karere
Response to Manawatū District Council’s deferral of Māori wards

Waatea news
Manawatū chokes on Māori ward decision

How it will be delivered

In person at the Council meeting on 20 May. We will request the opportunity to speak to this presentation.

We aim to get as many local signatories as possible across the Manawatū region

Manawatu District, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL



2021-05-20 13:40:43 +1200

Petition is successful with 1,327 signatures

2021-05-17 16:59:13 +1200

1,000 signatures reached

2021-05-15 21:46:08 +1200

500 signatures reached

2021-05-15 14:39:05 +1200

100 signatures reached

2021-05-15 14:16:25 +1200

50 signatures reached

2021-05-15 14:06:50 +1200

25 signatures reached

2021-05-15 14:01:03 +1200

10 signatures reached