Ngaa mihi nui – that is the clear message from Waikato-Tainui following today’s successful vote to include Maaori wards in time for next year’s local body elections in Waipaa District and Hamilton City.
Waikato-Tainui executive chair Linda Te Aho said today’s decisions align to the expectations of a modern and contemporary democracy that is more representative of its region.
“I want to acknowledge the leadership shown by Mayor Southgate in revisiting the Councils earlier decision to delay the introduction of Maaori wards a month ago. I know it was not an easy decision, but she placed herself above the politics and led in the best interest of everyone in our city.”
“I also want to recognise the extremely hard work that Waipaa District Council has undertaken in providing for Maaori representation. With only one dissenting vote its decision today led by Mayor Jim Mylchreest shows the region has the foresight to implement and process and act decisively.
Meanwhile Te Whakakitenga o Waikato Chair Parekawhia McLean is hopeful today’s decisions will help strengthen the relationship between Waikato-Tainui and both these Councils.
“The councillors who voted for these wards will be recognised as courageous leaders who modernised the regions’ governance structure despite a climate of hostility that was promoted by a small but loud minority,” said Parekawhia.
“We will not always agree but today’s decision provides our people with a voice at the table to express an Iwi/Maaori view on all matters in front of these Councils.
“Local government is a critical partner because it has significant influence on many of the issues affecting the everyday lives of our people and we look forward to strengthening our relationship with them,” said Parekawhia.
GM Communications and Engagement