Manawatū District Council must not defer Māori Wards to 2024

A successful hikoi in Manawatū has challenged the decision by the Manawatū District Council to defer introducing Māori Wards to 2024.

“Today I walked with iwi, hapū and whānau from across the Manawatū to protest against Manawatū District Council deferring of Māori wards to 2024”, says Green Party MP and Te Mātāwaka member Teanau Tuiono.

“Kicking the can down the road and expecting Māori to wait once again is not acceptable and councils should not be allowed to tokenise their relationships with local iwi.  Our whānau have been once again pushed out of the door and made to wait until 2024.

“The failure of the Manawatū District Council to grasp the amazing opportunity to begin to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi and to improve the governance capability of the council is very disappointing.”

“Today representatives from all 12 Manawatū marae shared their collective frustration towards the council as they continue to overlook their responsibility when honouring Tino Rangatiratanga and kaitiakitanga within their region.

“I campaigned in Palmerston North and the wider Manawatū to establish Māori wards in 2018, our campaign was an aspirational campaign encouraging kotahitanga and diversity as a positive counter to the politics of division.

“We have been clear on our position for Māori wards and I will continue to tautoko local iwi, hapū and whānau to ensure their voices are heard and not used when the council needs them to bless, karakia or sing a waiata.”