Wellington Scoop

Status quo retained: Regional Council votes against a Maori constituency seat

Report from LDR
There will be no specific Māori constituency seat at the Wellington Regional Council table after the board chose to retain the status quo for the 2022 elections.

Councillors voted in favour of retaining its current structure at a meeting in the capital yesterday.

During the debate, it was noted four of the region’s six iwi authorities had formally advised the council that they do not wish to have a Māori constituency established for 2022.

Responsible for environmental oversight across Wairarapa and the bottom tip of the North Island, the Regional Council will keep 13 councillors, based on a geographic and population split, for the next election.

Across New Zealand, three authorities – Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Waikato Regional Council, and Wairoa District Council – have specific tangata whenua representation on their boards.

Earlier this month, the Regional Council served notice to voters on a deadline for a request to change its voting system from single-transferable voting. Anyone seeking to change that system must deliver their demand in writing to council offices in Wellington by 22 February.

The regional body has also appointed former Auditor-General Martin Matthews as the independent chair of its Finance, Risk, and Assurance Committee.