A Council may establish Māori wards for their city or district.
Similar to the Māori Parliamentary seats, Māori wards establish areas where only those on the Māori Parliamentary electoral roll vote for the candidates in that Ward. The Māori wards sit alongside the general wards of each city or district.
The aim of Māori wards is to ensure Māori are represented in local government decision making, like the dedicated electorate seats in Parliament.
The nominator and seconder of a candidate must live in the Māori ward area they are nominating them for and be on the Māori roll for that area, however the candidate can be on the electoral roll (General or Māori roll) anywhere in New Zealand.
To be eligible to stand for election, a candidate must be:
Candidates cannot stand for both a General ward and a Māori ward at the same time.
No. Once elected, all elected members, whether elected from General or Māori wards, take a formal oath of office to represent the entire community.
The numbers of Māori wards is set in a formula in the Local Government Act based on a ratio of Māori electoral population and the total electoral population. Should Napier implement Māori ward(s), based on current estimates there would likely be two Māori ward members in Council. If a decision is made to establish Māori wards, this would be included as part of a representation review in 2024.
The Representation Review process determines how the council is made up, including:
More information can be found on the Representation Review Fact Sheet.
The number of Māori wards is not discretionary and is calculated by the following formula
Number of members is the proposed number of members of Napier City Council.
The number of members excludes the mayor, who is elected separately.
We have an obligation under the Local Government Act 2002 (LGA) and a commitment to
We have recently made changes to the membership arrangements on our Māori Committee to ensure mana whenua and community representation. The Māori Committee provides a critical role in council’s decision-making process.
Please read our Local Governance Statement, which includes information about how Napier City Council will encourage/support Māori to participate (pg 37) - Local Governance Statement 2019-2022
We are committed to ensuring significant progress is made on this important matter of representation. We want to understand the views of our community before we make the decision in November about whether to establish Māori wards which would be in time for the 2025 local body election. We have begun engagement, with formal consultation taking place in September.
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