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Published on 01 September 2023
To achieve fair and effective representation at Upper Hutt City Council, we’d like your views on whether a Māori ward should be established. This initiative is part of a wider Representation Review that takes place every six years.
Māori wards provide one way for Māori to have a voice and be represented in local government decision-making, similar to the Māori Parliamentary seats. Māori wards establish areas where only those on the Māori electoral roll vote for the candidates in that ward.
We are reviewing how all our communities are represented locally. This is called a ‘Representation Review’ carried out every six years. As part of this review, there is the option of considering Māori wards. Māori wards provide one way for Māori to have a voice in local decisions by having a representative elected to Council
Survey is open from 1 September to 29 September 2023
If you have any more questions, please check out the FAQ’s below:
‘Wards’ are the parts of a Council area that have been determined by population and communities of interest for the purpose of electing representatives to the Council.
Māori wards provide one way for Māori to have a voice and be represented in local government decision-making, similar to the dedicated electorate seats in Parliament.
Successful Māori ward candidates become councillors and have a particular responsibility to represent people of Māori descent to bring forward their views and aspirations. However, they also represent the entire community.
Similar to the Māori Parliamentary seats, Māori wards establish areas where only those on the Māori electoral roll vote for the candidates in that ward.
We are reviewing how all our communities are represented locally. This is called a ‘Representation Review’ carried out every six years.
As part of this review, there is also the option of considering Māori wards. Māori wards provide one way for Māori to have a voice in local decisions by having a representative elected to Council.
The representation review process determines that the communities in our city are fairly and effectively represented at Council. It covers:
The fair and effective number of elected members to have
Whether our communities will be fairly and effectively represented
Whether they are elected by ward or city wide (‘at- large’) or a mix of both
Whether there should be wards and if yes then names of those wards
How Māori wards will be established and structured
The local Council must pass a resolution to establish Māori ward/s. If it decides to introduce Māori wards in time for the 2025 elections, it must do so no later than 23 November 2023 (two years prior to the next triennial election).
Our Council is committed to hearing the views of mana whenua, tangata whenua and the broader community about the establishment of Māori wards, before making a decision.
To be eligible to stand for election, a candidate must be:
A New Zealand citizen (by birth or citizenship ceremony), aged over 18; and
Enrolled as a Parliamentary elector (anywhere in New Zealand); and
Nominated by two electors whose names appear on the electoral roll within the ward a candidate is standing. Candidates in Māori wards do not need to be of Māori descent, however they need to be nominated by two people on the Māori electoral roll.
Candidates cannot stand for both a general ward and a Māori ward at the same time.
The requirements to stand for Council are the same regardless of if you stand for a Māori ward, or general ward.
You can vote in a Māori ward if you are on the Māori electoral roll. Only New Zealand Māori and the descendants of New Zealand Māori can choose to be on the Māori electoral roll.
For those who are enrolling for the first time, they can choose if they want to be on the Māori electoral roll or the general electoral roll.
You can change your roll type at any time, except:
In the three months before a general parliamentary or local government election
Before a parliamentary by-election if the change would move you into the electorate where the by-election is being held.
35 councils had Māori wards/constituencies in the 2022 elections, These included Wellington City, Porirua City, and Masterton District in the Wellington region.
The number of councillors elected from one or more Māori wards depends on a formula (Schedule 1A of the Local Electoral Act 2001) based on the Māori and general electoral populations of the district, relative to the total number of councillors.
If the decision is made to establish a Māori ward, how this will work, including number of elected members will be worked out later on as part of the wider Representation Review. However, establishing a Māori Ward does not mean that the number of Councillors has to increase.
Like all councillors, a Māori ward councillor would represent the residents in their ward, but they also make a declaration once elected, to act in the best interests of the city as a whole. A Māori ward councillor will have a particular responsibility to represent people of Māori descent.
Māori Wards ensure equitable representation in local government for Māori citizens by establishing seats at Council dedicated to representing their interests.
Māori Wardens are community-based volunteers who focus on maintaining order, safety, and well-being within communities by providing support, guidance, and assistance during various community activities and events.
To share your view with us, you can complete the survey below. You are also welcome come along to have a chat to our Councillors at Brewtown Farmers Market. This is your opportunity to voice your opinion and contribute to the decision-making process.
We are encouraging everyone to provide to share their views on Māori wards.
The Electoral Commission provides information on their website, specifying the count of individuals enrolled on both the General and Māori rolls in Upper Hutt City. Individuals of Māori descent have the option to choose between the General and Māori rolls.
*Please note we haven't specified the number on the Māori electoral roll as this number gets updated monthly. Therefore we have linked to the Electoral commission so you have the most up to date stats.