Māori Wards and Constituencies
Under the Local Electoral Act 2001, Council may at any time resolve to introduce Māori Wards, unless a poll on the matter has been held in the last six years.
In November 2017, Council resolved to establish one or more Māori Wards for the 2019 and 2022 elections. A public notice was given providing the right of electors to demand a poll on the matter.
Following the successful demand for a poll, a poll was held on 19 May 2018. The result of the poll did not favour establishing Māori Wards – this outcome is binding for the 2019 and 2022 elections. Accordingly, Council is unable to consider establishing Māori Wards until 2023.
In February 2021, The Government introduced new legislation, the Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Act to make the process for establishing Māori wards and Māori constituencies for local authorities the same as the process for establishing a general ward or general constituency.
Where Māori wards or Māori constituencies are not currently established, local authorities have the ability to consider establishing these every three-years (a decision required two-years before the next triennial election). The next opportunity for a local authority to consider this is by 23 November 2023 for the 2025 triennial election.
Further update to come.