Ministers call for abolition of Māori seats

By Regan Paranihi

ACT Party leader David Seymour wants to reduce the number of MPs in Parliament and to abolish the use of the Māori seats.

National Party leader Simon Bridges has since supported Seymour’s statement and says New Zealand needs a more efficient parliament and a smaller executive.

Bridges took to the Morning Report on Monday morning and expressed his potential support for the ACT leaders' smaller government bill if it was drawn from the ballot.  However, he says voting for it will depend on how much Seymour is willing to change.

“There's definitely some attraction about a smaller parliament and a smaller executive.  We've got 31 on our executive at the moment, it's the biggest make-work scheme actually in government we've ever seen."

He says the proposal to eliminate the Māori seats could be more trouble than its worth.

“We have strong Māori representation in parliament, MMP provides us that ability, but actually we see a lot of Māori win general constituency seats."

Bridges says he and his party would want to consult with Māori on the issue.

"I think it'd be hard to see a situation where it happened today.  I do believe though, over time, Māoridom and more generally New Zealanders will do away with the Māori seats."