Taupō, Gisborne councils ticks yes on Māori wards

By Kereama Wright

Taupo District Council was quick to decide this morning whether it wanted Māori wards.

It took just under half an hour for members to make up their minds. In the end seven voted for Maori wards and three voted against.

Now the council is working through the details of how the implement the two wards at the 2022  local body election. The council is now the eight council to agree to Maori wards

Moments later Gisborne District Council also decided to have Māori seats on the council at the 2022 local body elections after unanimous support by councillors.

The council becomes the ninth council this year to vote to establish Māori wards. After less than an hour of deliberations on the motion, the landslide vote was met with a round of applause, and cheers from the gallery before mayor Rehette Stoltz called the extraordinary meeting to a close.

At least nine other councils have considered the wards recently. New Plymouth, South Taranaki, Ruapehu, Kaipara, Whangārei district councils, Tauranga City and Northland Regional Council have all voted for Māori wards. Hawke's Bay Regional Council and Far North District Council voted against.