National | Local

Marlborough District votes for Māori wards

Councillors in the Marlborough District Council voted in favour of establishing a Māori ward for the 2022 local government elections.

It's the latest of many councils that have voted to have Māori representation in local governments across the country.

Mayor John Leggett called it a momentous day for Marlborough.

“The eight Te Tauihu iwi gave us a clear message that they support Māori representation at the council and we have responded to that request today.”

“Marlborough’s iwi are close partners of the council and it’s important that the voice of Māori is represented directly at the council table.”

“We make decisions and set policy for all of our community and as part of this we must always ask how we can do better. It is my pleasure to move this motion today.”

The vote was 12-1 in favour. The one vote against came from councillor Jamie Arbuckle.

Deputy Mayor Nadine Taylor said, "It's a new century and it is time for a Māori ward and a Māori councillor at the table."

There will be a community consultation process for the representation review, which considers whether councillors are elected as a whole or viaa ward structure, or through a combination of both. Councillors Nadine Taylor, Gerald Hope and David Croad were appointed to the consultation committee, alongside the mayor.