Local govt workers’ union supports Māori ward bill

Almost nine thousand Public Service Association members work for local authorities, and their union strongly supports the government’s decision to introduce under urgency the Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill.

At a 2018 delegate’s conference, PSA members called on their union to advocate in favour of Māori wards and lobby for the removal of racist provisions in the Act that obstruct them.

"Māori are underrepresented in local government, and this needs to change. Indigenous political representation should not be subject to a non-Māori veto," says PSA National Secretary Erin Polaczuk.

"It isn’t fair that attempts to create Māori wards face obstacles and challenges that don’t apply to general wards. The union movement is committed to ending racism and inequality, and we see this Bill as another important step toward honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi."

"Thousands of PSA members in local government work hard to support residents and provide crucial community services. Our members want the institutions they work for to be free of racism, prejudice and exclusion."

The PSA commends Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta for her leadership on this issue and the progress achieved.