WDC Cr Vince Cocurullo
Presently we have 13 Councillors and 1 Mayor for Whangarei, and we vote these people using the FPP (First Past the Post) method.
In November 2020, the Whangarei District Council voted to include Maori Wards into the mix, however, at no time has this discussion been had with the community that they represent. In fact, the discussion about including Maori Wards was not even brought up through the 2019 election process nor has it been discussed with any of the community groups, and the only group it was discussed with was with Council’s Te Kārearea [Editors note: Te Kārearea is the WDC “Strategic Partnership Forum Standing Committee” comprising 8 hapu appointed members with full voting rights and 8 elected councillors with full voting rights].
So, for a Council to make this decision, which affects how the public will vote in 2022, and do this with no consultation with the majority of the people it represents is morally wrong, and needs to go out to the public for public consultation.
If the public then chooses Maori wards, that’s how the Council can proceed. That’s why I moved a motion to council that this matter should go out to a public referendum. That motion was lost 6 votes to 8.
Vince Cocurullo. Okara Ward Councillor for the Whangarei District Council.