Good luck taking that to the voters Phil


Phil Goff wants the government to legislate for dedicated Maori wards.

John Key has rightly told him to nick off.

Prime Minister John Key says Auckland Mayoral contender Phil Goff will have to try his luck with the people of Auckland rather than the Government to introduce dedicated Maori wards to Auckland Council.

In a mayoral debate on RNZ on Wednesday, Goff said he would push for dedicated Maori wards if he had the chance and was elected Mayor.

I dare Phil Goff to hold a referendum on it.

Currently Maori are represented in Auckland Council’s structure by an appointed Maori statutory board which can appoint Maori delegates to council committees.

Goff said he would like to change that if he could.

Abolish it is a change, do that instead.

“If I’m asked my opinion, ‘would I rather have elected people on the Council representing the Maori people or appointed people?’, my answer is it’s got to be elected because that’s what democracy is about.”

So is a referendum, let’s have one about Maori wards, Phil.

Key said Goff would have to get public support to introduce Maori wards rather than relying on the Government to change the law which set up Auckland Council.

He said if the Government unilaterally changed the law it would run counter to wider local government legislation which left it to communities to decide on Maori wards.

“But for the Government to go out there and say ‘there would be Maori wards’ [in Auckland] I think would be a big step and it’s not likely one we would like to take.”

“If the Government wasn’t prepared to straight out change the law then you might have to go back to the rules that apply to the rest of New Zealand. That requires community outreach and support. If that was something he wanted he’d really have to make the case and I think he’d have to make the case with the people of Auckland.”

Key said Maori representation by the statutory board was considered the best option when the Super City was set up and he believed it still was.

Councils can introduce Maori wards under the Local Electoral Act. Councils can introduce Maori wards without holding a local referendum but that can be challenged by a referendum if there is significant opposition.

Historically National has opposed the Maori electorates in central Government – but policies to change that have been shelved since National has been in a governing arrangement with the Maori Party.

If Phil Goff wants Maori wards then put it to the people and see how that turns out.

I don’t think there is any place for race-based wards in Auckland, or indeed in any city.


– NZ Herald


  • Keeping Stock

    Phil hasn’t done much in his campaign so far, except stick up powder-blue billboards alongside the ones of all his fellow Labour Party candidates. I’ve just returned from Auckland, and even She Who Must Be Obeyed (who isn’t interested in politics one iota) commented “I thought Goff was in Labour”.

    This however could be his first mistake, and it’s one which could cause considerable harm to his campaign unless he explains it away quickly. But we all now Rule #1 of Whaleoil’s Rules of Politics; When you’re explaining, you’re losing.

    • Raibert

      Around East Tamaki the billboards have the Labour Candidates on one side in red and Phil Goff in blue on the opposite side. Very cost effective but I do wonder who is paying, does the “independent” candidate pay the Labour Party or the other way round?

  • Sailor Sam

    So should we call Phil Goff racist then?
    Or does racism only exist when dark brown people are the victims?

  • JC

    Phil must be feeling super confident to introduce this one. Mind you, I think he could propose Sharia law and still bolt in.


  • cows4me

    Goofy needs to give Andy Judd a ring, he’ll give him the good oil on Maori wards.

    • KatB

      Maybe they could organise a walk to meet each other.

  • JLS

    Keep up pushing that rudder harder and harder to port Phil, it’s the best thing you can do to drive more voters away from you. God save Auckland.

  • sheppy

    Goof will want to retain the unelected Maori representation as its allowed lyin’ Len to force most of his expensive undemocratic legislation through whilst sneaking in a Taniwha tax.
    Democracy is a very inconvenient thing for the leftists

    • biscuit barrel

      the un-elected maori members are not members of full council , just committees.

      • Raibert

        You are right, but the council sets up the committees to give direction on specific issues then generally adopts these recommendations. Len has been a master in ensuring which committees contained a majority of yea Sayers including the non-elected statutory board members. Like the development committee that recommended the secret changes to the council unitary plan submissions, once this became public knowledge it was left to the full council to reject the changes.

        • biscuit barrel

          The major committees contain all the Councillors

  • BigNose

    So let’s have Indian wards, Chinese wards, Gay wards, Muslim wards, TrainSpotter wards, BasketWeavers wards, Pirate wards…and let the white, middle class males pay for it all, as per usual.

  • Anthony

    A quick google for Auckland Demographics will quickly tell you that there are more Polynesians in Auckland than Maori, and more than twice as many Asians, according to census data. If race based wards were to be created, where do you stop?

    Why would the council need raced based wards to administer transport, water, sewerage, stormwater, building consents, rubbish, dogs, civil defence, public parks libraries pools

    • biscuit barrel

      Rodney Hide has never really explained why the ridiculous idea of unelected maori members was necessary in his super city legislation. I wont even start on the CCOs and their spending habits.

      • rangitoto

        I saw a post he made on Kiwiblog recently where he claimed he had no choice. Said it was sprung on him either Maori wards or the statutory board. A deal the govt made with the Maori party.

  • Socialists don’t like referendums that don’t go their way – apparently that’s not true democracy
    I nearly cried thinking of the social engineering misery that would be forced on us with Phil as mayor and Andy and Material girl pulling the levers of power in Wellington

  • metalnwood

    “If I’m asked my opinion, ‘would I rather have elected people on the Council representing the Maori people or appointed people?’, my answer is it’s got to be elected because that’s what democracy is about.”

    Then let them get elected, they can if people want them. Getting legislation that ensures they get elected is no closer to democracy.

    Besides, they don’t represent Maori if you go by a persons ancestry/genetic makeup. They work for a fraction of people with Maori blood and most Maori don’t care what they are up to.

    • Seriously?

      How honest of Goff. If you appoint people they may get the job on merit. Elected people however… it has certainly served Goff well over the years.

  • Huia

    Is this a ploy to regain the Maori vote through the Mayoral position for the left.

    • Seriously?

      And note the nature of his plea… not something he’ll do, but something he thinks central government should do. A call made for something outside his desired control, but also something he knows it will not happen. It seems to be all he has done thus far.

  • kloyd0306

    What’s next?
    Instead of an election for Mayor, does Phil believe that he should be “appointed” vs elected?
    The improbable answer is likely, yes.
    Damn those pesky elections…………………..

  • SAM51

    Im starting to wonder if we really get the poison chalice with Minto in Christchurch? Today I have seen Goofy want to increase petrol prices and now Maori Wards – you can have him.

  • Brian Dingwall

    I’m sufficiently uncharitable as to presume Goff’s only real intention in seeking the Mayoralty is to deliver Auckland to the left…..

  • WolfofSorts

    phil mate, we are supposed to be one people, why promote division? unless of course you have some private interest group you have at heart…

  • Superman

    What is a Maori Ward? Is it a ward where only Maori live? I don’t think there is such a place in Auckland. How would you vote for a candidate from such a ward? Why not then have a Chinese Ward or two? They will soon outnumber Maori in Auckland if that hasn’t happened already. Then maybe wards for every other population group.