I agree with Len

I’ve been thinking long and hard since the election on the weekend, particularly about Len Brown’s proposal to have a referendum about Maori representation in Auckland.

Cactus Kate has conveniently run some numbers;

There are 20 Supercity councillors. The latest census was 2006 and at the census (where individuals could tick more than one box – 110.5%) the results were:

European 56.5%
“New Zealander” 8% (the PC version used mainly by NZ European’s)
Pacific Islander 14.4%
Asian 18.9%
Maori 11.1%
Other 1.6%

Cactus also notes that far from being under-represented Maori are actually over-represented and it is Asians that are woefully under-represented.

Despite the bleatings of Maori and Pacific Islanders, Asians at 18.9% are actually the next largest demographic in Auckland. They have just one Supercity Councillor, Arthur Anae. Full credit to Arthur but I doubt he speaks either cantonese or mandarin so Chinese are again missing out, as are Indians. Little wonder they tried a wee trick down South to help their chances. Asians have just 5% of possible representation (give or take the bad maths for those who identify themselves as of mixed ethnicity).

Pacific Islanders make up 14.4% of the Auckland population. They have two clear representiatives on the Supercity council, Arthur Anae and Alf Filipaina. They have 10% of possible representation (give or take the bad maths for those who identify themselves as of mixed ethnicity).

Maori make up just 11.1% of the Auckland population. They have three representatives on the Supercity council, Des Morrison, Jami-Lee Ross and Alf Filipaina. They have 15% of possible representation (give or take the bad maths for those who identify themselves as of mixed ethnicity).

So, the more I think about it the more I like Len Brown’s consultative approach in suggesting a referendum on Maori representation, but I would extend that a little further and ask about better representation and special seats for other minorities.

A referendum is easy to deliver, easy to organise and gets a quick run on the board for Len Brown that he can hang his hat on. It fits with his “Mayor for All of Auckland” meme.

Len Brown has shown, too, how to win for the left. Matthew Hooton notes this on Radio NZ. Len Brown has shown up Phil Goff. He won despite national polls showing the deep unpopularity of Labour and of Phil Goff. But it is interesting to look at the Auckland result. There is much talk of the loss of C&R but similarly Labour and CityVision alsop got spanked. We have seen a rejection of party politics in local representation with most councillors wearing the tag of independent.

The first easy step for Len Brown to take would be to take the referendum, have the discussion and get another win on the board.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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