Will Len Brown Honour His Promise?

The New Plymouth District Councillors had the guts to stand up to vested interests and vote for a referendum on Maori Seats on their council, rather than arbitrarily gift Maori seats on the council.

At a district council meeting on Tuesday, councillors decided against establishing two Maori wards and instead will let voters decide by including it on the ballot paper of the 2013 local body elections.

The NPD Councillors deserve plenty of credit for taking this principled stand. They will be attacked for being redneck and racist, the standard Maori playbook when they don?t get what they want, and being called racist or redneck is never pleasant even if it is wrong.

In the 2010 election campaign Len Brown promised a referendum on Maori Seats for the new Auckland Council. Len should follow the lead of the New Plymouth District Council and run a referendum on Maori Seats in 2013. That way all Aucklanders get a chance to have a say on whether Auckland needs Maori seats, Len gets to keep a promise, and the Auckland Council get to demonstrate they respect democracy.