Good on ya Dover

Dover Samuels might get caught short in hotel hallways and pick dodgy Chinese mates, but he’s spot on with this one:

Maori were the big losers in Saturday’s local government elections, Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis says.

Just two Maori candidates were voted in across Northland’s four councils. And regional councillor Dover Samuels, who Mr Davis said had worked hard to give Maori a voice in council decision-making’ lost his seat.

There were two possible solutions to the lack of Maori representation, Mr Davis said.

One was that Maori should “get off their arses and vote” but it was too easy to lay the blame at their feet. Many Maori did not vote because they felt disenfranchised and unrepresented. The other solution was to introduce dedicated Maori seats, he said.

Mr Samuels, a former Maori Affairs Minister, said he remained opposed to dedicated council seats for Maori even though the election had delivered a regional council without tangata whenua representation. He believed councillors should be elected solely according to their track record but many of the people who had called him since Saturday thought differently. ?

“People are saying it may be time to look at separate Maori constituencies, not just on the regional council but throughout Northland.”

Dover is right in every respect.

Maori should get off their arse and vote. In Wairoa, for example, they could have unseated Fenton Wilson from the Hawkes Bay Regional Council. He leads Dean Whaanga by just 188 votes.?The voter return was 60.9% leaving plenty of wasted votes lying around in people’s letter boxes. If Maori had turned out in Wairoa to support Dean Whaanga then they’d win twice. Firstly by rinsing Fenton Wilson and secondly by installing a Maori representative to the HBRC.

We should not have race-based anything. People should be elected on merit. In a modern society there is no place for race-based seats, or preferential treatment on the basis of race. I’m with Dover Samuels on this one.

 

– Northern Advocate

 

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