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Council to Consult Community on Maori Representation

The Palmerston North City Council is to ask the community about its views on the possibility of establishing a Maori ward or wards for the 2019 local body elections.

The decision was made at a meeting of the full Council today (Monday).

Councillors have asked for a report from officials on the issue of Maori representation.

The report will contain a draft consultation document for obtaining the views of the wider community as well as a specific approach to engaging with Maori.

“The community needs to express its views on this issue. In a smart modern city, the make-up of the Council must reflect all of the community it serves,” says Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith.

Council also unanimously agreed to participate in a possible trial of online voting should it go-ahead for the 2019 elections.

PNCC was to join a small number of other councils in an online voting trial for the 2016 election but central government decided not to proceed with it.

Councillors in a majority vote have also made a decision on the voting system for the 2019 elections.

They have decided to retain the existing Single Transferrable Vote Election system or STV where voters rank candidates in order of preference.

STV was also used in the 2016 and 2013 elections.

Electoral Officer John Annabell says residents can demand a poll to change the electoral system provided five per cent of voters sign a petition calling for change. The petition must be must be presented to Council by 21 February next year.

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