Papaioea Palmerston North will have two Māori ward seats for the 2022 local government elections. Residents and ratepayers will continue to have 15 councillors and a mayor to represent them, but only those on the Māori electoral roll will vote for candidates who stand in Te Pūao Ward.
Council decided to establish Māori and general wards under the Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Act 2021.
We then undertook a full representation review to consider how the establishment of Māori wards affected other representation arrangements.
The representation review concluded that we will have two wards to represent the whole city at the 2022 election:
We will also have a mayor across the whole city.
The option of Māori wards was developed by parliament to enhance the role of Māori in local government. One of the requirements of the Local Government Act 2002 is to facilitate participation by Māori in local authority decision-making processes.
Palmerston North City Council is also benefiting from the contributions of Rangitāne at committee, as appointed members bring knowledge and expertise in tikanga Māori. Since 2020, Council has had Rangitāne o Manawatū representatives appointed to four formal Council committees:
Appointed members have full voting rights at committee however, as appointed rather than elected members, they do not sit at full Council. The partnership agreement recognises Rangitāne as mana whenua and the mutual aspiration to work collaboratively as partners. It sits alongside Māori wards.