Māori participation in Manawatū District Council ‘shunned’, say church leaders

Church leaders are calling on Manawatū District councillors to reconsider their “divisive” stance on Māori wards.

Leaders from several of Feilding’s churches have signed an open letter that was sent to all councillors on May 17. It called on them to vote in favour of Māori wards at a meeting on Thursday, introducing a Māori ward in time for the 2022 local body elections.

“Our prayer for you as elected members is that you have courage in your decision-making this week,” it read.

The letter referred to the council’s increased use of te reo and involvement of iwi representatives in recent years as examples of how progressive the council had become. But those efforts now appeared insincere with Māori wards being “shunned”. Read more

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News category: New Zealand, News Shorts.

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