Binding referendum on Maori seats to be debated

Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Electoral Matters

New Zealand First is seeking an amendment to a bill currently before the House in order to create a binding referendum on the removal or entrenchment of the Maori electorate seats.

“A Labour Party member’s bill which seeks to have parliament entrench the Maori seats has our initial, conditional support. However, this hinges on the inclusion of a referendum clause,” says Darroch Ball New Zealand First Spokesperson for Electoral Matters.

“The question that needs to be asked is ‘Should the Maori seats be retained? If so, should they be entrenched?’ 

“It needs to be made clear that New Zealand First will not support the bill through all stages required to become law if there is no such amendment that incorporates a referendum question.

“New Zealand First launched our election campaign twelve months ago announcing our foundation policy of ensuring a binding referendum be held on the existence of the Maori seats. 

“With this bill being drawn from the ballot it has given us a unique opportunity to make that referendum happen,” says Mr Ball.

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