By-election isn’t the only issue for Far North voters – but they seem indifferent to a Maori ward idea

March 13, 2015

Dunno what to make of news that less than a third of Far North residents have so far voted on whether to create Maori council wards for the district.

Perhaps it means there is a profound indifference to the idea of indigenous persons being given a privileged position on their council.

Whatever the reason, the council has put the proposition to a binding poll which closes next Tuesday.

As Radio New Zealand has reported

Dedicated Maori seats have become a hot topic for councils, most recently splitting New Plymouth district and being rejected by the public in Nelson.

Yet after two weeks of the Far North District Council referendum, only 30 percent of eligible voters have sent in their ballots.

But it is not altogether clear we should get too excited about this because:

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John McLeod is branded a renegade – just for resigning over the introduction of race-based voting

September 25, 2014
No, he didn't burn down the council chambers.

No, he didn’t burn down the council chambers.

It’s a measure of the magnitude of the Kiwi surrender to the power push by indigenous persons that New Plymouth councillor John McLeod is described as a renegade.

That derogatory adjective was used in a caption beneath his photo in the Taranaki Daily News before he resigned “after the vote on Maori wards did not go his way”.


According to the definition at a renegade is…

A person who deserts and betrays an organization, country, or set of principles: an agent who later turns out to be a renegade

So has John McLeod deserted the New Plymouth Council or his city?

Or has he betrayed it or its principles?

It depends.

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