just as democratic
Councils use wards to recognise communities of interest, so why are Māori wards singled out for this criticism when other wards are not?
The Government recently removed the provision in the Local Electoral Act that allowed a public poll to overturn a council’s decision to establish a Māori ward. This has reignited debates about Māori wards. Popular objections to Māori wards are that they are “undemocratic” and create a “special privilege” for Māori, even that they are “separatist” and “a form of apartheid”. These objections are not true. Māori wards are (almost) the same as all the other wards that councils can create.
Councils have the right to establish and disestablish wards. Until the recent law change, and only in the case of Māori wards and constituencies, voters in a district or region could petition the council for a poll and overturn a decision to create a Māori ward. No such poll right existed for voters to overturn a council’s decision to establish other wards. This provision was discriminatory. Over the years it has been used in many communities throughout the country to overturn councils’ decisions to establish Māori wards.
Link to article: A ward by any other name just as democratic (msn.com)