“The Government’s Apartheid Bill will not begin to solve the fundamental economic and social issues our nation faces,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Labour’s Māori wards legislation is better described as the Apartheid Bill. The basic assumption underpinning it is that our country has two categories of people with different legal rights.

“The most odious belief in human history is that we should treat people differently based on their racial group.

“This legislation makes the colour of someone’s skin more important than the content of their character.

“Just as the world is trying to make people more equal and focus on our common humanity, this Government is focused on dividing us based on who our great grandparents were.

“What’s more, there is no problem to solve – 14 percent of councillors are Māori, the same proportion of Māori in the general population.

“We should seek to be a country where every person has the same rights and duties.

“The real problem New Zealand faces is a shameful inequality of opportunity. That will not be solved by this misguided legislation.”