“The Government needs to scrap its anti-democratic bill that would add unelected representatives to the Canterbury Regional Council based on their race,” says ACT’s Local Government spokesperson Simon Court.

“The Canterbury Regional Council (Ngāi Tahu Representation) Bill gives Ngāi Tahu the ability to appoint two un-elected representatives to council.

“Liberal democracy matters. Every adult New Zealander gets one vote. Superficial characteristics like race, sex, sexuality and religion are not relevant to our rights. Being the first in the world to achieve that is New Zealand’s greatest political achievement.

“Labour’s fixation with shoehorning co-governance into every aspect of our lives makes a mockery of this.

“ECAN currently has two Mana Whenua experts on the council who provide advice but don’t have the power to vote at council meetings. This is a democratic way to ensure Māori voices are heard without overriding basic democratic principles.

“ACT is appealing to the Government to fulfil the principle that only democratically elected representatives should vote in Councils and Parliament. That starts with voting down this bill.”

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