I’m concerned at the poor turn-out of local government voters, particularly given we have some amazing candidates who have courageously put themselves forward.
For me, I think it shows a growing disconnection from Maori who are not being engaged and are not being encouraged to participate. Local Government make decisions on our immediate environment, who can build next to you, how waahi tapu is preserved, water treatment, sports facilities all which affect Maori but clearly our people feel they can’t change anything and simply can’t find relevancy. It is frustrating to watch the results knowing Iwi and Maori have provided solutions to increase participation that aren’t being supported.
Local Government should worry because if this trend continues to grow councils will become bankrupt of ideas and miss out on strategic relationships with Iwi as they become more influential economically. I believe a radical approach is required before the turn-out gets lower and lower to ensure a very small minority that represents a select few of the community are not running the district.
Once again all commendations to the candidates who vested so much into putting themselves forward.