I am very happy to be part of this important decision to adopt one or more Maori wards at the next two local government elections. The result will be a better-balanced council that makes better decisions.
My vote should be a surprise to no one as I campaigned in favour of Maori wards at last year's council election. Anyone who did not hear it from me may well have heard about it from the Katikati-Waihi Beach Residents and Ratepayers Assoc., which also publicised my stance.
As this news story reports, I would have liked discussion with the wider community before this decision was taken but essentially it is the right decision.
You can read the council press release here but note the number of Maori wards has not been decided. That will be picked up in the wider representation review next year, when we look at the make up of the whole council (current law required us to decide on Maori wards ahead of that review).