The option of Māori wards was developed by parliament as a way to enhance the role of Māori in local government. One of the requirements of the Local Government Act 2002 is to facilitate participation by Māori in local authority decision-making processes. For more information, see the discussion document below. There are versions in English and te reo Māori.
In 2017, Council went out for public consultation and received and heard public submissions. After hearing and reading the 93 submissions received, on 24 October, Council voted to establish a Māori ward or wards.
However, on 21 February 2018, Council received a valid petition calling for a poll to determine whether the Council should establish one or more Māori wards. The poll was held by postal vote, with voting closing on Saturday 19 May. All Palmerston North residents enrolled on the parliamentary electoral roll (including those on the Māori roll, who are approximately 10% of the electoral population in Palmy) and any non-resident ratepayers enrolled on the city's ratepayer electoral roll were allowed to vote.
|AGAINST the establishment of a Māori ward or wards||14,621||68.76%|
|FOR the establishment of a Māori ward or wards||6,589||30.99%|
The result of the poll is binding on Council for the 2019 and 2022 local body elections.
Returns are hosted on the independent elections website, electionz.com.