National will overturn undemocratic Māori wards bill

The next National Government will repeal the Māori wards legislation passed by Parliament tonight under urgency, Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins says.

“Electoral law reform should not be rushed through Parliament under urgency like this.

“Jacinda Ardern and Labour did not campaign on this issue at the last election and have not adequately consulted with New Zealanders. This is shoddy law making.

“Labour only gave the public two days to make submissions. There were 12,506 of them, with 76 per cent opposed to the changes.

“Parliamentary select committees normally take six months to properly consider legislation. In this case, the Labour Government took less than a week.

“The way we elect our councils is a fundamental part of our democracy. This legislation takes away the ability of New Zealanders to have a voice in this decision making.

“National isn’t opposed to Māori wards if councils and their communities want them, but it is for communities to make this decision – a right the Government has robbed them of tonight.

“National trusts New Zealanders to decide who they elect to their councils. This legislation should not have been rammed through Parliament under urgency in two days.

“National will restore New Zealanders’ democratic rights.”