Te Rangimarie Marae as guests file in for the hosting of the first Masterton District Council for the year. PJ Devonshire at front left. PHOTO/GERALD FORD

By Gerald Ford

A challenge to voting rights for council appointees made for a sad first time hosting a Masterton District Council meeting, according to Kahungunu ki Wairarapa general manager PJ Devonshire.

The debate happened at the first meeting of Masterton District Council, which was held at Te Rangimarie marae in Queen Street, Masterton, on Wednesday.

“It was really significant that the council and the mayor wanted to have the meeting here, but it was really sad that those new councillors showed their true colours,” Mr Devonshire said.

“It was sad to have that done on the marae.”

The council narrowly agreed not to restrict voting rotes on committees to elected members – which would have denied a vote on two committees to iwi representatives Ra Smith and Mihirangi Hollings (see earlier story, page 3).

Those involved insist that the iwi reps are not being singled out, however, but that it is part of a wider issue.

Mr Devonshire said it was “nice to have (the council) there, but a couple of those councillors Maori really supported.”

“The line that it’s about democracy is just a line. There’s another line that democracy is the tyranny of the majority.

“It was all right until a Maori boy stood up. We want those Maoris back in the corner with their beer, playing the guitar and entertaining us.”

New councillor John Dalziell, who moved that voting rights be limited to elected members, said the issue of voting rights is not about iwi, but a constitutional issue for the council.

He was supported in his bid by councillors Caffell, Goodwin, Johnson and Mailman.

Mr Dalziell has himself been a council appointee, when he sat on the Rural Services and Wairarapa committee of Wellington Regional Council.

He said he was there as someone who might be able to “add value from a rural perspective”, but did not have voting rights on the committee.

“I never mentioned iwi in my entire campaign,” Mr Dalziell said.

“It’s a constitutional issue… it doesn’t matter who it is. The next year it could be a delegation from the superannuitants who could add value to the committee, or an engineer who has got a lot of experience in the Queen Street upgrade (issue). They’re appointees… If you’ve got an issue or policy, it shouldn’t be selective.”

wta261016gfmdc11 (in production) Te Rangimarie Marae as guests file in for the hosting of the first Masterton District Council for the year. PHOTO/GERALD FORD

By Gerald Ford

A challenge to voting rights for council appointees made for a sad first time hosting a Masterton District Council meeting, according to Kahungunu ki Wairarapa general manager PJ Devonshire.

The debate happened at the first meeting of Masterton District Council, which was held at Te Rangimarie marae in Queen Street, Masterton, on Wednesday.

“It was really significant that the council and the mayor wanted to have the meeting here, but it was really sad that those new councillors showed their true colours,” Mr Devonshire said.

“It was sad to have that done on the marae.”

The council narrowly agreed not to restrict voting rotes on committees to elected members – which would have denied a vote on two committees to iwi representatives Ra Smith and Mihirangi Hollings (see earlier story, page 3).

Those involved insist that the iwi reps are not being singled out, however, but that it is part of a wider issue.

Mr Devonshire said it was “nice to have (the council) there, but a couple of those councillors Maori really supported.”

“The line that it’s about democracy is just a line. There’s another line that democracy is the tyranny of the majority.

“It was all right until a Maori boy stood up. We want those Maoris back in the corner with their beer, playing the guitar and entertaining us.”

New councillor John Dalziell, who moved that voting rights be limited to elected members, said the issue of voting rights is not about iwi, but a constitutional issue for the council.

He was supported in his bid by councillors Caffell, Goodwin, Johnson and Mailman.

Mr Dalziell has himself been a council appointee, when he sat on the Rural Services and Wairarapa committee of Wellington Regional Council.

He said he was there as someone who might be able to “add value from a rural perspective”, but did not have voting rights on the committee.

“I never mentioned iwi in my entire campaign,” Mr Dalziell said.

“It’s a constitutional issue… it doesn’t matter who it is. The next year it could be a delegation from the superannuitants who could add value to the committee, or an engineer who has got a lot of experience in the Queen Street upgrade (issue). They’re appointees… If you’ve got an issue or policy, it shouldn’t be selective.”