The call by the Pacific community for allocated seats on local councils is a result of the frustration of being left out of decision making says Labour’s Local Government and Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.
“Given the Pacific community wants a stake in decisions that affect its families, communities and kids it is obvious there is a need for a discussion on how we ensure our minority groups are represented properly.
“Under National, Pacific communities face an uphill battle. Unemployment, stagnant wages, the high cost of living and increasing rents have caused a lot of hardship and a sense of hopelessness for many.
“Pacific people feel that a greater involvement in decision-making processes might improve their quality of life.
“The SuperCity merger has been a catalyst for change. Many people I have spoken to feel that the concerns of local groups are now overwhelmed by bigger picture issues. Those worries are echoed in Wellington where local Pasifika communities have expressed fears about losing out in a restructure.
“An active, participative democracy allows for full inclusion and I support a discussion to explore how current systems can be improved to ensure Pacific representation isn’t left by the wayside.
“Pacific, Maori and Asian communities are the youngest and fastest growing populations in New Zealand. Their voices matter and our governance structures shouldn’t mute their contributions,” Su’a William Sio said.
Contact: Su’a William Sio 021 243 0464