A Maori ward for Nelson city has been soundly rejected by voters.
With just 15, 387 votes received by the cutoff at midday today - a 43.4 percent return - there were 12,298 votes against the proposal and 3131 for it.
In percentage terms, 79.41 per cent of the votes counted were against the proposal and 20.22 for.
Today's figure is described by chief returning officer Warren Lamp as a progress result.
It excludes voting papers in transit to the electoral officer and special votes that are yet to be processed.
Among the ballots were two informal voting documents and 56 blank returns.
The preliminary and final results will be announced as soon as possible next week.
Nelson Mayor Aldo Miccio says today's poll result is not surprising.
"Council put the proposal out there to establish a Maori ward, however it's clear our community is not yet ready to take that step.
"This proposal was about giving fair representation to Maori around the council table in a simple, cost-effective way. Going forward, we will continue to engage with Maori using existing mechanisms in place."
Nelson City Council is the only council in the country to have a dedicated Maori representative role on its executive. It also has a Maori forum, Kotahitangi Hui, which includes representatives from all six local Iwi groups and mata waka.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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