Politics | Aotearoa

Key unconvinced Maori seats will work

PM John Key has rejected Phil Goff's push for Maori seats on the Auckland Council of he's elected as mayor.

Key says, " I think it's probably better to leave it as it is, no situation is absolutely perfect, you certainly need engagement, but on balance the advice we got when we put together the super city legislation is that the statutory boards were more effective."

The Maori Statutory is independent of the Auckland Council. The board ensures the council takes the views of Maori into account when making decisions.

Tāmaki Makaurau MP, Peeni Henare is unsurprisingly supportive of Goff, but has a word of warning for his Labour colleague, Andrew Judd (New Plymouth Mayor) started a movement and I think it will be a huge challenge for Goff in Tamaki. It is likely to be hugely unpopular and given our Maori voter turnout is so low in local government, it is a risk."

Speaking from the East Asia Summit in Laos, Key says, "The statutory boards were considered the better way forward, if Mr Goff wants to try push for that case, we always have ongoing discussions with whoever the mayors of our major metropolitan cities are. Ultimately for that to take place it's not completely straight forward. If the government isn't prepared to outright change the law you might have to go back to the rules that apply around local government for rest of NZ and that includes community outreach and support and as we've see in New Plymouth that was quite a difficult thing to achieve."