Regional | Auckland

Key rejects Māori seats

The Chair of the Independent Māori Statutory Board says they will continue to push the need for Māori voices at the council table as new blood takes office in Auckland.

David Taipari wants a Māori voice at the council table.

“I've heard it before and the Board is supportive of it because when we did the Maori plan the people told me that they wanted representation.”

Newly appointed Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff says it's not he who has the key to the Māori seats.

“I can't implement them that's the statutory role of central government and the gentleman over there, Mr Key said he's not interested in that area. He's ruled it out categorically actually, I don't think we will get much change in opinion there.”

The legislation, which created the council in 2010, ruled out any changes for six years. However, the council is free to review the issue in the next term following this election.

Taipari says, “I think they have difficulty because the law says there’s only 20 councillors. The potential is that two councillors would have to drop, if there were two Māori wards, two existing councillors would have to drop.”

Goff says, “I would of course prefer that we have elected representatives of Māoridom on council rather than appointed.”

The Independent Māori Statutory Board will meet with Phil Goff for the first time in early November.