Regional | Auckland

Māori could gain Supercity seat

Auckland City Council has voted in principle to support a Māori seat, but requires a law change for space at the table.

At the council meeting questions were raised about the future of the Independent Maori Statutory Board (IMSB), should a Māori seat be established.

Māori representation for the Super city is one step closer.

Mayor Phil Goff says "if you want Māori representation on this council it's better to have it elected rather than appointed."

Auckland Council's 10-5 vote in principle supports a Māori seat, but its fate rests with the next government to make it happen and lift the 20-seat cap.

Councillor Fa'anana Efeso Collins says, "Whatever happens after October 7, one of these groups is saying that they want a referendum on the whole thing. So I don't know just how warm any incoming government is going to be around legislating change."

Mayor Goff acknowledged this, but backed making the change through Parliament.

"I think the parliamentary formula is right."

The IMSB was put in place when council was established to be a voice for Māori, but with a possible Māori seat questions were raised about its future.

Mayor Goff says, "That would need to be addressed in due course if you were to have an elected member."

Independent Māori Statutory Board chair David Taipari says, any changes to the board would be a matter for Parliament and is irrelevant in terms of the Māori seats.

Read more here: Auckland City Council votes in principle to establish a Māori seat