Regional | Auckland Council

Māori must work together to achieve local board parity in Auckland

With just over five months until local board elections, a call has been made for Māori candidates in Auckland to work together.

Former Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere says it's time all Māori candidates ran on a platform that better promoted Māori ideals across the city, "lifting out people's view of our right to participate as a brown voting bloc in local body elections, as well as national body elections."

Auckland will have to wait for Māori wards until 2025 but Tamihere says for Māori to gain real power on local boards in 2022, there must be continuity among all candidates.

"You've got to have a policy construct across the whole of town. So the Labour Party dresses up in drag and sets up its local body campaign, so does the National Party."

For Franklin board member Logan Soole it makes sense. In 2019, Soole was elected as the youngest local board member in Auckland at only 19 years of age. He says, he would like more rangatahi Māori to be recruited into local politics.

"Something we see a lot less of is rangatahi in local government, 3.9% are under the age of 40, and we are the ones that will be here the longest. There is no substitute for experience but it needs to increase."

"We have such a low turnout and local government elections get about 35% - that's so small," he said.

"There is an awakening of Māori across the nation, about our participation in every layer of governance in this country, where previously we've been excluded."