March 10, 2013
Lack of Māori holding back council
The head of Hamilton Urban Māori body Te Rūnanga ō Kirikiriroa says conservative councillors are holding the city back in terms of Māori representation.
Matiu Dickson is endorsing a consultant’s report that recommended Māori be appointed to council committees with full voting rights.
He says despite Māori making up more than a quarter of the city’s population and being the largest group of ratepayers, neither mana whenua nor mātā waka groups have a voice in its governance.
Meanwhile, the same councillors get elected year after year.
“There are long term councillors there who seem to hold the same views that they held a couple of years back when there was a possibility of having separate seats for Māori and it was voted out, so we are not represented in any way,” he says.
Matiu Dickson says not having Māori representation can be costly, as when Tainui took the council to court over not being consulted about zoning changes which would have stifled the development of its land at The Base in Te Rapa.
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