November 13, 2013
Maori role too limited for council
A Northland Regional Councilor is disappointed at the Local Government Commission’s weak provision for Maori in its proposed restructure of the region’s councils.
The commission has recommended a single entity take over the work of the Far North, Whangarei and Kaipara district councils and the Northland Regional Council.
It suggests the council appoint a Maori standing board including councillors and iwi representatives.
Dover Samuels says that falls short of what is needed in an area where 43 percent of the population is Maori.
"I would have thought the commission would have recommended a statutory committee or board, not unlike the super city of Auckland, or separate Maori constituencies, but that didn't happen. Perhaps as the legislation goes through the select committee process there will be submissions to that process to have Maori separate wards," he says.
Mr Samuels says the regional council has asked him to set up a Maori advisory committee, and he will insist on it having some delegated authority.
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