January 24, 2014
Group backs call for Maori representation
The Northland Economic Action Group is backing a proposal for a single council for the region, but wants to see more formal Maori representation.
The Local Government Commission is consulting on its plan for a unitary council to replace Northland Regional Council and the Far North, Whangarei and Kaipara district councils.
Action group chair Shane Lloyd of Omapere says the commission’s whole of Northland approach is the right scale to make a difference.
But he says jut over a third of Northland’s population is Maori, and that number is set to increase to 40 percent by 2030.
Maori have rights as tangata whenua but they are under represented in local government.
Shane Lloyd says local government regulatory management is an important element in building a strong Maori economy in sectors like aquaculture, forestry and agriculture, which will benefit the overall Northland economy.
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