February 27, 2014
Maori role topic of debate
Maori involvement featured heavily in submissions on a proposed new structure for Northland local government.
Submissions have now closed, and the Local Government Commission will hold public hearings next month on whether the Northland Regional Council and the Far North, Whangarei and Kaipara Disctrict councils should be merged into a single unitary council.
The commission says among the 1850 submissions were many that said there was not enough recognition for Maori in the proposed advisory committee model, and others that said Maori got too much special treatment.
Other concerns included whether the council should have community boards or more powerful local boards, whether the council would be expected to cover too large an area, whether there would be conflict between runal and urban concerns, and whether Whangarei would end up paying for poorer regions.
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