August 21, 2014
Maori ward tension resurfacing
New Plymouth District Council is having another look at creating a Maori ward.
The proposal was rejected by the previous council in 2011 when Grey Power threatened to force a community poll on the issue, and an attempt earlier this year to place Maori representatives on council committees also failed.
Mayor Andrew Judd says the council had an obligation under the Local Government Act to engage with the Maori community in a meaningful way.
He says it could also do more to strengthen its relationship with local iwi.
Peter Moeahu from Te Atiawa Iwi Authority says he’s sceptical about the amount of support the proposal will get.
Community board members will consider the idea next week, and the proposal will be debated by the full council on September 23.
The Maori board representative would be chose by voters on the Maori electoral roll.
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