November 17, 2017
Manawatu votes for Maori seats
Manawatu District is to get one or more Maori wards at the next local body elections.
The decision comes after Whakatane voted to follow the same path.
Mayor Helen Worboys says the council has a proud history of consulting with Maori.
In 1992 it established a marae consultative committee, now known as Nga Manu Taiko, to provide guidance.
In 2011 Nga Manu Taiko advised against establishing Maori seats but now they've reviewed their opinion and changes to legislation have strengthened the need for councils to consult with Maori.
Recent changes to the Resource Management Act require more iwi input into planning and allow for new agreements between tangata whenua and local authorities.
The decision can be overturned by referendum which must be held if five percent of electors sign a petition calling for it.
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