Auckland Council will consult mana whenua and urban Māori on a proposal to create three Māori seats in time for the 2025 local body elections.
The proposal is based on the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance, which set the groundwork for the super city.
The council voted on Thursday to consult Māori about the seats. Under the proposal, one seat would be appointed by mana whenua, while the other two seats would be elected positions.
Mayor Phil Goff said it was important the council carried out the consultation properly.
"Because we aren't under a time constraint I think it's really important to do it thoroughly and we get it right," he said.
The council would also have to consult with the wider community before going ahead with any changes, he said.
Under the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act, which created the super city, the council can only have 20 members in addition to the mayor.
For Auckland to create Māori wards, the government would need to amend the legislation.
Minister of Local Government Nanaia Mahuta has ruled out doing that under urgency, which would be necessary to have the wards up and running for next year's elections.
Manukau ward councillor Alf Filipaina, the co-chairman of the joint working group investigating the issue, on Thursday voted against the proposal to consult Māori.
Filipaina said the council should have instead voted on whether it supported or opposed the working group's recommendation.
He said it would have allowed the council to state its position on the three seat proposal, as opposed to a previous model the council had discussed in August which would have only seen one seat created.
Filipaina said the consultation process would just delay the council making a decision.
"When the working group made its recommendation, it put it on the table so we could go back to our respective entities, the Independent Māori Statutory Board and the governing body, to vote on it."
Manukau Urban Māori Authority chairman Bernie O'Donnell said he agreed with Filipaina's comments, but the consultation process would also allow people in Māoridom to have some input.
He said under the proposal, urban Māori should be given equal status as mana whenua and be able to appoint someone to one of the seats.
Urban Māori make up the majority of Tāmaki Makaurau's Māori population and live outside areas controlled by their iwi or hapū, he said.
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