26 Oct 2012

Mayor vows to involve Maori in budget talks

9:06 am on 26 October 2012

Auckland mayor Len Brown says he will be working to ensure Maori representatives are included in discussion about the council's budget, despite an apparent snub by the full council.

In a surprise move on Thursday, councillors decided to keep discussions at meetings of the full council, where members of the board set up to represent Maori do not have a say.

In a narrow 11-10 vote they decided to divert the budget talks away from the strategy and finance committee, where two Independent Maori Statutory Board board members have voting rights.

Board chair David Taipari says being shut out of the budget-setting process is a significant issue.

Mr Brown says it is his responsibility to ensure due process is upheld, so he is determined to make sure the statutory board is involved.

"We had a later vote, that wasn't recorded or acknowledged, and it was pretty clear that everyone really felt they'd overshot the mark."