29 Dec 2012

Board likely to push for Auckland Council Maori seats

6:38 am on 29 December 2012

The Independent Maori Statutory Board says it is likely to eventually press for directly elected Maori seats on Auckland Council.

The board was set up to represent Maori interests on the council, but its chair says that is not a substitute for direct seats.

In creating the council two years ago, the Government rejected Maori seats, opting instead for the independent board whose members sit on council committees.

A review of the council structure is required any time during its next two terms and the chair of the statutory board, David Taipari, expects it will push for seats.

Mr Taipari says the board would complement work done by Maori ward councillors.

Mayor Len Brown says he is happy having the board representing Maori interests, and it may take five years before it has its greatest impact.