Auckland Council is to get a dedicated Māori seat - but only if the government agrees to a law change.
Councillors have voted two-to-one in principle to have the seat, but said first the 20-seat cap imposed by the government must go.
They steered away from other options, including holding a referendum on the issue.
Councillors also rejected the idea of dropping an existing seat to create a Māori ward.
Mayor Phil Goff said a referendum would have been divisive and unlikely to approve the seat.
Manukau ward councillor Alf Filpaina, who is part Māori, proposed the compromise and said the outcome was a victory for Māori.