10 Feb 2011

Funding vote for Maori Statutory Board invalid

9:57 pm on 10 February 2011

Auckland Mayor Len Brown says it is likely the amount of money a council committee voted to provide for the Independent Maori Statutory Board will be reduced.

Council staff have discovered that a vote taken by the committee on Tuesday to give about $5 million to the board was not valid and will have to be retaken.

The committee had approved a $2.06 million budget for the board's first eight months, with nearly $3.43 million sought for the next full year.

Mr Brown had persuaded Auckland councillors to vote unanimously in favour of committing the funding.

The members of the Maori board will sit on council committees.

On Thursday, Mr Brown told Checkpoint the funding was only a draft budget and needs to be considered as part of the council's Annual Plan next week.

He says there is certainly room to make reductions in the budget for the Maori board.

The level of funding drew criticism from Local Government Minister Rodney Hide and Prime Minister John Key, whose Government created the board.