16 Feb 2012

More time to resolve Maori funding

6:07 am on 16 February 2012

Auckland Council and the Independent Maori Statutory Board have agreed to take more time to resolve a funding disagreement.

The board says the council's draft 10 year budget includes as little as one sixth of the $295 million needed to advance Maori in the city.

Two of its members on Wednesday dismissed council estimates that more than $200 million of council spending would benefit Maori, either indirectly or directly.

Mayor Len Brown says there are several months available before the budget is finalised.

Board chair David Taipari says it is sticking with its view on the level of funding required.

The draft budget will now go to the public for consultation.

The council faced criticism on Wednesday over the financial commitment to Maori proposed in its draft ten year budget.

Board chair David Taiparis says he is confident it will get the ratepayer funding it is asking for.

He says the board has provided evidence to support its proposal and if it is not accepted he will want to know why.

Funding 'inadequate'

The board earlier said it will consider taking action if the council's 10 year budget was not changed.

It said the draft budget commits less than a third of the $295 million the board believes is needed to improve the position of Maori.

Mr Taipari said there are good words in the plan, but the funding is inadequate.

He says the board's two members on the council's strategy and finance committee will oppose the draft budget in its current form.