23 May 2012

Auckland councillors not buying Maori spending bid

7:20 pm on 23 May 2012

Attempts to get Auckland Council to spend more money on Maori has been rejected by a key committee.

The Independent Maori Statutory Board is campaigning for $295 million to be spent on Maori over 10 years.

It says the money would go towards improving the lives of Maori - ensuring there's spending on things such as marae development, housing on ancestral land, and the protection of sacred sites.

But councillors told the chairman of the board, David Taipari, they don't know what they would be agreeing to.

Mr Taipari says that stance is becoming an excuse rather than a reason.

He says there's more work to be done to push Auckland Council to budget more for Maori, but he had hoped that issue would have been finalised at Wednesday's Strategy and Finance Committee meeting.

Mr Taipari says there's a huge expectation and obligation on the council - not just legal but also the moral obligation to all of the people in the Tamaki Makaurau region.