28 Oct 2011

Waikato iwi welcomes Maori seats on regional council

6:35 am on 28 October 2011

Tainui chairman Tukoroirangi Morgan says his iwi is "rapturous" at a decision by Waikato Regional Council to allow for two Maori seats on the council.

Waikato tribal representatives, including the Te Arawa River Iwi Trust, attended a meeting in Hamilton on Thursday night to discuss Maori representation on the council.

The council has been talking about introducing two Maori seats ever since it last reviewed its voting process in 2006.

Mr Morgan says the council's decision to include iwi at the table is a sign of its acceptance of the special Treaty relationship.

He says it represents a tremendous opportunity to further strengthen the bonds and ties between the iwi and council across the region.

Mr Morgan says it's a tangible sign of the maturing of that relationship and a recognition of a special a deep-seated association that's hinged on a willingness to work together.

The Tainui chairman says iwi in the region will now working together on a collective strategy to determine who will be their two representatives, and who will be their strongest advocates in advancing iwi aspirations on the regional council.

The introduction of the seats will be part of the 2013 council elections.