The Dominion Post just reported the following:
Māori Party plans to introduce amendments to create dedicated Māori seats for the new Auckland super city, after Cabinet today ruled them out. Prime Minister John Key said ministers had given consideration to the issue, but decided against it, in a decision Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples described as “taking heed of politics”.
ACT leader Rodney Hide had threatened to quit as Local Government Minister if seats had been reserved for Māori
The move will leave the Māori Party disappointed as they had lobbied hard for some form of elected Māori representation on the council.
The decision by Cabinet today to confirm its earlier April “fast 10 day post Royal Commission decision” against having Māori seats on the new Auckland Council means the new city will start life with a fight on its hands, undermining the unity so fundamental to its future success and setting it up to fail, North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams said today.
The new Auckland Council will have to deal with the huge disappointment of Maori and the resulting on-going consequences for partnership, consensus and progress so vital to effective local governance… Coming on top of the government’s decision to legislate away the right of Aucklanders to hold a referendum on the ‘super city’ and instead impose without a democratic vote the ‘one council, one mayor’ model under urgency, the new Auckland Council will start life with little sense of public legitimacy and no real sense of a public enthusiasm for its existence.” Mayor Williams said.
Mayor Williams said that the submission of the North Shore City Council to the Auckland Governance Legislation Committee urged the government to give greater consideration to Maori representation on the Auckland Council and to undertake further engagement with Maori to arrive at the best solution.