May 12, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Maori disempowered in local government? (Lecture)

2 min read

The importance of providing Maori seats in local government will be stressed at a forthcoming lecture at The University of Auckland.

Maori and the future of local government is the topic of the first lecture in the School of Architecture and Plannings Autumn Communique series.

It is being given by Lena Henry, a new lecturer in Planning at the University, and Rau Hoskins, a specialist in sustainable Maori architecture at Unitec.

LocalGovtHikoiFThe Royal Commission on Auckland Governance strongly recommended that Maori be represented on the Auckland Council in the form of three seats shared between manawhenua and Maori. This was rejected by the government in pressing ahead with the Local Government (Auckland Council) Bill.

The review of Auckland governance had inspired hope and enthusiasm for the establishment of a single, region-wide unitary authority, says Lena Henry. This would in turn overcome fragmentation and lead to more effective governance.

As the process draws to its conclusion, communities feel a sense of reinforced disempowerment. Local governance in Aotearoa New Zealand has developed with little regard to the indigenous political structures and values of iwi and hapu.

Manawhenua of Tamaki, iwi, hapu and Tangata Tiriti are committed to the kaupapa of establishing M?ori seats in local government.

The University of Aucklands National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries comprises the School of Architecture and Planning, Elam School of Fine Arts, the Centre for New Zealand Art Research and Discovery (CNZARD), the School of Music and the Dance Studies Programme.

  • The public lecture is on 16 March at 12 noon in the Design Theatre, Conference Centre Building, 22 Symonds Street.

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