May 10, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Maori Board commits to excercising power with mana

3 min read

The Independent Maori Statutory Board for Auckland will exercise its role under the Government?s Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009 responsibly, it said today.

The Board was responding to media and political comment over the last week about the statutory requirement on it to appoint up to two members to Auckland Council committees dealing with the management and stewardship of natural and physical resources.

The Chairman of the Board, David Taipari, said it was entrusted by the legislation to demonstrate Maori leadership in Auckland?s local government affairs.

That means working collaboratively with the Mayor and Council to deliver effective decision-making which in turn achieves tangible outcomes for Auckland the place and the people, he said.

Mr Taipari said Prime Minister John Key?s Cabinet had considered a range of options for Maori representation and participation on the new Auckland Council, including separate Maori seats and the Statutory Board alternative, in an August 2009 paper submitted by Local Government Minister Rodney Hide and Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples.

Following Cabinet discussion, the Government decided not to have separate Maori seats on the Council itself but to instead establish the Board with its role of making the appointments to Council committees. Provisions to give effect to this were included in the first draft of the Government?s legislation for the new Council, introduced to Parliament in December 2009. These provisions were then carefully scrutinised by the Select Committee before being passed into law.

As required under the legislation, the Board was then appointed under a process led by Dr Sharples and involving all the tribes and key Maori organisations of the Auckland region.

We believe the new Auckland Council structure, proposed by the Royal Commission set up by the Labour-led Government and brought to life by the National-led Government, offers a wonderful opportunity to build the best city in the world for Maori, Pakeha and all Aucklanders, Mr Taipari said.

While there will be ongoing discussions over Maori seats on the new Council, we believe the Independent Maori Statutory Board will provide for real Maori participation in Council affairs.

We have begun the process of giving effect to the role legislated to us by Parliament, including working with the Mayor and Council to determine which committees the law requires us to make appointments to, and the skills and attributes the Council would like our appointees to have.

Once those matters are resolved, the Board will make initial appointments and will also begin work to bring new talent from the Maori community onto the committees, based on input from the Council on what additional skills are needed.

The concept of cooption to a governance body is not unusual and is seen in everything from the boards of multinational companies through to school boards of trustees.

As part of that process, we will be looking for Maori people with world-class skills in governance, corporate finance, tikanga Maori and all the other skills councillors indicate as important. We will also require that the Board and all other representatives communicate directly with, and be accountable to, all Maori in Auckland.

Mr Taipari said the Board had made a commitment to reaching its decisions by consensus and would extend this policy to work on committees. Talk of the Board holding the balance of power? on committees was incorrect, he said.
We are being very careful to do exactly what Parliament legislated for us to do neither more nor less, he said.
That is the responsible approach all Aucklanders expect.

Wherever possible, we believe the new Council deserves unanimous, consensus recommendations from its committees and the Board?s policy will be that our representatives on each committee should work with everyone across the political spectrum to achieve that.

Mr Taipari said there had been some calls in recent days for a reconsideration of the Board?s powers.

If some politicians want to re-litigate fundamental features of Maori participation in the new Council so early in its life, that would need to involve consultation with all Maori in Auckland. We believe everyone?s efforts would be better directed to making the new Auckland the best city in the world to live, work, play, bring up families and do business, he said.

Inquiries: David Taipari
Independent Maori Statutory Board for Auckland
Ph: 027 4385524


Sarah Phillips
Exceltium Ltd
Ph: 021 382444

2 thoughts on “Maori Board commits to excercising power with mana

  1. Why is there a logo of Auckland City Council on this article when that council no longer exists?

    The new Auckland Council is completely different to the former Auckland City Council.

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