May 18, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Council gives Maori board $3.2 million (Sarah Harvey/Stuff)

2 min read

The Independent Maori Statutory Board will be givenmore than$3.2 million of Auckland Council funding despite controversy earlier this year over a similar figure.

In February there was public outcry when the council aproved a $3.4m budget for the nine-member board. The council then reduced that funding down to about $1.9m and the board threatened to take the council to the High Court over the issue.

The two parties managed to come to an agreement in April but until now that cost has been kept out of the public eye.

This morning the council’s strategy and finance committee, led by Mayor Len Brown, voted to debate the issue in public.

The direct costs of the board will be $1.9m and another $1.3m from existing budgets and staff. The committee voted16 to four this morning to accept the funding agreement, with the final sign-off to be made by the council’s governing body this afternoon.

TheLocal Government Act 2011 established the board and its members sit on council committees and the governing body.Itsrole is to promote issues of significance for Maori in the Auckland region. The nine-member board is not under the council’s control.

Councillor George Wood said he did not support the funding agreement. “I’ve still got real concerns about how it came into being.”

Councillor Cameron Brower said the public were “universally outraged” in February and would be similarly now.
However other councillors, including Councillor Alf Filipaina, said the council was constrained by a statute “that we have to work with”.

Kia ora mo tenei panui Sarah:

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