Saturday, December 2, 2023

Councillors fear IMSB will colour consultation for Māori seats

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Auckland mayor Wayne Brown. File photo supplied
  • By Laura Kvigstad, Auckland Council reporter
    funded by New Zealand on Air

Councillors fear the public’s lack of awareness about the Independent Māori Statutory Board could colour consultation of Māori seats at Auckland Council.

Auckland Council is going out for consultation to see if Aucklanders support designated Māori seats on council’s Governing Body.

At the Governing Body meeting on June 22, councillors approved the consultation document but several councillors raised concerns about mentioning the Independent Māori Statutory Board (IMSB) in the material.

The IMSB is an appointed body that is independent and legislatively required for council to have.

The board has voting rights with up to two seats on council committees however it does not have a seat on the Governing Body.

Cr Alf Filipaina put forward an amendment originally to remove any mention of the IMSB but later to note that council was not seeking feedback on the IMSB.

“When the IMSB was set up, they had nothing to do with Māori representation, it was to make Auckland Council accountable,” Filipaina said.

Mayor Wayne Brown was confused by Filipaina’s request.

“Basically you want people to know that it is separate but we are not allowed to tell anybody that it even exists,” Brown said.

Several councillors disagreed with excluding the IMSB from the consultation document.

Filipaina’s amendment was lost with nine votes in favour and 12 against.

Consultation on the matter is set to begin in August.

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