Auckland Council’s Governing Body has adopted the consultation document for Māori seats, with public feedback open from 21 August until 24 September.
We will ask Aucklanders for their feedback on introducing Māori seats onto the Governing Body of council.
Rose Leonard, Auckland Council’s Manager of Governance Services, says this is a significant decision for the council and we want to hear from mana whenua iwi, Māori living in Tāmaki Makaurau and the wider community.
“A decision on Māori seats for the council is a significant one. It is about how Māori are represented in Tāmaki Makaurau, and how Aucklanders are represented by their Governing Body.
“This consultation is an opportunity for mana whenua, Māori and the wider public in Tāmaki Makaurau to tell us whether or not they want the council to introduce Māori seats. It’s a decision that will affect us all, so we encourage everyone to participate and have their say.”
What does ‘Māori seats’ mean?
Māori seats are designated seats on a council for Māori representatives. There are two ways to fill seats: by election or by appointment, although in Auckland there is currently no ability to make appointments to the Governing Body. This would need new legislation.
Māori-elected seats are elected by those on the Māori electoral roll. The council would need to establish one or more Māori wards from which Māori seats would be elected.
A council must use a formula in the Local Electoral Act 2001 to determine how many members on a council can be elected from one or more Māori wards. The legislation does not provide for elected Māori seats on local boards.
Māori-appointed seats are seats filled by appointment rather than election, and the seats may be appointed in several ways – for example, through a selection panel or a mana whenua forum.
About the Governing Body
Auckland Council’s Governing Body looks after regional issues that affect all of Auckland and is made up of the mayor and 20 elected ward councillors.
A Māori ward councillor would make decisions that impact the region alongside other councillors and the mayor on the Governing Body.
You can read more about the council’s governance structure here.
Visit the AK Have Your Say website between 21 August and 24 September to find out more and have your say.
Feedback can be provided online, via email, post and at Have Your Say events so Aucklanders are encouraged to get involved and make their voices heard.
All feedback will be considered by the Governing Body before any decisions are made.
If the council decides to introduce Māori seats in the next local elections, it must do so by 23 November 2023 to meet the Local Electoral Act 2001 deadline.