Coun­cil push ahead with Ma¯ori ward

Franklin County News - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS -

Auck­land Coun­cil will seek a leg­isla­tive change to al­low it to make an elected Ma¯ori coun­cil­lor role com­pul­sory.

Auck­land coun­cil­lors on Thurs­day voted 10 to five in favour of a Ma¯ori ward, in prin­ci­ple.

How­ever, the com­plex lo­gis­tics of in­tro­duc­ing one means leg­is­la­tion would need to change in order for it to be in place in time for the next lo­cal body elec­tions, which are in 2019.

Coun­cil­lors were also wor­ried that if they de­cided in favour, a public back­lash could cause a pe­ti­tion to be launched.

If so, if it at­tracted about 51,000 Auck­land res­i­dents, then a $1 mil­lion for or against poll would have had to take place funded by Auck­land Coun­cil.

Auck­land Coun­cil would look into chang­ing leg­is­la­tion to in­crease coun­cil­lor num­bers be­fore es­tab­lish­ing a Ma¯ori ward.

If a Ma¯ori ward had been ap­proved it would have taken the place of one of 20 gov­ern­ing body mem­bers, not in­clud­ing the mayor.

Cur­rently the coun­cil’s gov­ern­ing body can­not change its rep­re­sen­ta­tion num­bers, and is the only coun­cil in New Zealand with that re­stric­tion in its leg­is­la­tion.

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