12 Apr 2009

Hui to discuss Maori seats on new Auckland council

5:09 pm on 12 April 2009

Ngati Whatua's chairman has called a hui so Maori in Auckland can decide how to react to the Government's refusal to guarantee them seats on the new regionwide council.

A Royal Commission that looked into plans for an Auckland supercity advised the Government to guarantee three places on the council for Maori, but the Cabinet has rejected that suggestion.

Maori Party co-leader Dr Pita Sharples says well-off, middle class candidates will dominate the regionwide council unless Maori are ensured seats.

He told TVNZ's current affairs programme Q & A on Sunday that his party is determined to fight the Government's decision.

Dr Sharples says a hui in Auckland on Wednesday will decide how Maori want to respond.

Ngati Whatua trust board chairman Grant Hawke says he's expecting 300 to 400 people at the meeting on Orakei Marae, after inviting Maori politicians and representatives of the region's iwi.

He says they're expected to discuss a number of options, including protest action.