28 Sep 2017

Auckland Council agrees to establish Māori seat

7:38 pm on 28 September 2017

Auckland Council is to get a dedicated Māori seat - but only if the government agrees to a law change.

Phil Goff gives his maiden speech to the Auckland Council.

Mayor Phil Goff said a referendum on the issue would be "divisive". Photo: RNZ / Todd Niall

Councillors have voted two-to-one in principle to have the seat, but said first the 20-seat cap imposed by the government must go.

They steered away from other options, including holding a referendum on the issue.

Councillors also rejected the idea of dropping an existing seat to create a Māori ward.

Mayor Phil Goff said a referendum would have been divisive and unlikely to approve the seat.

Manukau ward councillor Alf Filpaina, who is part Māori, proposed the compromise and said the outcome was a victory for Māori.

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