4 Nov 2011

Tamihere says council sent Maori negative message

6:33 am on 4 November 2011

A member of the Independent Maori Statutory Board says a refusal by an Auckland Council committee to allow him to present a submission, sends a negative message to Maori.

John Tamihere represents the board on the council's Strategy and Finance Committee, which met on Thursday.

He says he wanted to present a submission stating that it's unacceptable that the council has set aside less than 0.1% of its budget over the next decade for Maori interests.

Mr Tamihere says he attended Thursday's meeting believing the chair had agreed to him presenting a submission on behalf of the board.

He says when that didn't turn out to be the case and that he could only take part in a debate on the council's financial plans, he walked out of the meeting.

Mr Tamihere says he questions the council's commitment to having a partnership with Maori.

He plans to organise an urgent meeting of the Maori Statutory Board early next week, to discuss its next move.