16 Dec 2011

Ngati Toa opposed to abolishing Maori seats in Parliament

8:53 pm on 16 December 2011

Porirua-based tribe Ngati Toa wants Maori wards created in time for the 2013 local government elections.

The head of the Ngati Toa Rangatira Trust Board says Maori representation on the Porirua City Council would be a recognition of a true treaty partnership.

Matiu Rei says just as there are Maori seats in Parliament, it makes sense for tribes to be represented on councils, as tribal concerns are unique and can only be raised by iwi.

Mr Rei says with the National Party signalling it might abolish Maori electorate seats, it is even more important iwi push for a voice on local authorities.

Porirua does have three Maori councillors but they represent all ratepayers not tangata whenua,  he says.