10 Jun 2010

Hopes NZ govt panel could benefit Pacific people in Auckland Super City

11:48 am on 10 June 2010

There are hopes a New Zealand government initiated panel could be the best way for Pacific Island people to be heard in the Auckland Super City.

The Pacific panel was recommended in the final bill passed last week, where a panel for other ethnic groups was also mooted.

Pacific groups in Waitakere, Manukau and Central Auckland want to field candidates for council seats and community boards.

But many think the new panel offers the best hope.

The CEO of the Ministry of the Pacific Affairs, Colin Tukuitonga, is to decide what shape the panel takes.

He says there are many things to factor in.

"There are clearly expectations that people will want to elect there own representative, that's clearly an option. Has its pluses, has its weaknesses. There is the opportunity to consider appointments, again its got pluses and minuses. Its not really for me to make that call at this point."

Dr Colin Tukuitonga, the CEO of the Ministry of Pacific Affairs.