25 Feb 2010

Ngati Whatua to join Maori board in new super-city

8:59 pm on 25 February 2010

Ngati Whatua says it will reluctantly join the Maori Advisory Board of the new Auckland Council, despite saying such boards are lightweight with no value.

The Government's decision to have no Maori seats in the super city structure, despite a recommendation by a Royal Commission, sparked a hikoi last May that attracted more than 7000 people.

Ngati Whatua says it will continue to fight for Maori seats because there is a lack of vision for the future of Auckland and what Maori can offer to the super city.

It says it will join the board as an interim step, but contact between the board and new super council can't be regarded as proper consultation with the iwi.

It says a Maori Advisory Board is a duplication of bureaucracy, cost and process. Ngati Whatua chair Grant Hawke told Waatea News that the board should be limited to the 12 iwi and hapu who this month signed a framework agreement to manage the city's maunga (mountains).

The new Auckland Council comes into being on 1 November.