Collins wants 'monster' Maori board dumped

9:06 am on 6 December 2015

National Party MP Judith Collins has called the Auckland Council's Maori advisory board an "unaccountable monster" that thinks it's "outside the law".

Judith Collins

Judith Collins Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Ms Collins made the remarks in a speech to the ACT Party's Auckland South annual regional conference on Saturday afternoon.

In her address as guest speaker at the conference, the Papakura MP said the Independent Maori Statutory Board (IMSB) was neither elected nor accountable, and should be dumped.

"The Maori statutory board is an unaccountable monster. It believes it is outside the law," she said in her speech.

"I recall my experience trying to get some basic information about its members. The IMSB ignored the request and ultimately I had to get the Office of the Ombudsman involved."

Even under instruction from the Ombudsman, the board still refused to comply, she said.

"Despite the Ombudsman finding the IMSB had no grounds under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act to withhold the information, the IMSB thumbed its nose at the Ombudsman.

"The board actually passed a resolution not to comply with the ombudsman's recommendation."

Its refusal to release documentation that should be publicly available showed a lack of respect for the law and Auckland ratepayers, Ms Collins said.

The board was set up after the "supercity" was created, to advise Auckland Council on Maori matters and promote issues important to Māori. Its role is to ensure the council takes those issues into account when making decisions.

RNZ has approached the board for comment.

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