12 May 2012

Council's Maori watchdog wraps up hui tour

10:45 am on 12 May 2012

The Independent Maori Statutory Board has completed a six-stop hui to hear how the views of tangata whenua can help Auckland Council's decision-making.

More use of te reo Maori and a greater presence of indigenous tourism in the city were two of the points raised by the people of Rewiti Marae.

Board chairman David Taipari told them Maori have long been mistreated by local government.

But he said after years of knocking, Maori have their hand on the doors of the council and they're about to open because the board is making Auckland Council accountable for its actions.

The board also told the hui it wants the council to employ a certain number of Maori but is still deciding the percentage.

Mr Taipari said he's found there's a willingness among Pakeha staff to learn about kaupapa Maori, but they say they need training.