A Northland group has rallied nine Maori to stand for councils and boards in a bid to have a stronger tangata whenua voice in the region.
Tu Kotahi was recently established to encourage Maori to contest places on trusts and boards in the area, including the Northland Regional Council and Whangarei District Council.
Convener Mike Kake said Maori are under-represented at decision making tables in the region.
For example, he said there is only one Maori on the Northland Regional Council, despite Maori making up 47% of the population.
Mr Kake said nine Maori have joined Tu Kotahi and will vie for positions on trusts and boards to gain a stronger Maori voice in Northland.