A former Maori affairs minister has said Northland iwi have been given a better opportunity in regional decision making than Maori in Tamaki Makaurau.
The first meeting of Northland regional council's Te Tai Tokerau Maori Advisory Committee was held at Otiria Marae in Moerewa on Monday.
Committee chairperson, former Labour MP Dover Samuels, said fortunately for Maori in his rohe getting seats around the council table wasn't drawn out by central government bureaucracy.
He said Auckland had to go through the arduous process to allow Ngati Whatua to get a voice at council level.
Mr Samuels said the Northland regional council has taken a proactive approach by inviting all hapu and iwi to nominate members of their particular rohe.
He said other regional councils need to take the lead from Northland.