Nelson City Council is poised to become the first unitary authority in New Zealand to have a Maori ward.
Councillors voted unanimously on Thursday in favour of a resolution to create a Maori ward, in time for the 2013 local government elections.
Chief executive Keith Marshall says it's a momentous decision and acknowledges the message six iwi having been giving council for years, that they'd like a voice and a vote at the council table.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council currently has four Maori seats and Waikato Regional Council voted last week to establish two in 2013.
Mr Marshall says having a Maori ward in Nelson won't change the number of seats on the council, but one councillor will be elected by those on the Maori roll.