Please see below a press release we sent out earlier this week: ‘Auckland Council downplays role of IMSB in Māori seats consultation’.
Auckland Council is currently seeking feedback on their proposal to introduce Māori seats. These seats allow for dedicated Māori representation on the Council, including on the Governing Body. As well as gauging support for this proposal, the Council is asking for feedback on how the seats should be filled - by election, or by a combination of election and appointment.
People of Auckland - please take this opportunity to say whether you want the council to introduce Māori seats. Consultation closes on Sunday 24 September 2023.
Go to akhaveyoursay.nz/maori-seats to read Auckland Council’s consultation materials and to submit using the online form provided. You only need to say Yes or No, you do not need to elaborate.
The consultation page also has details of webinars and public events that you can attend to find out more or to submit in person. Three ‘Have Your Say’ events have been booked in at the Town Hall with the Governing Body to allow the public to present directly to councillors.
If you would like to submit in person, the public event will be held on 14 September, between 1pm – 5pm. To register, please email [email protected] and include the speaker’s name, entity or group name (if you represent an entity or are part of a group) and contact details.
As well as sharing your views through the Council’s online form, we encourage you to contact your ward councillor/s directly to let them know whether you support the introduction of Māori seats. It is also a good idea to include which area you live in.
A list of wards and councillors can be found here.
'Aucklanders' views to be sought on Māori ward seats’ published in the Democracy Action August newsletter includes further information. It outlines other ways Auckland Council ensures Māori influence policy and participate in the decision-making process.
We encourage all Aucklanders to take this opportunity to say whether you want the council to introduce Māori seats. Don’t forget consultation closes on Sunday 24 September 2023.
Auckland Council downplays role of IMSB in Māori seats consultation
22 August 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Responding to the call by Auckland Council for the public’s views on whether to introduce Māori seats, Democracy Action Chair Lee Short says “Auckland Council is not being fully transparent in its consultation with the public. The Council's feedback form does not make it clear that the Māori seats would be created in addition to the Independent Māori Statutory Board. The Government established this Board instead of introducing Māori wards, surely making it an integral part of whether to introduce Māori ward seats or not,” he said.
“The Council’s consultation document does not make it clear the Independent Māori Statutory Board already exercises significant influence over the Council's policies and decision-making processes, which includes voting power that directly impacts decisions made by Governing Body committees. Typically, one or two seats are allocated to the Board on all Governing Body committees, where most of the Council’s decisions are made. Adding Māori seats to these committees would further upset the rules around proportional representation, already a contentious issue regarding these committees.”
“By not being fully transparent about the significant influence exercised by the Independent Māori Statutory Board, the Council is failing in its duty to provide enough information to enable the public to be adequately informed to be able to properly engage in this consultation.”
Lee Short said: “Open and transparent governance is essential in fostering trust and engagement between citizens and their local government. Hopefully, the council will add reference to the Independent Māori Statutory Board, and its decision-making role on Governing Body committees, on its feedback survey form.
Additionally, we call on the Government to ask the citizens of Auckland whether they support retaining the Independent Māori Statutory Board.”