Maori representation in local government v1


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Maori representation in local government v1

  1. 1. MāoriRepresentationinLocalGovernment<br />Joris de Bres<br />Race Relations Commissioner<br />NZ Diversity Forum August 2010<br />
  2. 2. Why consider the issue now?<br />Royal Commission on Auckland Governance recommended Māori seats<br />Government rejected the proposal<br />2010 Race Relations Report identified Māori representation as a priority in election year<br />Māori remain seriously underrepresented in local government<br />HRC Environment Bay of Plenty case study<br />
  3. 3. Environment Bay of Plenty<br />Council conducted hearings and obtained special legislation in 2001<br />Option extended to all councils in 2002 by Local Electoral Amendment Act<br />Council has had three Maori constituencies since 2004<br />No other council has uplifted the option<br />
  4. 4. EBOP: HRC Case Study 2010<br />Councillors, managers and staff generally enthusiastic about the system<br />BOP iwi positive about the improved participation in decision making<br />Māori Committee a standing committee of Council and engages with hapū and iwi<br />Māori Policy Unit supports Maori Committee and hapū and iwi <br />
  5. 5. EBOP: DIA case study 2009<br />“The establishment of Māori constituency seats is a key mechanism utilised to facilitate Māori input and participation into council.”<br />“While council and Māori acknowledge its practical effect in giving Māori a voice at the decision making table, they also recognise that the Māori seats are a symbol of the validation and respect of Māori as tangata whenua.” <br />
  6. 6. Royal Commission on Auckland Recommendations<br />two Māori seats elected by voters on the Māori Electoral Roll<br /> a Mana Whenua Forum, appointed by mana whenua of the Auckland region<br />A mana whenua seat appointed by members of the Mana Whenua Forum<br />
  7. 7. Select Committee Report<br />Noted that large number of submitters supported Māori seats<br />Urged the Auckland Council to carefully consider establishing Māori representation should there be community support for this<br />Noted that mechanism for this provided by Local Electoral Act 2001<br />Identified need to consider adequacy of national legislation on Māori representation separately<br />
  8. 8. Statutory Māori Advisory Board<br />General functions:<br />(a) act in accordance with its purpose and functions and ensure it does not contravene the purpose for which it was established<br />Specific function:<br />To appoint a maximum of 2 persons to sit on subcommittees dealing with natural and physical resources<br />
  9. 9. Te UruroaFlavell: Private Member’s Bill 2010<br />Proposed change to Local Electoral Act to base Māori seats on population not enrolment<br />Present system if fully implemented would produce 117 Māori seats (12.7%)<br />Proposed system would produce 199 Māori seats (21.5%).<br />Current Māori representation is 4.8%<br />
  10. 10. Survey of local government<br />The Human Rights Commission has surveyed all territorial authorities and regional councils to establish whether they have considered introducing Māori seats<br />Results of that survey will be presented today by Dr Judith Pryor.<br />
  11. 11. Recommendations<br />Iwi should discuss whether or not they want Māori seats on their local or regional council<br />New Auckland Council should proceed to establish Māori seats without further ado, subject to re-endorsement by Auckland iwi<br />Discussions should take place between councils and iwi on Māori seats and Māori representation prior to next representation review (in 2011)<br />Councils should support the Māori choice<br />There should be further national discussion on improved provision for Māori representation<br />