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GAG Gets Council Supporting Maori

For immediate release. Thursday 25 June 2009.

GAG GETS COUNCIL SUPPORTING MAORI

GAG’s strong support for Maori seats on the proposed Super City Council culminated last night in a vocal protest at Waitakere City Council’s chamber for a crucial meeting at which the Council debated their stance on the issue.

Following some debate Council agreed to support guaranteed Maori seats at a governance level both on the new Auckland Council and on the local boards.

The Council’s draft submission to the select committee on Auckland Governance had stated that they would only support a Maori forum and not seats at a governance level.

In addition to supporting Maori seats on Auckland Council the Waitakere City Council also agreed to:

• The continuation of Te Taumata Runanga model, extended across the Auckland Region;
• The introduction of Maori Seats and Te Taumata Runanga model to ALL Councils in Aotearoa;
• To lobby government and Local Gov New Zealand to adopt this nationwide.

(Note the support for Maori seats on Auckland council is NOT contingent on this being adopted nationwide)

GAG member Mels Barton said “We’re glad that Waitakere City Council has listened to their communities and changed their position into taking this strong stance for Maori. It opens the door for improved representation for all voices if Maori can have a seat at the table of governance for the region - and honours the Treaty.

I’m proud of my Council for having the strength to look forward not backwards and show the Government what good local governance is all about – listening to people.

This was always about democracy - and we look forward to the council supporting other initiatives like ward-based councillors and properly empowered local boards to ensure all voices are heard”

GAG is encouraging everyone to have their say on the Super City by emailing their views to the select committee on ALG@parliament.govt.nz by 5pm on Friday 26 June. Advice on writing a submission can be found on the GAG web site at www.gag.net.nz

ENDS

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