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Council supports Maaori representation at Committees

Waikato District Council voted Wednesday (17 July) in support of the concept of Maaori representation on its three principal committees. In a strong signal of the Council’s intention, the vote – which provided “in principle” support for the proposal – was supported unanimously.

Council voted that Maaori representation, which includes full voting rights at the committee level, be included as part of the governance structure presented to the new Council for its approval, after the October 2019 elections.

Mayor Allan Sanson said that Wednesday’s meeting was the first formal vote by Waikato District Councillors on this issue, adding that “it had been a long time coming.”

“The final shape of Maaori representation at Council will ultimately be decided by the next Council after October. However this Council has sent a strong signal of its intention to make it happen,” he said.

With the Council giving in principle support for the initiative, staff can now move to consider formal structures around the proposal, such as remuneration model, appointment process, job description and candidate profile. These final details will continue to be worked on by staff, Councillors and key stakeholders over coming months.

The 17 July Council report recommended that the Maaori representatives (to be known as Maangi Maaori – Voice of Maaori) should be included on Council’s principal committees, which currently comprise: Strategy and Finance; Infrastructure; and Policy and Regulatory.

Council staff has worked closely with Waikato Tainui and other Maaori stakeholders in preparing the report that went before Council this week.

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