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Research on Maori in local govt welcome

Media Statement
Rahui Katene
Maori Party
Local Government Spokesperson

11 December 2009

Maori Party welcomes research on Maori in local government

The Maori Party has welcomed research that local government authorities work more effectively when they have Maori representation.

“It is pleasing to see credible research that backs up what we in the Maori Party and what mana whenua throughout the country have been saying for a while now,” Maori Party local government spokesperson Rahui Katene said.

“The Government must take note of the report – it makes a lot of sense.

“Setting aside seats for Maori on local councils should be viewed as an acknowledgment of the promise of partnership in the Treaty signed by Maori and the Crown.”

The study by Kahui Tautoko Consulting Ltd for the Department of Internal Affairs found that the ‘key to effective participation and better decision making was having Maori representatives with the same status as other elected councillors.’

As part of their research, the report’s authors spoke with staff, councillors and Maori involved with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council which has Maori seats. It was reported that one officer of the council had described the Maori representatives as being the ‘best prepared and most effective contributors to council discussions.’

ENDS

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