Future generations of New Zealanders will look back with feelings of great shame and embarrassment at the Government’s decision to exclude Maori seats from the Auckland Council.
That is the prediction of the Waitakere City Council’s Te Taumata Runanga Committee which says the move is a giant setback for race relations in Auckland and New Zealand as a whole.
“The Government’s decision to not allow Maori seats on the new Auckland Council has pre-empted the findings of the select committee,” Te Taumata Runanga chairman Warahi Paki says.
“It’s an affront to the democratic process and has left Maori feeling gutted.
“Effectively this means the entire select committee process, which the general public and Maori were lead to believe would be carried out in good faith, has been nothing but a Government-led sham.
"It was never anything more than a political sideshow and has been a complete waste of time,” he says.
Mr Paki believes the decision to exclude Maori seats on the council is a travesty considering that much of Auckland’s land was gifted by Maori to Europeans in the spirit of friendship.
“This decision clearly contravenes the Treaty of Waitangi as it excludes New Zealand’s indigenous people from having an active role in determining their future,” Mr Paki says.
Mr Paki says Minister of Local Government Rodney Hide is a national disgrace and has called on him to resign.