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Tasman District Councillors have decided after much consideration not to initiate a Māori ward before the Local Government elections set down for 2013.
“The discussion on this decision covered many areas not least being the way the Council currently interacts with iwi throughout the District,” said Mayor Richard Kempthorne.
“We are developing a number of good working relationships with groups throughout the District consulting and working together on issues that affect Māori, both district-wide and locally. This is going to have greater importance as the Treaty settlement process continues.”
“The timing of this decision posed a number of challenges. For example, a decision made before the amalgamation debate is resolved is likely to incur extra cost and uncertainty. However, a Council decision on Māori representation is necessary within the Council’s representation review which must be completed by November next year.”
“While the Council has decided not to create a Māori ward it reaffirmed at the meeting its commitment to working with iwi and Māori to enhance effective engagement within our region,” concluded Mayor Kempthorne.