New territory for council with Maori board plan

By Yvonne Tahana

Auckland would be in for a bit of a shake-up if the Maori board's plan for the city is implemented. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Auckland would be in for a bit of a shake-up if the Maori board's plan for the city is implemented. Photo / Brett Phibbs

A statutory body has produced a blueprint for Maori development over the next 30 years in Auckland, to be used to advocate for better resources for Maori.

The Independent Statutory Maori Board believes its Maori Plan for Tamaki Makaurau will transform the region by improving the wellbeing of Maori.

The board has set 49 cultural, social, economic and environmental goals, backed by a set of activities that will "give direction, guidance and information to the Auckland Council for developing investment and budget bids in those specific areas".

It is a wide-ranging document that pushes the council into new territory, in that it has a significant focus on social outcomes, setting education and health targets, for instance.

It also asks the council to support the establishment of a te reo Maori working group to promote the use of Maori and to develop a naming protocol with mana whenua (Maori with traditional authority over the area), and to give its backing to compulsory te reo in all Auckland schools.

It also asks the council to support financial literacy programmes to ensure Maori business success to facilitate Maori engagement in trade delegations, foreign direct investment, innovation and export.

Board chairman David Taipari said it was fair comment that the plan had elements that didn't reflect traditional council roles such as roading, water and rates but was a reflection of what Maori through consultation hui had told the board they wanted.

"We didn't want to set the bar too low ... The plan will enable the board members to be very strong and very clear in their direction. This is what Maori want..."

Not much can happen in the plan without councillors' support.

Mayor Len Brown wouldn't be drawn on how much he thought was achievable but drew a comparison with the Auckland Plan, saying if 75 per cent of it was completed, he would be happy.

THE NUMBERS

157,500 Maori in Tamaki Makaurau

Where do they live? - top five wards:
* 20.3% Manurewa-Papakura.
* 14.8% Manukau ward.
* 13.9% Waitakere ward.
* 7.6% North Shore.
* 6.6% Albert-Eden-Roskill.

Iwi:
* 85.5% of Maori belong to non-Tamaki Makaurau iwi.
* 19 tribes have been identified as mana whenua or belonging to the region.
* 14.5% of Maori belong to mana whenua groups.

* To see the full plan go to: imsb.maori.nz/

- NZ Herald

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