Maori Party still hope for seats on Super City

The Maori Party is still pushing for dedicated Maori seats on Auckland's new super city council, although the Government previously turned down the proposal.

It is instead proposing establishing an independent Maori statutory board that would advise the council on policy matters.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples attended a hui in Auckland today and later said the board was insufficient to represent Maori interests.

He said if the Maori Party decided to launch a public campaign for Maori seats, MP Hone Harawira would lead it.

Mr Harawira is on leave from Parliament until it resumes after the summer recess following the trouble he got into over his unauthorised trip to Paris while on a parliamentary visit to Europe, and the racially offensive email he sent in defence of it.

Dr Sharples told Radio New Zealand it was unlikely the cabinet would reverse its decision, and another option was for Maori to support a mayoral candidate who favoured dedicated seats for Maori.

He said Mr Harawira had worked on the issue in the past, and he was confident the MP would do a good job leading a campaign if one was launched.

- NZPA

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