Hastings District Council will hold an urgent meeting on Thursday to start the public consultation needed if it is to have Māori ward representatives after next year's local elections.
The meeting follows a council Māori Standing Committee meeting which this afternoon gave the issue the big tautoko - the committee comprising councillors and co-opted Māori representatives voting unanimously to recommend the council start the process.
A decision otherwise would have left the council unable to invoke Māori wards until at least 2025.
A resolution to make the recommendation was moved by member Marei Apatu and seconded by Cr Geraldine Travers, who effectively won the race to second the motion.
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District councillors on the committee were given the opportunity to opt out of the vote, because of their eventual responsibility at the end of consultation when the issue goes before the council on May 18, after the consultation.
No one abstained, and Travers told chairman Robin Hape she thought it would be symbolic for a councillor to be supporting the recommendation.
It will be third time the issue has gone to the council table in the last 10 years.
Yesterday's meeting started just after 1.30pm and the decision was made just an hour later.