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Ko te whakakanohitanga o Ngāi Māori ki Tāmaki Makaurau

Māori representation in Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland

Māori wards in Tāmaki Makaurau

We considered establishing Māori ward seats for the 2025 local elections.

In September 2023 we asked the public for their thoughts on the decision – see Māori seats for Auckland Council.

After considering the feedback, the Governing Body decided not to introduce Māori seats to Auckland Council for the 2025 local elections.

Read more about the decision on OurAuckland.

How Māori take part in decision-making

Māori participation in decision-making occurs in a number of ways:

  • Houkura, formerly known as the Independent Māori Statutory Board, may appoint people to some of the committees of the Governing Body.
  • Auckland Council takes part in co-governance bodies such as the Tūpuna Maunga Authority.
  • The Tāmaki Makaurau Mana Whenua Forum is made up of representatives of the 19 iwi and hapū in Tamaki Makaurau. It partners with the Crown and Auckland Council on national and region-shaping matters that require a collective voice.

Houkura, Independent Māori Statutory Board

Houkura, formerly known as the Independent Māori Statutory Board, is separate to Auckland Council.

Its role is to make sure Auckland Council meets all legislative requirements with regards to the Treaty, as well as to promote important issues for Māori in Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland.

Watch this video about the Māori Plan for Tāmaki Makaurau to build your understanding of Houkura and their mahi.


Read the full transcript of this video.


Committees of the Governing Body

At Auckland Council there are several committees of the Governing Body (mayor and councillors).

These committees make sure that the right amount of attention can be paid to each important area of decision-making.

See a full list of committees and what they do.

Shared decision-making

Houkura appoints up to two members to some committees to sit alongside members of the Governing Body. This means that they are involved in decision-making and have voting rights on the issues covered by these committees.

Members of the Governing Body, including the mayor, are elected through local elections every three years.

Tāmaki Makaurau Mana Whenua Forum

Looking after the land

Mana whenua means a group who have ancestral ties to the land. This is an important role, as mana whenua have been looking after the land for hundreds of years.

The Tāmaki Makaurau Mana Whenua Forum is where 19 hapū-iwi governance representatives meet to consider matters of regional significance collectively.

We work with the Mana Whenua Forum when seeking views on mana whenua issues or opportunities.

Did you know?

The customary Māori name for Auckland is Tāmaki Makaurau.

Meaning ‘Tāmaki – loved by hundreds’, the title refers to the strategic importance of the location with easy access ways (via portages) between harbours to east and west coasts.

The fertile volcanic soils and favourable climate allowed for crops to flourish and the waterways teemed with fish and shellfish to support growing populations.

About Māori representation in central government

In our Parliament there are seven seats reserved for Māori Members of Parliament (MPs). The Māori MPs are elected by people that are on the Māori electoral roll.

If you are of Māori descent, you can choose to be on either the general electoral roll or the Māori electoral roll.

There are seven Māori electorates (regions where a person can stand for election) in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Each electorate equals one seat in Parliament.

See how the 120 MP seats are divided.

Pie chart showing 120 MP seats, broken into 65 general electorate seats, 7 Māori electorate seats, and 48 party list seats.

Since 2002 local governments have also had the opportunity to introduce something similar at the local level.

Any council that wants to introduce Māori councillors is allowed to, but in the past referenda have frequently overturned these decisions. The law was changed in 2022 so that councils could decide to have Māori councillors and not have their decision overturned.

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