The Hamilton City Council has unanimously voted for a Māori ward to be established for the next local government elections.
The decision was made at an extraordinary council meeting today after a consultation that took place between April 16 and May 10 with the community sought on better Māori representation in the council's decision-making processes.
The council received 994 submissions, with 81% in favour of introducing aMāori ward.
Mayor Paula Southgate says she is thrilled with this decision and thanked the councillors for their consideration of the issues and unanimous vote. She also thanked submitters who had expressed their views respectfully and courageously.
“We must continue to have courageous conversations and go forward together. If we do not, we will not flourish as a city. I want to lead a city where we know and celebrate our differences because we are united on what matters most. I believe that is what everyone in our city wants and today we have taken an important step towards that,” she said.
“Kua tae te wa, kia anga whakamua kotahi tataou. E kī ai te kōrero o te hāpori, mehemea he kaupapa pai mo ngai Māori, ā he kaupapa rawe mo tātou katoa.”