Ngā Turu Māori: Māori Constituencies
The Bay of Plenty Region Council established three Maori constituencies (seats) under the Bay of Plenty Regional Council (Māori Constituency Empowering) Act 2001. This 2001 Act was bought about after extensive public consultation led by Retired Chief Family Court Judge Peter Trapski establishing the Mauāo, Ōkurei and Kōhi constituencies. See the Bay of Plenty Region's Māori constituencies (695KB, pdf).
In 1996 Māori requested direct representation on the Regional Council. The Bay of Plenty Regional Council's Māori Regional Representation Committee prepared a submission for the Council, which proposed the introduction of Māori (constituency) seats. This could only succeed if a local Bill was passed. The Bay of Plenty community was consulted and the proposal received strong support, with some opposition.
Judge Trapski Māori Representation Report (820 KB, PDF) considered more than 300 submissions, of which a significant majority were in support. He concluded that there was significant support similar to the Māori seats in the Parliament of New Zealand, and based upon this support there was an equally good basis to establish Māori seats on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. He also recommended that Bay of Plenty Regional Council's proposal was in accordance with the New Zealand constitutional principles of law.
The Bill was drafted in early 1999 and passed in October 2001. It provided for the establishment of three Māori seats on the Regional Council, one elected from each of the three Bay of Plenty wards: Mauāo (the west of the Bay of Plenty), Kōhi (the east of the Bay of Plenty) and Ōkurei (the central/south of the Bay of Plenty). This bill allows people on the Māori roll to vote for their own Māori representative.
Our Māori Councillors
Visit our Councillors' page for further information about all Bay of Plenty Regional Council councillors, including the current elected Māori representatives.
- The Treaty Challenge: Local Government and Maori, A Scoping Report 2002 - Janine Hayward (1.2MB, PDF)