The Department of Internal Affairs

ngā kaunihera-a-rohe

Local Government in New Zealand - Local Councils


How can Māori participate in local government?


Consultation processes

All councils must have processes in place for consulting with Māori. This means that councils have processes in place before issues arise, rather than improvising the processes on an issue-by-issue basis. (see section 82 of the Local Government Act 2002)


Information about voting and becoming a councillor, and standing for office.

Māori wards and constituencies

Māori wards and constituencies establish areas where only those on the Māori Parliamentary electoral roll vote for the representatives.

Following local government elections, councils must publicise representation arrangements including the option of Māori wards and constituencies, and how to change these.

Consultation with Te Puni Kōkiri on proposed changes to local authority structure and boundaries

The Local Government Commission must seek the views of Te Puni Kōkiri, and any affected iwi and Māori organisations identified by Te Puni Kōkiri, when considering proposed changes to local authority structure and boundaries. (See Clause 20 of Schedule 3 of the Local Government Act 2002)

The Local Government Commission

At least one member of the Local Government Commission must have knowledge of tikanga Māori, and must be appointed in consultation with the Minister of Māori Affairs. (See section 33 of the Local Government Act 2002)

Rates on Māori freehold land

Māori freehold land means land whose beneficial ownership has been determined by the Māori Land Court by freehold order. There are other types of land owned by Māori that are not the subject of this policy.

Each council can adopt its own policies on the remission and postponement of rates on Māori freehold land. (See sections 102 and 108 of the Local Government Act 2002)

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