Herald supports Maori seats in Auckland

by Jake Quinn

It is both interesting and encouraging to see the NZ Herald come out strongly in support of Maori seats on the proposed Auckland Super Council. From today’s editorial:

The Herald has said previously, both in backing the royal commission’s proposal and in lamenting the Government’s rejection of it, that Maori, as a community of distinctive character and interest, warrant a place around the Auckland Council table. Dedicated seats, equally, are a means of ensuring Maori participation in local government.

Oddly, there are no references – at all – to the Treaty in the editorial.

The Herald feels John Key has backed himself, somewhat unnecessarily, into a corner: “The Government’s problem, following its thumbs-down for the seats, is how to orchestrate this sort of arrangement without appearing to capitulate.”

The editorial concludes: “After due consideration, it must surely find a way to include Maori representation on the Auckland Council.”

As has been assumed by many, it would seem inevitable that Key will capitulate and come up with a compromise through his dealings with the Maori Party.  The question now is how and when?