The Auckland City Council has voted 10-5 in favor in principle to establish a Māori seat for the 2019 local body elections.
This would be in addition to the 20 positions council already has and would require a law change to lift the 20-seat cap for this to happen.
Because it is an electoral decision Aucklanders can contest the outcome either way.
If a petition is launched and signed by more than 5 percent of residents, they can call for a poll on the issue at a cost of $1-million or Auckland Council could also conduct its own poll in conjunction with the 2019 elections for around $150,000.
Only a few local bodies including the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regional councils have successfully implemented Māori wards.
When council was established in 2010 the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance recommended three Māori seats, but this was ignored and the Independent Maori Statutory Board (IMSB) was formed to promote Māori issues in Auckland.