29 year old Wiremu Flavell will run again in Auckland's local council elections because of the low number of Māori elected in the previous election.
Wiremu Flavell is the only Māori representative currently on Auckland Council's Henderson-Massey Local Board. He says there needs to be more Māori vying for local council positions.
“It is important for Māori to have a voice at the decision-making table, to work alongside the council and other council members, to fight for issues that affect Māori."
Auckland Council says they don't record data relating to the number of Māori who are elected to their local boards or their governing council body.
Flavell however, believes the figure for elected Māori representatives on The Auckland Council is less than five.
“I think that's a huge problem. Perhaps it's because there is a low number of Māori standing in local elections, or perhaps there is only a low number of voters who turn out to vote,” says Flavell.
Overall, 20 representatives from 13 wards are elected to the Auckland Council's governing body along with the Auckland mayor.
Another 149 members from 21 local boards are also elected to make decisions on local matters.
Flavell is vying for another spot on Auckland's Henderson-Massey Local Board.
“I get to fight for significant issues relating to iwi and Māori. I was able to provide (Māori) names for new streets in Waitakere even though my pākeha colleagues didn't approve,” says Flavell.
Nominations for Local Council elections open on 15th of July 2016.