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Ethnic panel wants 'decision-making' role on Auckland council

Last updated 13:11 23/05/2013
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DECISION TIME: Auckland Council's ethnic advisory panel wants decision-making status on the council.

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A bid by ethnic communities to have a decision-making role within the Auckland Council appears unlikely to succeed any time soon.

The ethnic advisory panel that reports to the council asked Mayor Len Brown for a "decision-making" role on council committees in its quarterly report, given the growing ethnic population in Auckland.

The issue was not raised today at the council's governing body meeting, which focused on whether the panel will continue at all.

Legislation forced the council to set up the panel for the first term of the super-city. It is up to the council whether the panel is retained.

Panel chairwoman Camille Nakhid asked councillors whether they thought the issues faced by ethnic communities would be fixed before the October elections.

"Have you got it sorted? Have you come to a place where you no longer need an ethnic panel?"

She said there were more than 400,000 people in Auckland who hailed from an ethnic minority, excluding Maori and Pacific Islanders.

Councillors generally supported retaining the panel next year but wanted to see a report outlining the performance of the panel before voting on the issue.

"We value what you've been doing for the last three years and would like to see it continue," Cr Cathy Casey said.

"We need to harness that energy into the future."

The panel deals with a wide range of issues, from funding for ethnic support groups to racism in the workplace.

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- Fairfax Media

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