Taken at face value the $3.4m budget for the Maori Statutory Board appears excessive, especially considering it has to come out of the existing council budget which has already been approved. However, John Tamihere makes the pertinent point;
“We are a cheaper alternative to the eight authorities who multiplied their costs by eight. We are an immediate example of the super city working a lot better and a lot smarter”
I am unsure of the figures but surely it is reasonable to assume that $3.4m is considerably less than the combined amount the eight previous councils spent on Maori. I am not familiar with the Supercity legislation but by all accounts the Maori Statutory Board has a very wide brief. The reality is government costs a lot. $3.4m appears like a huge amount to the individual but it is small change for body exercising public functions. Peanuts really. Unfortunately, the council will probably gut the boards funding. Any move to do so will seriously affect the board’s ability to operate effectively and fulfil its statutory obligations.
This whole issue was an easy political target. Any perception that Maori are receiving hand-outs is jumped on by dipshit rednecks and subsequently exploited by the likes of the repugnant Cameron Brewer. However, credit to Cameron for scoring a few easy political points. He comes out of this affair having enhanced his image and at the same time damaging Len Browns.
I hope the council sees sense and reason, rather then votes, when considering this issue. But this is probably too much to expect.