Ma¯ori ap­pointees wel­comed

Hamilton News - - NEWS - Tom Row­land

Hamil­ton City Coun­cil wel­comed five Ma¯ ori ap­pointees to coun­cil com­mit­tees yes­ter­day, mark­ing the be­gin­ning of a new era for part­ner­ship-based de­ci­sion­mak­ing for the city.

The new ap­pointees will have the ti­tle of Ma¯ ngai Ma¯ ori, which means ‘The voice of Ma¯ ori.’

At a cer­e­mony held at the coun­cil build­ing on Thurs­day morn­ing, Nor­man Hill, Bella Takiari-brame, Te Pora Thomp­son, Oliver Te Ua and James Whetu in­tro­duced them­selves to elected mem­bers and coun­cil staff, and spoke of the long jour­ney it had taken Ma¯ ori to get to this point.

Ma¯ ngai Ma¯ ori rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the growth and in­fras­truc­ture com­mit­tee Nor­man Hill said he was hum­bled to be in the role.

“I was go­ing to be a lit­tle un­ortho­dox and change the name to sus­tain­able growth and in­fras­truc­ture, be­cause with growth comes the recog­ni­tion that re­sources are not sus­tain­able,” Mr Hill said.

“I come here as a ser­vant of my iwi to help sup­port the as­pi­ra­tions of Kirikiriroa.”

Ma¯ ngai Ma¯ ori rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the fi­nance com­mit­tee Bella Takiari-brame said it was coura­geous lead­er­ship that made the day pos­si­ble.

“As a Ma¯ ori woman it has been at times lonely and chal­leng­ing, but to­day I am in­spired and hope­ful,” Ms Takiari-brame said.

“This is a model for our di­verse fu­ture, and I guar­an­tee that my con­tri­bu­tion will be to make sure this model is a suc­cess.”

Ma¯ ngai Ma¯ ori rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the com­mu­nity and ser­vices com­mit­tee Te Pora Thomp­son said Ma¯ ori and coun­cil have come too far to not go fur­ther.

“I look for­ward to the jour­ney, I look for­ward to the bumps in the road, and I look for­ward to mak­ing that re­la­tion­ship with coun­cil­lors, and I look for­ward to the progress,” Ms Thomp­son said.

Oliver Te Ua, who is also a Ma¯ ngai Ma¯ ori rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the com­mu­nity and ser­vices com­mit­tee, said he was over­whelmed about his new role.

“Coun­cil­lors I just want to com­mend your courage for sup­port­ing these new po­si­tions,” Mr Te Ua said.

Ma¯ ngai Ma¯ ori rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the reg­u­la­tory and hear­ings com­mit­tee, James Whetu called him­self the mis­chievous one and that he would push hard for the voices that got him there.

“In that search for bal­ance, I will not be search­ing for that bal­ance.

“I will be search­ing for an out­come that will show a re­flec­tion of Ma¯ ori par­tic­i­pa­tion in these pro­cesses,” Mr Whetu said.

Mayor An­drew King said that coun­cil must pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties for Ma¯ ori to be in­volved in coun­cil dis­cus­sions.

“Any­thing less than a voice and a vote around our coun­cil de­ci­sion ta­ble is to­kenism,” Mayor King said. “To­gether we agreed on a model, avoid­ing di­vi­sion in our city which would had been a step back­ward, not for­ward.

In Au­gust this year, the coun­cil ap­proved six votes to four to ap­point one Ma¯ ori rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the Growth and In­fras­truc­ture com­mit­tee, Reg­u­la­tory and Hear­ings com­mit­tee, the Fi­nance com­mit­tee and two rep­re­sen­ta­tives on the Com­mu­nity and Ser­vices com­mit­tee.

The ap­pointees will be able to vote dur­ing the com­mit­tee meet­ings only and will be paid $100 per hour, with the to­tal cost vary­ing de­pend­ing on the length of the meet­ing and the com­mit­tee.

Photo / Tom Row­land

From left: Hamil­ton Mayor An­drew King, Kauma¯ tua Tu­muaki o te Kı¯ngi­tanga Anaru Thomp­son, Nor­man Hill, Bella Takiari-brame, Te Pora Thomp­son, Oliver Te Ua and James Whetu.

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