MDC seeks more iwi in­put

Nelson Mail - - News - Chloe Ran­ford chloe.ran­[email protected]

More iwi rep­re­sen­ta­tion is be­ing sought around the Marl­bor­ough District Coun­cil ta­ble.

The coun­cil will hold a hui, or work­shop, with Te Tau Ihu iwi from the top of the south in the new year to es­tab­lish a stronger part­ner­ship and en­cour­age more iwi into lo­cal gov­ern­ment.

It comes as part of the coun­cil’s first Te Ao Ma¯ ori sub­com­mit­tee, held last month, which aims to achieve greater rep­re­sen­ta­tion for iwi in the Marl­bor­ough re­gion.

Coun­cil­lor Na­dine Tay­lor, who chaired the new sub­com­mit­tee, said the hui was a step to­wards al­low­ing iwi and the coun­cil to bet­ter work to­gether.

"We’re send­ing out in­vi­ta­tions to Te Tau Ihu iwi to a hui next year to talk about part­ner­ships and how to move for­ward with di­alogue, stronger re­la­tion­ships and a stronger part­ner­ship,’’ she said.

‘‘Part of that is iwi rep­re­sen­ta­tion. We have three stand­ing com­mit­tees at the coun­cil, but only one has an iwi rep­re­sen­ta­tive.’’

The po­si­tions al­lowed rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Te Tau Ihu to get their views across to coun­cil com­mit­tees and to the Te Ao Ma¯ori sub­com­mit­tee be­fore items were put to full coun­cil for a fi­nal vote.

At present, Maataa Waka mem­ber Richard Hunter was the only ac­tive iwi rep­re­sen­ta­tive, hav­ing served for the past two decades.

There were still two iwi rep­re­sen­ta­tive po­si­tions avail­able at the coun­cil.

‘‘We don’t have a fixed idea of whether to have one rep­re­sen­ta­tive across all three or three in­di­vid­ual rep­re­sen­ta­tives. That’s some­thing we need to talk to iwi about,’’ Tay­lor said.

‘‘I think this is a re­ally ex­cel­lent be­gin­ning which will al­low is­sues, items and top­ics to be fed into an or­derly space,’’ she said. ‘‘In essence, this work is about cre­at­ing bet­ter part­ner­ships.’’

The coun­cil first flagged the need for Te Ao Ma¯ ori rep­re­sen­ta­tion as part of this year’s long-term plan, which was ap­proved on June 28.

It orig­i­nally planned to en­gage a Te Ao Ma¯ ori cul­tural ad­viser, but later opted to es­tab­lish a Te Ao Ma¯ ori sub­com­mit­tee to help with iwi rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

‘‘It wasn’t that a sub­com­mit­tee was a bet­ter op­tion, just a mech­a­nism for us to talk with iwi to work out what was the best way for­ward with the ap­point­ment of cul­tural ad­vis­ers and iwi rep­re­sen­ta­tion,’’ Tay­lor said.

Other items dis­cussed at the sub­com­mit­tee were the fre­quency of the meet­ings and re­mu­ner­a­tion for iwi rep­re­sen­ta­tives, which staff at the coun­cil were asked to re­port back on.

The sub­com­mit­tee had the power to al­lo­cate $30,000 a year to projects that im­proved the coun­cil’s ac­cess to cul­tural ad­vice and long-term re­la­tion­ships with Ma¯ ori.

The im­me­di­ate fo­cus of the sub­com­mit­tee was cre­at­ing a vis­i­ble Ma¯ ori pres­ence in the coun­cil build­ings through art­work and bilin­gual sig­nage, and in­creas­ing ac­cess to knowl­edge and ed­u­ca­tion for coun­cil staff.

RICKY WIL­SON/ STUFF

Marl­bor­ough district coun­cil­lor and Te Ao Ma¯ ori sub­com­mit­tee chair Na­dine Tay­lor hopes the up­com­ing hui will es­tab­lish a stronger part­ner­ship be­tween the coun­cil and iwi.

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