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Newly Adopted Maori Engagement Strategy Promises to Enhance Relationship between Central Hawke’s Bay District Council and Tangata Whenua

16. Nga Taonga O Tamatea exhibition Jackie Lowry photo 2

In a rousing session at Central Hawke’s Bay District Council’s Strategy and Wellbeing Committee Meeting last week, Committee Members adopted the Council’s first Māori Engagement Strategy -  Tūhono mai Tūhono atū.

Tūhono mai Tūhono atū provides a framework for priorities that contribute toward Council and Tangata Whenua aspirations for Māori cultural development, with a particularly strong focus on recognising culture connects and strengthens communities, instils a sense of pride and identity and improves individual and community health and wellbeing.

“Māori Cultural Development is a priority area for Central Hawke’s Bay District Council - Te Kaunihera ā-rohe o Tamatea,” says Kelly Annand, Deputy Mayor and Chair of the Strategy and Wellbeing Committee.

“Our new Māori Engagement Strategy strategy is a channel to ensure Council continues to consider and promote the current and future opportunities for Māori wellbeing.

“It is a living, breathing document that over time, will become an integral part of the way Council speaks, hears and acts.

“At the establishment of the Strategy and Wellbeing Committee late in 2019, this Committee identified the need to raise the bar of Māori engagement and development as a priority and I’m incredibly excited and proud to see a strategy in support of this this adopted today,” says Deputy Mayor Annand.

“Central Hawke’s Bay District Council is committed to enhancing the partnership it has with iwi, hapu and marae across our District. We’ve been working hard on relationships but now Tūhono mai Tūhono atū represents a more formal step towards where Council want and need to be,” says Alex Walker, Mayor of Central Hawke’s Bay.

Dr Roger Maaka, Kaiārahi Matua of Central Hawke’s Bay District Council, says, “This strategy which has been adopted today is a significant symbol in Treaty partnership.

“In Tūhono mai Tūhono atū I see a very thoughtful document, with one of its strengths being that it covers all bases, representing an entire attitude for this Council.

“It is a forward thinking document which is representative of a respectful and constructive relationship between Tangata Whenua and Council,” continues Dr Maaka.

Committee stood spontaneously for Waiata following the adoption of the Strategy.

Developed over five months with the support of Te Taiwhenua o Tamatea, the adoption of Tūhono mai Tūhono atū follows the Council’s recent amendment to its Māori Contribution to Decision Making Policy, which now reflects a clear direction that Māori engagement and development be a priority.

Targeted within four pou, Tūhono mai Tūhono atū considers objectives that:

  • Identify matters and areas of interest to Tangata Whenua
  • Foster consultation with Tangata Whenua at all levels.
  • Foster capacity building of Māori to take part in decision-making processes
  • Provide information to assist Māori participation in decision making
  • Consider options for capacity building of Tangata Whenua to enable better involvement in decision-making processes
  • Develop bespoke relationships with iwi, hapu and marae across Tamatea / Central Hawke's Bay
  • Recognise the special status of mana whenua and take into account the Te Tiriti o Wāitangi in resource management decision making processes.
  • Increase cultural capacity and capability of Central Hawke's Bay District Council to effectively engage with Tangata Whenua, including increasing the level of cultural competency within the Council.

The four pou of Tūhono mai Tūhono atū are:

  1. Whiriwhiria / Council-Iwi Relationships
  2. Tikanga / Language, Culture and Place
  3. Oranga / People and Prosperity
  4. Rauemi / Infrastructure and Resources

“As a Council, we recognise the special and unique position of Tangata Whenua o Tamatea and the vital role Māori have to play in Council's decision making processes,” says Mayor Walker.

“Section 14 of the Local Government Act 2002 requires all councils to ensure there are specific opportunities for Māori to contribute to decision-making processes and Central Hawke’s Bay District Council take this seriously.”

1 September 2020

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