Councils around New Zealand have an opportunity to improve their consultation with Iwi Māori by following Rotorua District Council’s Te Arawa Partnership Model, Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.
“The Rotorua District Council will today decide whether to adopt the new model which aims to develop a more effective partnership with Te Arawa.
“The Te Arawa Partnership Model is a chance for the Council to further improve its decision-making and engagement process with Iwi Māori.
“The Council was obligated to improve its consultation because this model was developed in response to increased obligations under the Resource Management and Local Government acts.
“It was encouraging to see this proposal went through a special hearings process which gave Rotorua residents the opportunity to make public submissions.
“No doubt there will be some who consider Maori participation in local government regulation, planning and decision-making some sort of special privilege. But it's evident in a post-settlement environment that Te Arawa want to contribute in a constructive way to the growth and development in their region.
“About 1873 submissions were received and 200 submitters presented over five days of hearings. The strong public interest shows how important the Council’s decision is to the future of Rotorua.
“Labour looks forward to the outcome and hopes the move to a more inclusive and innovative model inspires other Councils,” Nanaia Mahuta says.