Liaising with Māori
Local government legislation requires councils to take account of the perspective(s) of Māori on many matters. Initially, councils’ key requirements came from the Resource Management Act 1991. This Act contains obligations for councils to consult with iwi on resource management matters. The Local Government Act 2002 contains provisions that are broader in definition and scope. This Act requires councils to take appropriate account of the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti o Waitangi) and maintain and improve opportunities for Māori to contribute to local decision-making processes.
Ara Tahi is a leadership forum of the six tangata whenua groups outlined above and Greater Wellington Regional Council. Ara Tahi was established in 1993 as a Māori advisory group and now operates as a joint leadership forum between iwi and Greater Wellington Regional Council, providing an opportunity for discussion on key strategic issues for the region.
Ara Tahi was instrumental in the development of the Memorandum of Partnership – an agreement that outlines how tangata whenua and Greater Wellington Regional Council work together. The Memorandum of Partnership is built on and replaces the Charter of Understanding (1993, revised 2000) and establishes a structural and operational relationship between the Council and tangata whenua, in the context of the Treaty of Waitangi and the legislation which gives functions, duties and powers to the Council.
Greater Wellington Regional Council is developing Māori capacity by:
There are also a number of activities to increase the capacity of councillors and staff to appreciate and understand Māori culture and perspectives.
Greater Wellington Regional Council hopes that building capacity through these avenues will enable Māori to contribute to decision-making processes. We continue to work on ways we can build stronger relationships with Māori and meet our new obligations under the Local Government Act 2002.