What's Te Upoko Taiao?
The development of the new regional plan is being overseen by the Te Upoko Taiao - Natural Resources Plan Committee. The Committee comprises six elected Greater Wellington councillors and six appointed members from the region's mana whenua (see the table below).
The Local Government Act includes several provisions that require councils to take account of the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi by maintaining and improving opportunities for Māori to contribute to local government decision making. Most regional, city and district councils have some kind of formal mechanism for involving local iwi.
The GWRC already has a Charter of Understanding signed by the six iwi in the region and has an active relationship with these iwi. Each of them has a different rohe and each was invited to nominate somebody with the skills that the new committee requires.
All members of this committee will ensure that all voices are heard. Although the Maori members have been nominated by the region’s “mana whenua” iwi, like the six elected Councillor members, their role is to ensure that the new plan provides for the region as whole.