District council fostering Maori involvement

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The Waitaki District Council is to consider a recommendation at tomorrow’s meeting which would see an existing policy on Maori’s contribution to council decision-making included in the 2015-25 Long Term Plan.

In a report to councillors, community services group manager Thunes Cloete outlined that Local Government legislation required councils to set out in their long term plan how they intended to foster Maori contribution in their decision-making processes.

Council has a memorandum of understanding with Te Runanga o Moeraki, which provides the basis of the policy, and was reviewed in 2012. Mr Cloete said after consulting with the runanga, no changes had been proposed.

The policy acknowledges that council has a special relationship with Maori and that protocols are in place for ensuring that they are consulted.

“Council will continue to find ways to ensure that all Maori have the opportunity to contribute to decision-making, and will continue to liaise with Te Runanga o Moeraki in the first instance and Waitaha Taiwhenua O Waitaki Trust Board to guide protocol and process,” the policy says.

Also on tomorrow’s agenda is a presentation from Ngai Tahu representatives who have completed a cultural mapping project in the district that includes Maori taonga. Information has been gathered on sites of cultural significance.

By LINDA MCCARTHY