This page details the statement adopted by Council on the development of Maori capacity to contribute to decision-making processes.
The Local Government Act 2002 requires Council to include in its first Long Term Council Community Plan a statement on the Development of Maori capacity to contribute to decision-making processes. Council took the initiative to include this statement in its Annual Plan a year earlier than required by legislation.
Development of Maori Capacity to Contribute to Decision-Making Processes
Council has an ongoing relationship with the tangata whenua, Ngati Toa. This statement outlines the principles that guide the relationship between Council and the tangata whenua, and how Council will establish relationships with other Maori.
The spirit of general partnership principles of the Treaty of Waitangi are achieved in consultation with Te Runanga o Toa Rangatira Incorporated, representing the tangata whenua. The Council and the Runanga have for a number of years maintained a working relationship for the provision of advice and to raise concerns with Council on its recommendations in the preparation of policy and development issues. The Council accepts that as tangata whenua, the world-view of Ngati Toa is the Maori world-view for the City.
To strengthen the current relationship, the Council and Ngati Toa have recently established a Treaty Partnership Group of equal membership with elected Councillors identified by Council, and members identified by Te Runanga. The objectives of the group include:
- Developing a mutually beneficial relationship between Council and Ngati Toa based on the partnership principle embodied in the Treaty of Waitangi.
- Improving the internal capacity of Council to fulfil its obligations under the Treaty.
- Ensuring Maori participation in Council decision-making processes.
- Supporting the working relationship between Council officers and Runanga management.
Explicit consideration will be given to a range of matters including the enhancement of Ngati Toa participation in Council's service delivery, policy formulation and decision making processes and the establishment of a Charter of Understanding to promote the mutual benefit between the Council and Ngati Toa.
In addition to its relationship with Ngati Toa, the Council is very conscious of the large number of Maori residing in Porirua who are not tangata whenua. Council will work with groups, such as Maraeroa Marae, to establish relationships which ensure Maori have appropriate opportunities and capacity to contribute to, and be involved in, affairs of the City.
The agreed principles that guide the Council and tangata whenua are set out in full in the Council’s District Plan. In summary they are:
- The Principle of Mutually Beneficial Relationship - Both parties must act reasonably and in good faith, and interact with reason and respect.
- Active Protection - To the fullest extent practicable there must be active protection of Maori resources and other guaranteed taonga.
- Tribal Self Regulation - Maori can retain responsibility and control of the management and allocation of resources they wish to retain control of. This involves the right to develop these resources to meet iwi social and economic needs.
- Shared Decision Making - Council is to allow the tangata whenua to participate in the decision-making process.
- Iwi/Hapu Resource Development – The Treaty guaranteed to Maori retention of their property rights and the choice of developing those rights. In pursuing development Maori have the right to pursue non-traditional uses of their resources and to take advantage of new technology.
- Consultation - Characteristics of good consultation will include the provision of sufficient information to allow tangata whenua to make informed assessments of proposals; a willingness to change plans or proposals; and sufficient time for tangata whenua to absorb material and to respond.