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Direct voice for Maori in new committee structure

MEDIA RELEASE
More direct voice for Maori in new committee structure
For immediate release: Thursday 11 November 2004

Bay of Plenty iwi will have a more direct voice in regional politics with the revamp of Environment Bay of Plenty’s committee structure to reflect the advent of dedicated seats for Maori.

At the first meeting since their inauguration, councillors divvied up their jobs for the next three years, making changes to support the new Maori representation as well as their growth in numbers.

While setting up virtually the same overall committee structure as before, the council has re-jigged the way it receives input from the region’s iwi. In the past, it ran three area-based Maori representative committees, which contained iwi-nominated representatives and councillors. These committees reported to a Maori Standing Committee, which in turn reported to full council.

Under the new system, the three committees will become a single group reporting directly to full council. It will involve iwi representatives, the three new Maori councillors, as well as other councillors and will be chaired by Environment Bay of Plenty chairman John Cronin.

Mr Cronin says the revamped structure will help build Maori capacity to take part in the council’s decision-making processes.

Another change reflects the rise in councillor numbers from 12 to 14. Some committees that previously involved all councillors will no longer have all of them on board, Mr Cronin says.

The other key committees are: Strategic policy (chaired by deputy chairman Bryan Riesterer), finance and corporate services (chaired by Bill Cleghorn), operational services committee (Jim Pringle), regulation and monitoring committee (Ian Noble), regional development committee and regional land transport committee (both chaired by Athole Herbert), and total mobility management committee (Philip Sherry).

ENDS

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