New Tiriti committee culmination of proud record
21 July 2006
New Tiriti committee culmination of proud record of consultation with Maori.
Manukau city’s national leadership on consultation with, and inclusion of, its Maori communities was acknowledged at a powhiri marking the inaugural meeting of Manukau City Council’s Te Tiriti o Waitangi Committee yesterday (20 July 2006).
A large contingent of Maori representing mana whenua, taura here, and many Maori authorities, trusts and other organisations gathered for what several speakers referred to as a monumental occasion for Maori in Manukau.
Kaumatua Maurice Wilson echoed the tone of the speeches at the powhiri when he said that Maori and Pakeha in Manukau city were like the right and left hand of a body, but they hadn’t always worked together.
“What is happening today, with the formation of this committee, is that the two hands have been brought together for the support and future well-being of our people. I hope that those coming here to do this work (serve on the committee) will do justice to this important and historical occasion.”
Mayor of Manukau Sir Barry Curtis, who will chair Te Tiriti o Waitangi Committee, spoke of a long list of achievements by the council, in consultation with Maori, especially since the presentation of the Manukau claim to the Treaty of Waitangi Commission.
“Subsequently the council went about establishing a strong working relationship with Maori,” Sir Barry said. “Our achievements include facilitating the return of Maori land, assisting with the return or establishment of marae, working with Maori on environmental issues particularly to restore the health of Manukau Harbour, supporting Maori wardens within the city and establishing formal partnership relationships with iwi authorities and urban Maori groups.”
However, Sir Barry acknowledged that the process of partnership between council and Maori had been ad hoc.
“Now is the time to formally involve Maori directly in the Council’s policy formation processes and decision making. The new Te Tiriti o Waitangi Committee creates a process where we can ensure that happens.”
At its inaugural meeting following the powhiri, members of the committee elected mana whenua representative James Brown as deputy chair.