Council approves relationship agreement
Friday 29 September 2006
Council approves relationship agreement with Ngati Te Ata
An historic moment in Manukau City Council’s relationship with Maori occurred yesterday when the Council approved the final in a series of relationship agreements developed with the city’s Mana Whenua tribal groups.
Council now has five formal relationship agreements with Mana Whenua in Manukau. The last of these, with Awaroa ki Manuka Incorporated Society representing Ngati Te Ata, was approved by full council at its meeting last night (Thursday 28 September).
The Council has been negotiating relationship agreements with mana whenua groups since 2001. Agreements already signed are with Ngati Te Akitai (Pukaki Marae), Ngati Te Ahiwaru (Makaurau Marae), Ngai Tai Umupuia (Umupuia Marae) and the Ngati Paoa Whanau Trust Board.
“This is an historic occasion for Manukau city,” says Deputy Mayor Cr Anne Candy, who chaired last night’s meeting. “The Council has, since 1986, maintained a commitment to uphold and honour the Treaty of Waitangi and improve its relationship with Maori. It has sought to do so by building these relationship agreements with Mana Whenua groups and including in the District Scheme recognition of Maori tradition, culture and their connections with their ancestral land.”
Cr Candy says that the relationship agreements with mana whenua have resulted in many advantages for all of Manukau city’s residents, culturally and economically, but especially in regards to the environment.
“Relationships with these groups have, over the years, made a huge contribution to the improvement in the environment that has been achieved in and around Manukau Harbour. A key benefit of these relationships can be seen by the marked improvement in water quality through a reduction in the pollution carried into the harbour by run-off and discharge. Birds, fish and marine mammals have been noted as returning to the harbour in renewed numbers as a result.”
Involvement of Maori in council processes and consultation had also led to an increase in participation of Mana Whenua representatives in council activities such as the monthly meetings of the Mana Whenua Forum, the Wahi Tapu Working Party and the formation of Council’s Te Tiriti o Waitangi Committee.