Review of Te Arawa Committee aims to strengthen partnership
Review of Te Arawa Committee aims to strengthen iwi partnership with Rotorua District Council
Iwi members of Rotorua District Council's Te Arawa Standing Committee are undertaking a review of the committee purpose and functions, aimed at strengthening Te Arawa’s collective voice and influence with the council.
Iwi committee members, with support from the council’s Kaupapa Māori unit, have been meeting informally over recent weeks to develop a review process for capturing the views of Te Arawa whanui.
Te Arawa committee member, Arapeta Tahana, said plans were underway to call the Te Arawa community together for a hui-a-iwi in February next year to consider iwi aspirations and their expectations of the committee for the future.
He said hui discussions were likely to include consideration of the purpose and structure of the committee, and how Te Arawa could best be represented to enable a voice to be heard in council decision-making.
"Essentially we want to ensure that we have the right waka, the right resources and the right people to develop a genuine partnership with Council - one that contributes to sound decision-making and helps achieve our collective aspirations."
In a recent speech during a Te Arawa-hosted powhiri at Te Papaiouru Marae, Mayor Steve Chadwick announced that Council was embarking on a new process to build an enduring and sustainable partnership with Māori, whom she referred to as the "sleeping giant of the Rotorua economy."
Mayor Chadwick said the review process would be a significant step in awakening the very real potential for a strong and enduring partnership between Te Arawa and Rotorua District Council.
"This is an absolutely essential process for formally acknowledging the significant role tangata whenua have in the future development of our district.
"Our council is totally committed to ensuring we work
hand-in-hand with Te Arawa and travel together on a journey
to achieve our bold new Rotorua 2030 vision for our
RDC's Policy Analyst and Māori Research officer Karla Kereopa said the next major step in the review would be the hui planned for February.
"While the full timetable is still being developed, we would hope that Te Arawa iwi committee members would be in a position to make recommendations to the council on the future of the committee by next year."