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Local Mayors And Maniapoto Māori Trust Board Discuss Community Priorities

A hui (meeting) held on Friday saw the Mayors of Ōtorohanga District Council, Ruapehu District Council, Waipā District Council and Waitomo District Council meet with the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board (MMTB) to strengthen partnerships and collaboration across the entire rohe (region).

MMTB Chair, Keith Ikin, acknowledged that since Covid-19 National Alert Level Four lockdown was announced, the relationship between MMTB and local councils has strengthened significantly.

“We need innovative solutions to challenges that have been embedded within our community for generations,” says Mr Ikin.

All mayors and MMTB representatives committed to working more closely together, focussing on three critical areas; Skills, employment and business support; Housing and well-being; Infrastructure.

“The challenges we face across our community are significant and will require us to work closely together and to do things in a very different way,” states Mr Ikin.

The group resolved to seek a meeting with government ministers with responsibilities across the three priority areas.

Waipā District Council Mayor, Jim Mylchreest agrees with Mr Ikin’s comments, noting that real advantages can be obtained by delivering services as close to the community as possible. “The key will be to obtain central government support and funding to resolve what are multi-generational social problems.”

Each of the councils and MMTB have initiatives already in place across a number of these areas.

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Keith says their immediate priority is to ensure they are working cohesively to optimise a positive impact.

“In the near future it will be critical to build good relationships with employers, providers, community groups, schools and the wider community to make the difference that is needed within the rohe” says Mr Ikin.

The group will meet again as soon as possible, extending the invitation to key ministers.

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