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High Interest In Co-governance Discussion

Interest is high in next week’s discussion at Baycourt on understanding co-governance, Three Waters and Tauranga city’s redevelopment.

Te Kohinga, a Tauranga-based reconciliation network, has organised the free event at Baycourt - Three Voices at the Treaty Table - on Monday, October 31 to help improve public understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and how it affects current events.

The hui is the idea of Dr Alistair Reese, whose research centres on reconciliation and Pākehā identity. His research about Te Papa precipitated the Anglican apology to Tauranga Māori in 2018, and contributed to Council understanding of the need to reconcile the Heart of the City.

He says many struggle to understand co-governance.

“This event is an opportunity for the public to hear and learn about the positions held by the three parties who initiated, signed and mediated the treaty - the Crown, Māori and the Church. It helps people be more informed about the Treaty, and therefore co-governance, Three Waters and the Tauranga Civic development,” he said.

“What position on the Treaty does the Crown hold that results in their Three Waters proposal? What position do iwi hold that has them pushing for co-governance? What position does the Church hold that motivates them to give land back to iwi?

“There are differences of opinions on these important civic issues but we hope the event will contribute to a more informed public discussion. Three Waters, Co-governance, and the Downtown redevelopment have not happened in a vacuum. The common denominator is the Treaty,” he says.

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“This will be a platform to give the Crown, tangata whenua and the church - a major player in the signing of the Treaty - a chance to explain why they are making these decisions.

Justice Minister Kiritapu Allen will present the Crown’s view of Te Tiriti. Ngāti Ranginui’s Antoine Coffin will discuss tangata whenua’s view of Te Tiriti and how it has informed Treaty settlements. He is a Māori resource management specialist with expertise in Māori cultural impact and values assessment, cultural and historic heritage planning, and community engagement.

Dr Reese will present the church’s viewpoint.

SociaLink general manager Liz Davies said SociaLink is supporting the event as it believes

raising awareness of issues such as co-governance can only be good for communities.

Three Voices at the Treaty Table will be held at Baycourt, Tauranga on October 31 from 7pm – 9pm. There will be an opportunity for questions and answers from the audience. Admission is free.

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