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Kia Tutahi Standing Together

Hon Tariana Turia

Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector
Papakura Marae, Auckland
Kia Tutahi Standing Together Relationship Accord
Tuesday 9 August 2011; 11am

(delivered by Kat Paton on behalf of Minister Turia)
Tena koutou katoa.

I wish I could have joined you today at the Papakura Marae as we come together around this important kaupapa – the Kia Tutahi Standing Together Relationship Accord.

Six months ago an event took place on this very marae which provided an excellent foundation for what we are doing today.

Mana whenua – represented by Ngati Tamaoho, Ngati Tai, Ngati Te Akitai, Ngati Te Ata and Ngati Paoa, came together to talk about their relationship to Papakura, and to share their reflections and experiences about their lives following the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi 171 years ago.

Pivotal to that conversation was the challenge about how to uphold the mana of Te Tiriti in modern days.

The conversation, however, was not just a conversation of importance to the iwi involved.

This marae is known as a Community Champion – having linked with the majority of families in Papakura, finding support and connections also with local agencies such as Work and Income and Family and Community Services; with Family Start, with health providers, and many other community activities and programmes.

Today is all about that conversation – and many conversations to come. It’s about understanding how communities work together, bringing together collective strengths and resources for the benefit of everyone.

This journey of building stronger community – Government relationships has of course been building momentum over the last decade or so. As expatriate Rachel Hunter would tell us, it didn’t happen overnight.

But it is now, in these difficult times, that we understand we must work twice as hard to understand the inevitable tensions that are inherent in community-government relationships in order that we can move forward for the sake of our whānau and our communities.

It’s about having the power of belief in our own communities; walking the talk, putting the work in to create effective relationships based on mutual trust and respect.

The Kia Tutahi Relationship Accord that we are here for today is the product of extensive consultation undertaken by the community-government Kia Tutahi Steering Group.

With so many diverse voices across our communities, the Steering Group’s task was not an easy one. I do want to thank the Steering Group for this huge task that they embraced.

On 1 August, the Prime Minister, some community members and I took part in a wonderful ceremony to sign the Kia Tūtahi Relationship Accord at Parliament. It was a celebration of the importance of communities and government working together – I understand that a video showing aspects of this event will be played soon.

But just as our tupuna signed the Treaty with an expectation of how it could take effect in daily lives, so too the signing of the Relationship Accord is more than just signatures recorded for posterity.

The Relationship Accord principles form a platform on which government and communities can build stronger relationships to enable them to work better together.

The signing of Kia Tutahi must be owned locally, by each of you. It will only come to life if each of you consciously breathe life into it through your own work. At its purest form, I guess the task is to embody the spirit of the principles of Kia Tutahi in all that we do.

The implementation of the Accord is an opportunity for communities to get involved and put their ideas for building engagement into practice. I invite you to take this opportunity to champion the Accord and use it for the benefit of all.

The Associate Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Hon Hekia Parata, will take over the lead on the implementation from the Government side.

At a central agency level, what you can expect to see in the year ahead is six government agencies championing the Accord, working with their community partners to examine good practice within their agencies, and identify areas for improvement. These agencies are the Department of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Social Development, Te Puni Kokiri, Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs and Sport and Recreation New Zealand.

The agencies and community partners together will build up a body of knowledge and good practice for strengthening community-government relationships. A small reference group, with support from a broader stakeholder network will provide advice. The knowledge gained from the champion agencies will be used to spread good practice across the rest of government.

But as a first step, today I invite you to sign the Accord.

For all those of you, bursting to know what’s next, I encourage you to talk to the Department of Internal Affairs staff members here today who can show you what to do and they can provide information on how to get involved.

Or if you want a bit more time, sign up online through the Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector website.

I send you all my warmest wishes for this very special day and I look forward to many more conversations ahead, as we express our differences, celebrate all that we share, and agree to learn from each other along the way.


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