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Māori-led conference for the Bay

Māori-led conference for the Bay

For immediate release: 2 September 2011

A one-day conference to promote and enhance ways to build Māori capacity and capability will be held in Mount Maunganui next month.

The event, called Te Tōanga o Te Ra, or ‘the rising of the sun/dawn’, is about aspirations of empowerment and enlightenment, organiser Bay of Plenty Regional Council Māori Policy Manager Kataraina Belshaw said.

The event, to be held on 31 October, will target Māori who live in, or have an interest in the Bay of Plenty region, including hapū and iwi practitioners as well as representatives and members of Māori land trusts and entities. The Ministry of Māori Development, Te Puni Kokiri are sponsoring the event.

“This event will provide an occasion where experts and practitioners can share knowledge, skills and experiences on topics of relevance that will help Māori build capability and capacity. It’s an opportunity to strengthen existing relationships and build new ones,” Ms Belshaw said.

Topics to be discussed at the conference include the use of Māori land, constitutional reform and local government, Māori perspectives on water, natural resource co-governance models, economic development and post-settlement futures.

Guest speakers include Human Rights Commissioner Joris de Bres, Justice Joe Williams, Auckland University Māori Studies Professor Ann Sullivan, Professor Linda Te Aho, Ngāi Tahu spokesman Mark Solomon and senior law lecturer Jacinta Ruru.

The conference was requested through the Regional Council’s Māori Committee earlier this year, and during Annual Plan deliberations in June Councillors discussed providing and funding a pilot iwi secondment initiative to build capacity and capability.

Under the Local Government Act Councils must consider ways to foster the development of Māori capacity to contribute to Council decision-making processes.


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