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Agreement With Iwi A Milestone For Local Government

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) is hailing the first Mana Whakahono ā Rohe or Iwi Participation Arrangement, between the West Coast Regional Council and Poutini Ngāi Tahu, as a milestone for local government that will empower local kaitiaki.

Mana Whakahono ā Rohe are a tool designed to assist tangata whenua and local authorities discuss, agree and record how they will work together under the Resource Management Act (RMA).

“Tangata whenua and local government need to have close relationships, and this first Mana Whakahono ā Rohe helps build these,” said LGNZ President Stuart Crosby.

“It provides a stronger pathway for Iwi involvement in RMA processes, tailored to local needs, so it’s a real milestone in formalising co-governance arrangements.”

“This is a great example of Iwi and council partnership. We understand more agreements are being progressed and look forward to these being finalised.”

Bonita Bigham, chair of LGNZ’s Māori Advisory Committee Te Maruata, praised the agreement as a step in the right direction for councils and iwi.

“The legislation enabling these agreements has been in place for more than three years, so it is heartening to see that we are now starting to overcome historic challenges in forging more effective relationships between councils and iwi in the RMA space.”

“This is a significant achievement and I congratulate the West Coast Regional Council and Ngāi Tahu for setting an example for other councils to follow.”

“By affirming their commitment to work together they will achieve greater things for all those who live in their rohe and prove that there are only gains to be made from genuine partnerships like these.”

About LGNZ and local government in New Zealand

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) is the peak body representing New Zealand's 78 local, regional and unitary authorities. LGNZ advocates for local democracy, develops local government policy, and promotes best practice and excellence in leadership, governance and service delivery. Through its work strengthening sector capability, LGNZ contributes to the economic success and vibrancy of communities and the nation.

The local government sector plays an important role. In addition to giving citizens a say in how their communities are run, councils own a broad range of community assets worth more than $120 billion. These include 90 per cent of New Zealand's road network, the bulk of the country's water and waste water networks, and libraries, recreation and community facilities. Regional and unitary councils play a key role in administering the Resource Management Act and as environmental regulators. Council expenditure is approximately $8.5 billion dollars, representing approximately 4 per cent of Gross Domestic Product and 11 per cent of all public expenditure.

For more information visit www.lgnz.co.nz.

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