Te Kōtui Reo Taumata Collective, Representing The Marae, Hapū And Iwi Residing Within The Manawatū District Council Ward
MEDIA STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE TE KŌTUI REO TAUMATA COLLECTIVE, REPRESENTING THE MARAE, HAPŪ AND IWI RESIDING WITHIN THE MANAWATŪ DISTRICT COUNCIL WARD
Monday 10 May 2021
On behalf of all marae, hapū, and iwi residing within the Manawatū District Council Ward, and under the Te Kōtui Reo Taumata Collective, we hereby seek to express our extreme dismay with the Manawatū District Council’s decision to not support establishment of a Māori ward.
The decision is catastrophic for our marae, hapū and iwi, and perpetuates longstanding inequities, injustices and historical trauma previously suffered by our people in the past. The rejection of the Māori Ward also negates the significant amount of positive work undertaken throughout the past decade to foster collectivity, collaboration and engagement with Iwi and Hapū working closely alongside Council.
As Te Tiriti partners of Manawatū District Council, the decision in our view contravenes the spirit and intent of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, also undermining the Council’s Te Tiriti responsibilities and obligations.
Te Kōtui Reo Taumata vehemently contest this decision and seek also to call attention to the uninformed and discriminatory views put forward in rejection of the Māori Ward. At a time when many other Local Body Councils across the nation have voted in favour for Māori Wards, Manawatū District Council members appear to have purposefully rejected that possibility, instead consigning our relationship to one of little consequence or influence with Manawatū District Council.
The impact of this decision is far reaching and not only runs the risk of our region appearing backward during a national move towards co-governance with iwi and constitutional transformation, it also demonstrates a lack of courage and forward momentum by those elected to our Council.
Therefore Te Kōtui Reo Taumata seek to withdraw immediately from all current formal engagements with Manawatū District Council at all levels, until such time as our position as Te Tiriti partners is sufficiently acknowledged and respected.
In conclusion, as a collective we make the following statements:
1. A Māori Ward should be established within Manawatū District Council;
2. Participating Marae, Hapū and Iwi will cease contribution to the Council established engagement body Ngā Manu Taikō, and the name, Ngā Manu Taikō, gifted by a member of this group, will be retracted for an indefinite period of time;
3. Marae, Hapū and Iwi in the Manawatū District Council region will establish a Taumata Collective as the body by whom Council will consult with;
4. Te Kōtui Reo Taumata Collective will be the Te Tiriti voice for Marae, Hapū and Iwi in the Manawatū District Council areas;
5. We seek to take our case further to higher levels, including the Minister of Local Government, the New Zealand Māori Council, the National Iwi Chairs Forum, the Human Rights Commission and the Waitangi Tribunal.
Te Kōtui Reo Taumata Collective endorse and support a hīkoi demonstrating our solidarity and position on Tuesday 11 May where we will present signed letters by our Iwi and Hapū leadership representatives directly to her Worship Mayor Helen Worboys for due consideration.
Te Kōtui Reo Taumata Collective includes:
1. Kauwhata Marae (Ngāti Hinepare, Ngāti Tūroa, Ngāti Kauwhata)
2. Aorangi Marae (Tahuriwakanui, Ngāti Kauwhata)
3. Te Iwa Marae (Ngāti Tūroa, Ngāti Kauwhata)
4. Te Rangimārie Marae (Ngāti Rangitepāia, Rangitāne)
5. Te Hiiri o Mahuta Marae (Ngāti Rangatahi - Ngāti Toa; Ngāti Matakore - Ngāti Maniapoto; Ngāti Raukawa Te Au ki te Tonga)
6. Te Tikanga Marae (Ngāti Pikiahu - Ngāti Raukawa Te Au ki te Tonga; Ngāti Waewae - Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Pikiahu Waewae)
7. Poupatatē Marae (Ngāti Pikiahu - Ngāti Raukawa Te Au ki te Tonga; Ngāti Waewae - Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Pikiahu)
Kōtuku Marae (Ngāti Kahungunu; Ngāti Pikiahu)
8. Taumata o Te Rā Marae (Ngāti Manomano, Ngāti Raukawa Te Au ki Te Tonga)
9. Parewahawaha Marae (Ngāti Parewahawaha, Ngāti Raukawa Te Au ki Te Tonga)
10. Ngāti Te Au (Ngāti Raukawa Te Au ki Te Tonga)
11. Ngāti Turanga (Ngāti Raukawa Te Au ki Te Tonga)