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Taumata Rangatira Hui 2021: Strong Iwi-Crown Partnership A Shining Example

Iwi Chairs from Te Hiku o Te Ika have met with Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson and other Government ministers to discuss progress under the Te Hiku-Crown Social Accord and measures to strengthen the partnership further.

The Te Hiku-Crown Social Accord was signed in 2013 to improve the social development and wellbeing outcomes of whānau, hapū and iwi of Te Hiku o Te Ika. The annual Taumata Rangatira Hui is an opportunity for Te Hiku and Crown leaders to engage on important matters kanohi ki te kanohi.

“Since the establishment of a Joint Work Programme between Te Hiku and the Crown in 2018, we’ve seen real momentum towards the vision set out in the Accord. We work to each other’s strengths and tackle important decisions together,” said Carmel Sepuloni.

“Recent examples include the launch of TUPU in April, which will support Te Hiku whānau into employment in the horticulture sector, and $8 million to purchase and install water tanks for homes and community facilities in the Te Hiku area.”

Willie Jackson said there are opportunities for the partnership with Te Hiku to be bold.

“The Te Hiku-Crown Social Accord is a great example of how a Te Tiriti relationship can grow and improve. We’re committed to ensuring positive outcomes under the Accord are long-term,” he said.

Te Hiku Iwi Development Trust Chair Rhonda Kite ONZM said the last three years have shown what works.

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“As a collective partnership, our relationship is strong, and we work well together. As partners, we find ways to fix things in the system to work more effectively so we can all better serve our whānau/families.”

Chief Executive Officer of Te Hiku Iwi Development Trust Carol Berghan said the Accord allows for close scrutiny on serious issues impacting Te Hiku whānau, such as intergenerational harm, unemployment, poor education, housing and health.

“The Accord unites us in a co-governance arrangement – we’re all comfortable with direct honest conversations and the goodwill that comes when you share a common goal. The Accord had a slow start in 2013 but we are moving in the right direction now. We have agreed to a locally driven and centrally supported approach where we work together as Rangatira”, she said.

“Te Hiku is bursting with amazing initiatives and opportunities, recently the community opened a new solar farm in Pukenui, He Korowai Trust have working models of Housing solutions that are successful. We have established a thriving Digital Hub in the centre of Kaitaia, our reo is being nurtured through ground-breaking research at Te Hiku Media, there is an explosion of whānau reclaiming their tikanga and culture and there are various rejuvenation plans underway in Ahipara, Awanui and Kaitaia. We also look to our thriving local horticulture sector and the growth of digital connectivity across our marae. The success of these initiatives is due to our local unsung heroes who are doing great work and they’re what makes Te Hiku a wonderful place to live”.

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