KCDC Faces Crisis In Iwi Consultation – Guy Burns

Strains within the Kāpiti Council’s framework for Iwi consultation and engagement have now come to the fore — and a crack has become a chasm, says Guy Burns, deputy chair of the Raumati Paraparaumu Community Board.

Guy Burns, deputy chair of Raumati Parapraumu Board

And KIN understands the issues are so important the Mayor and Councillors should act immediately to restore an amicable relationship.

Issues had been ‘under the table’

Guy Burns says: ‘Significant relationship issues have been kept under table for a while, but quietly on 24 November 2019; Waikanae-based Te Atiawa Iwi withdrew from the much vaunted Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti alliance.

The long term future of Whakaminenga o Kāpiti is unsure, but remaining partners Ngati Toa and Ngati Raukawa have a long history of co-operation.

Partnership formed in 1994

The partnership formed in 1994 between Te Atiawa, Ngāti Toa and Ngāti Raukawa was the backbone and vehicle for Kapiti Coast District Council consultation with Iwi in Kapiti.

Initial Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti Committee 1994 (from left) the late Te Pehi Parata, Te Āti Awa ki Whakarongotai, Councillor Harold Thomas, John Barrett, Te Āti Awa ki Whakarongotai, the late Mayor Brett Ambler, Miria Pomare, Ngāti Toa Rangatira and Glen Innes, KCDC General Manager (Credit KCDC website)

A proxy for consultation?

Rather than directly engage with local iwi, it appears KCDC have been using the Whakaminenga o Kāpiti alliance as a proxy for consultation — despite the Whakaminenga o Kāpiti Memorandum of Partnership requiring separate consultation.

Council, perhaps not happy with these developments, have fired a shot across the bows, stating Te Ātiawa may not be able benefit from some future Council funding and resources (1).

The KCDC’s responsibility

But the Kapiti Coast District Council still has a responsibility to consult and engage with Te Atiawa and a new system of communication will have to be developed.

Te Atiawa’s action makes a mockery of the partnership model and highlights the need for direct Iwi consultation.

I suggest future consultation should be local and hapu based; better reflecting the need of smaller communities and local knowledge.

Note 1:       Point 7.4.29. Agenda: Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti. KCDC, Tuesday, 11 August 2020.


Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai Sets Out its complaint to the KCDC

André Baker, Chairman,Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai Charitable Trust, says in a letter to the Council CEO last month:

Tēnā rā koe i raro i te whitinga o Poutūterangi. Nei rā te mihi hoki ki ngā kōwhiri me ngā
tangata matatau o te Kaunihera o Kāpiti.
On behalf of Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai Charitable Trust, I respectfully request your response
to a formal complaint lodged on 20 November 2019, setting out our rationale for postponement
of the appointment process for the new Iwi Partnership roles, citing this as a premature
process; and, the decision notified to Council on 24 November 2019, to withdraw from Te
Whakaminenga o Kāpiti.
To date Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai Charitable Trust, as the Mandated Iwi Organisation, has not
received any acknowledgement or direction from you as our Treaty Partner in relation to these
matters, despite an invitation to meet with an expectation that the renewal of our relationship
through direct engagement should be a priority at the commencement of the new triennium.
Subsequently, I am advised that neither your Elected Members nor staff, including the recently
appointed Kaihautū Hononga-ā-Iwi, Kaitohutohu Hononga-ā-Iwi and Kaitohutohu Hōtaka
Hononga-ā-Iwi, have been informed of the current status of the Kāpiti Coast District Council’s
relationship with Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai. He aha te tikanga?
Your inaction is regrettable and contrary the following objectives and principles of the
Memorandum of Partnership, as set out in our earlier correspondence with you: –
• Objective 14: To develop consultation between the Council and tāngata whenua on issues that
impact on the social, environmental, economic and cultural interests and development of each
partner.
• Objective 15: To develop candid and open sharing of information between the Council and the
tāngata whenua.
• Objective 19: To develop opportunities within the limitations of Council’s powers and functions
that enable the tāngata whenua, as a Treaty partner, to share in the decision-making of the
district.
• Principle 21(ii): To develop and effective partnership with the tāngata whenua in the
management of the district’s natural and physical resources by the exercise of the utmost good
faith, co-operation, flexibility and responsiveness in their dealings with each other

-2-

• 28. Principles of Consultation: On issues requiring consultation Council will:
o Provide sufficient information to the tāngata whenua so that they can make informed
decisions;
o Provide reasonable time for both the participation of the tāngata whenua and the
consideration of the advice given;
o Give genuine consideration of that advice, including a willingness to change if that is
the result of the consultation

As previously stated, the avoidance of consulting directly with Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai and
the continued promotion of Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti as the forum for engagement with our
iwi is in breach of the following policy:
• Policy 22: The tāngata whenua of this District are independent tribes which each maintain their
own mana and tikanga. For any issue requiring consultation the parties will agree whether the
consultation should take place collectively or separately.
We are cognisant of significant and challenging issues faced by the Council in the coming
triennium, including the development of the Coastal Strategy, the application for Global
Stormwater and Wastewater consents, and new Three Waters regulatory requirements. It is
always the intent of Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai to work conscientiously in partnership with
Council to address these issues and to find solutions that benefit our District. We are
concerned therefore, that the neglect you have demonstrated in relation to these partnership
matters, will have broader implications for the ability of Council to meet its responsibilities and
obligations, and we are concerned about the risks this creates for our community at large.
Finally, I reiterate the preliminary findings of the Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai review of our
Partnership which has identified creative steps that we believe could be championed by Group
Managers and staff at Council to achieve better outcomes for both the mana whenua and
Council, provided you are prepared to engage with us directly.
We look forward to your response at the earliest convenience.
Nā reira, Kia Piki Te Ora,

André Baker
Chairman
Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai Charitable Trust Copy to: Reuben Waaka, Chair, Ngā Hapū o Ōtaki
Taku Parai, Chair, Ngāti

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