KCDC Has Voted For Māori Committee Places – But This Could Change


Kāpiti councillors’ have voted for guaranteed Iwi positions at the council table, reports Jeremy Smith.

Six of 10 councillors voted ‘yes’, as well as Mayor K Gurunathan. Councillors Elliott, Halliday, Prvanov and Randall voted against the move.

Limited life span
But, Jeremy Smith reports, the Kāpiti councillors’ vote for guaranteed Iwi positions at the council table may not extend beyond this year’s October poll.
That’s because the rules coveting councils say each new intake must make its own decisions
on how it organises its committees.

7-4 majority
So last week the current Council voted 7-4 in favour of the proposal to give Iwi representation on
the council’s Strategy and Operations Committee starting from next month.
They also supported iwi representation in the council’s Appeals Hearing Committee and the
Grants Allocation subcommittee.
Otaki councillor James Cootes said he was ‘incredibly proud’ of the report before the council.

Ōtaki Councillor James Cootes

Cr Angela Buswell said the iwi
representation would give the Council the benefit of a Māori world view.

Mayor’s view on the Treaty
Mayor Gurunathan said New Zealand was the only place with Treaty rights and the Treaty relationship was creating a unique New Zealand identity.
Iwi representation at the full council was not discussed- the council’s decision not to have
Māori wards is locked in place after the local iwi said they were not seeking it at 2022 vote.
What the Law says

The law also says an Iwi representative cannot be appointed to a Community Board.
The June vote is the result of decisions stated five years ago when local iwi Atiawa ki
Whakarongotai Charitable Trust reviewed its relations with the KCDC.
In 2019 it withdrew from the council’s forum organisation te Whakaminenga o Kapiti.

These proposals from Te Atiawa
The specific proposals before councillors were from Te Atiawa and not the other two iwi,
Ngati Toa Rangitira and Nga Hapu o Otaki.
Nga Hapu told councillors they agreed with the proposals generally but would want to know
more about the Te Atiawa positions.
Councillor Martin Halliday, who was one of four to vote against the iwi representation was
concerned with the status of Māori not from the three Iwi. Mayor Gurunathan said mana
whenua were all Māori.
The other “no” voters were Jackie Elliott who had indicated her opposition before the
meeting, Jocelyn Prvanov, and Bernie Randall.

Kapiti Mayor K Mayor Gurunathan

Angela Buswell said the iwi representation would give council the benefit of a Māori world view.
Mayor Gurunathan said New Zealand was the only place with Treaty rights and the treat
relationship was creating a unique New Zealand identity.
Iwi representation at the full council was not discussed- the council’s decision not to have
Māori wards is locked in place after the local iwi said they were not seeking it at the 2022 vote.
The law also says an iwi representative can not be appointed to a community board.
Last week’s vote is the result of decisions stating five years ago when local iwi Atiawa ki
Whakarongotai Charitable Trust reviewed its relations with the KCDC.
In 2019 it withdrew from the council’s forum organisation te Whakaminenga o Kapiti.
The specific proposals before councillors were from Te Atiawa and not the other two iwi,
Ngati Toa Rangitira and Nga Hapu o Otaki.

Nga Hapu told councillors they agreed with the proposals generally but would want to know
more about the Te Atiawa positions.
Councillor Martin Halliday, who was one of four to vote against the iwi representation was
concerned with the status of Māori not from the three iwi.

Mayor Gurunathan said mana whenua were all Māori.
The other “no” voters were Jackie Elliott, who had indicated her opposition before the
meeting, Jocelyn Prvanov, and Bernie Randall.

Just for the record, my proviso was that the Mayor organise a hui (in the 3 weeks we had between the first briefing on this proposal by staff, mid May and the rushed vote at the additional meeting early June ) A hui between councillors and Te Atiawa Iwi members, specifically to include those who had come to us for help having their voice heard in any offical capacity over a year ago, so that the actual Iwi members could give us much needed reassurance that they agreed with the staff response and proposed way forward, that they were supportive and felt their voices would be heard in the future if we accepted this arrangement.

Not only did the Mayor not organise this hui, but he and staff claimed for two years they have made repeated requests for hui with Te Atiawa Iwi members and been denied……..if the Mayor can’t or wont organise this hui, what sort of a relationship does he think he has with the Iwi? And how on earth does he think he can get a yes vote out of us? Answer none. He has a relationship with a couple of extremely dominant executive members of the CharitableTrust and KCDC has an existing partnership called Te Whakaminenga with our 3 Iwi not 2 Iwi and a Trust.

Did I miss the public consultation which is normally required for ‘significant’ local government changes?

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