The Wairoa District Council’s draft amended Māori Policy will be consulted on throughout this month.
At last Tuesday’s Council meeting the draft amended Māori policy was adopted with necessary legislative related amendments, including the inclusion of Māori Wards and Council’s relationship with Post Settlement Governance Entities, as per requirements of the Local Government Act.
Wairoa Mayor Craig Little said Council has a legislative responsibility to engage appropriately on all policy matters.
“All of Council’s policies need to reflect our community and adopting this draft amended Māori Policy gives our people a legislatively correct document that can now go to public consultation for feedback.
Council heard from a small group of tangata whenua who attended last Tuesday’s meeting.
Mr Little acknowledged the group’s attendance and thanked them for their feedback.
“I encourage everyone to have their say on the Māori Policy which will feed into the 2021-31 Long-Term Plan which we are also currently consulting on.
“The Maori policy will also be presented to Council’s Māori Standing Committee for further feedback and members will discuss the policy with their takiwa and make recommendations to Council in line with the consultation process.
“The Māori Policy, like Council’s other policies, is a living document and is regularly reviewed.
“Already we have heard feedback around the use of the term tangata whenua, used to describe Māori people of a particular locality. This could be perceived as exclusionary for Māori who do not whakapapa to Wairoa iwi.
“It is important our policies are as inclusive as possible which is why it is vital people have their say through the appropriate forums to help ensure our Council policies are reflective of our community.”
7 May 2021
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