Te Arawa to be represented on Council committees
26 May 2015
Rotorua Councillors have voted to allow Te Arawa representatives, with voting rights, on Rotorua Lakes Council's two key committees.
At an extraordinary Council meeting today [Tuesday 26 May 2015] councillors voted 8/5 to adopt a modified version of the proposed Te Arawa partnership model which went out for public consultation and attracted more than 1800 submissions.
How they voted - For: Mayor Steve Chadwick; Councillors Charles Sturt, Karen Hunt, Tania Tapsell, Dave Donaldson, Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, Janet Wepa, Trevor Maxwell. Against: Councillors Mike McVicker, Glenys Searancke, Mark Gould, Rob Kent, Peter Bentley.
More than 250 people attended today's meeting with 130 in the Council Chamber and others watching the proceedings from adjacent committee rooms where screens were set up to watch the livestream feed. The meeting was also livestreamed on Council's website.
Councillors considered a report prepared by Group Manager Strategy and Partnerships, Jean-Paul Gaston, which provided analysis of submissions received during consultation and recommended a modified version of what went out to public consultation.
In his report Mr Gaston concluded that each of the four options identified in the consultation document (called the Statement of Proposal or SOP) and an alternative model of engagement identified by the Pro-Democracy Society did not fully address the key issues and themes raised during the submission process.
Key elements of the model adopted today by Council:
- A defined nomination and appointment process;
- Up to two appointed iwi representatives on the Strategy, Policy & Finance and Operations and Monitoring committees - with voting rights;
- Changed delegations for the Strategy, Policy & Finance and Operations and Monitoring Committees to confine them to having the power to make recommendations to full Council only, rather than make decisions on behalf of full Council. At present they are able to make decisions on certain matters with others requiring a full Council decision;
- Maximum costs for Council support for the Te Arawa Board and its activities to be $250,000 annually, except for Te Arawa elections every three years when the maximum budget will be $290,000.
Councillors resolved to consider options for greater Te Arawa (tangata whenua) input into Resource Management Act (RMA) hearing processes in a separate report to be presented to Council in August.
The Te Arawa working party will be asked to continue working with Council and Te Arawa to develop arrangements, policies and agreements to support the proposed Te Arawa Board and appointment process for Te Arawa representatives.
In closing today's meeting Mayor Steve Chadwick, who voted for the modified proposal presented to Council today, said the process undertaken to reach the point of decision-making had been democratic with the community having - and taking - the opportunity to have a say.
She said the submissions received had been profound and heartfelt and the expression of two world views which collided.
What is good for Te Arawa is good for Maori and for all the citizens of Rotorua, the mayor said. Our community has come of age.
Speaking after the meeting Mayor Chadwick said the establishment of the Te Arawa board was a matter for Te Arawa but she would like to see the new model in place and functioning by early next year.
This was a momentous decision and we will make it work because we all want the same thing - a positive future for the Rotorua district.
Te Arawa spokesman Arapeta Tahana was elated about the decision and said it marked a new beginning in Te Arawa's relationship with the Rotorua council, while at the same time honouring the past.
It's a bit of both for us, said Mr Tahana, who was a member of the working party which developed the proposed model and presented it to Council last December, requesting that it go out to public consultation.
I'm looking forward to the strategic opportunities this will present for the benefit of the whole district, he said.
Sitting at the council table will enable Te Arawa to make a greater contribution to council decision making and the future development of our district.
Getting this proposal adopted is really only the first step, there's a lot more work that needs to be done to establish the model and generate positive results. The most important thing is establishing a clear focus on generating meaningful outcomes, Mr Tahana said.
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