May 27, 2015
Te Arawa gets seat at table
Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick says other councils are watching closely as the Rotorua Lakes Council moves into a new partnership with tangata whenua.
Councilors yesterday voted 8-5 to adopt a modified version of a partnership model put up by a working party appointed by Te Arawa.
Ms Chadwick says it came after a comprehensive consultation process that was at times marked by bitterness and overt racism, but also by hope for the future.
She says its a big advance on the Te Arawa Standing Committee that has operated for the past 21 years.
"Members of that committee said it felt like being in another room with the door locked and they were asking to sit at the council table. That's what we voted for yesterday. That's historic because they're now in the room with councilors, they will be actively participating at committee meetings and voting at committee meetings for recommendations for full council, and full council will make the final vote," Ms Chadwick says.
She says Te Arawa kept their dignity and pride throughout the exercise despite taking a lot of abuse and putting up with the misinformation being put out by opponents of the plan,
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