August 22, 2017
Local bodies not up to treaty tasks
A Bay of Plenty Regional Councillor says many councils aren’t doing enough to manage their responsibilities under the Treaty of Waitangi.
The council this month ran a symposium where judges, academics, iwi leaders and other shared their views on how the relationship between crown and Maori is evolving.
Arapeta Tahana says treaty settlements are imposing new tasks on territorial local authorities, with his council now involved in post-settlement co-governance boards with iwi for the Rangitaiki and Kaituna rivers and the Rotorua lakes.
There is a need for councils, starting from the top, the understand their treaty obligations and commit the resources to meet them.
"It’s fair to say a lot of councils around the motu don't give serious attention to this and then they wonder why iwi are so frustrated having to deal with them when they are having to deal with people who don't understand them, or if they do have a Maori policy unit, it's half a person or one person who is run off their feet and it's not fair on that person but more importantly they are not meeting their obligations under the treaty," Mr Tahana says.
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