October 30, 2018
Ngāi Tahu council seats prove worth
Environment Canterbury is promoting a local bill to Parliament to ensure Ngāi Tahu continues to be represented on the council.
The current law giving mana whenua a place on the council expires next October.
The bill, which is sponsored by Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene, would permit Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu to appoint up to two members to the Regional Council.
Council chair Steve Lowndes says having Ngāi Tahu representation over the past eight years has led to greater efficiency in planning and consenting processes, reduced costs for both council and consent applicants and assisted the council’s role in earthquake recovery.
Ngāi Tahu councillors have played a pivotal role in building the social capital and community ownership of solutions that underpin water and land management in Canterbury.
They have also provided confidence to Papatipu Rūnanga and wider tribal members that their voices are heard at the Council governance level.
Ngāi Tahu kaiwhakahaere Lisa Tumahai says having the certainty to continue to appoint two representatives means the iwi can continue to build on a Treaty partnership with Environment Canterbury.
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