May 31, 2021
Councils ponder Maori procurement options
Auckland Council is considering ways to hand over management of selected reserves to mana whenua.
Manurewa-Papakura ward councillor Angela Dalton, who holds the council's Māori outcomes portfolio, says the council is reviewing its reserves policy.
She says it’s time to acknowledge the role of mana whenua iwi as kaitiaki.
"More than just planting – anything that comes from that – procurement of contracts would be a good one. The mayor and I had a skype with iwi leaders during lockdown last year and that's what they called for: 'we want more procurement opportunities and we want to be more involved in our reserves and environment," Councillor Dalton says.
Meanwhile, councils in Wellington have agreed to buy more services and goods from Māori, Pasifika and social enterprises.
Te Ūpoko o Te Ika a Māui Commitment was signed by Wellington Regional Council and the Wellington Upper Hutt, Hutt City, Porirua and Kāpiti Coast councils.
Regional Council chair Daran Ponter says spending with diverse suppliers will help build local enterprise capability, grow the regional economy, create a more agile and resilient supply chain and provide confidence in the region’s economic recovery.
He says the procurement policy is a way to address some of the disproportionate impact Covid-19 has had on Māori and Pasifika communities.
Te Puni Kōkiri estimates the Māori economy’s contribution to the region’s GDP will drop eight percent or $300 million this year.
Mr Ponter says Australia’s indigenous procurement scheme shows every dollar spent with an Indigenous supplier can create more than $4 of economic and social value.
Councils across the region spend $1 billion a year.
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