April 27, 2022
Commissioners make case for Ngāi Tahu council role
Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene says a Bill that would allow Ngāi Tahu to appoint two members to Canterbury Regional Council will enhance the representation of mana whenua and lead to better decision-making.
National’s justice spokesperson Paul Goldsmith has slammed the Bill as being inconsistent with the Bill of Rights Act.
But Mr Tirikatene says it continues the arrangement established when National sacked the council in 2010 and appointed commissioners.
He says those added greater expertise on issues at the heart of te Tiriti o Waitangi.
“We’re talking about land, water, natural resources, coasts. It’s very important we have that treaty viewpoint in a decision-making role. It’s proven successful. They’ve had very capable Ngāi Tahu councillors in the past, well respected,” he says.
Mr Tirikatene says while advisory committees are seen as an option in some places, having councillors at the table with an equal voice has helped the Canterbury region.