July 22, 2022
Mentoring set up for surge of new councillors
The chair of Local Government New Zealand’s New Zealand’s Te Maruata Māori collective says a mentoring scheme for Māori councillors reflects the huge change going on in the sector.
Te Āhuru Mōwai – A Safe Haven is a tuakana-teina support programme which will provide a culturally safe space for Māori elected members to support and learn from each other through whanaungatanga and wānanga.
Bonita Bigham says with 32 councils across the country implementing Māori wards this year, more than 50 new Māori ward councillors will be joining the ranks of elected members.
She says being the only Māori on a council can be lonely.
“I think it’s a reflection of the changing attitudes not only of our organisation but of the sector in general with a lot of hope that most of the sector is now recognising that with our people coming into this which wasn’t designed by us or for us, that our voices are critical to good decision making and governance,” Ms Bigham says.
Local Government New Zealand is also developing a sector-wide Māori strategy for Māori elected members, staff and communities.
Photo image: Members of Maruata
Credit: Bonita Bigham facebook page