October 27, 2022
Wāhine Māori take helm in regional councils
Wāhine Māori have been chosen to chair two of the country’s regional councils.
Northland Regional Council has chosen Tui Shortland to head the nine-member body for the next three years.
And in Hawke’s Bay, that role has gone to Hinewai Ormsby, who at 39 is also the youngest regional council chair in the country.
Ms Shortland, of Ngāti Hine, Ngātiwai, and Te Rarawa, says she wants what’s best for Northland, and that means listening to Maori.
“We have such a high population of tangata whenua in the north, We’re major landowners in the north. We have our cultural continuity and out traditional knowledge. We know we fought and died for our rights and yet we have not been included for so long in the decision-making of our communities,” she says.
Ms Shortland says hapu-iwi relationships, climate change, environment and water management issues loom large in Northland Regional Council priorities.
Hawke’s Bay Regional Councillor Martin Williams, who nominated Hinewai Ormsby for the chair, says the council needed to own Te Mana o Te Wai, the biodiversity crisis and the climate crisis – and Councillor Ormsby is the right person for this role because of her dedication, commitment and resolve.