June 28, 2023
Mana whenua given advisory role on emergency committee
Ngāti Kahungunu chair Bayden Barber has welcomed the appointment of mana whenua representatives to the Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency joint committee – even if they don’t yet have a vote.
The committee, made up of the region’s four mayors and the regional council chairperson, agreed on the change on Monday, noting the role iwi, hapū and marae played in the Cyclone Gabrielle response.
Such representation was accounted for in the Emergency Management Bill introduced into parliament this month, but the committee said it couldn’t wait for it to go through the legislative process.
Mr Barber says change is overdue.
“I was invited to the meeting – I don’t have a vote, in terms of the decision-making. They understand the short-comings of the legislation… so we’re very active along with every other iwi in the motu, about making changes to that legislation – so that we’re at the table. We should be there,” Mr Barber says.
He’s pleased the committee moved so quickly, because the legislation might not get passed before the election.