Iwi and City Council partnering for the future

29 March 2017

Today Pipitea Marae was a place full of celebration as Mayor Justin Lester led Wellington City Council in its first ever Council meeting at the marae, and in renewing formal partnerships with local iwi.

Cr Jill Day in hongi with local iwi.

Cr Jill Day in hongi with Alley Houpata

“Today we come together to recognise the importance of our Council relationship with local iwi, and to formally re-sign Memorandum of Understanding with Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika and Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira Incorporated,” says Mayor Justin Lester.

“I believe Wellington City Council has a strong relationship with both iwi groups, and I want to thank them for their continued time and commitment.

“The Memoranda both provide the framework for strategic relationships between iwi groups and the Council, enabling our iwi partners to contribute to council decision making and to help us lead our tāngata whenua for the future.

“The words each group has used as the vision for their agreements speak to the heart and soul of the partnerships and what we want to achieve together.

“Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika says: Wehea Taitea Kia Tū, Ko Te Iho – Strip away the sapwood to expose the heart wood. Put aside the everyday and focus strategically on building a better future for both parties.

“Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira Incorporated says: Tū Kotahi Tātou – Work together for the betterment of all.

“We all share the same aim – to build a better future for our people, and to do it strategically. We’re not just thinking about tomorrow, we’re talking about our future generations.”

The City Council's Māori Partnerships Portfolio Lead, Councillor Jill Day says we’re talking about doing things that matter to us all. 

“For example, at the Council we want to draw on these partnerships to inform and support Māori economic development.

“These documents are special, but they are only documents – paper and print. The kupu – the words – and the intention are what we must focus on.

“These documents carry a promise that together we will care for this city and for the people of this city. We must now begin to co-design our success,” says Cr Day.

“It’s up to us to understand each other and our communities, and to work together for the long-term betterment of our people, he tāngata he tāngata he tāngata,” says the Mayor.