The three local boards in west Auckland have all recently adopted a new approach to guide and support their decision-making on matters important to west Auckland Māori.
Waitākere ki tua (Waitākere going forward) is an action plan developed in response to the aspirations of west Auckland Māori.
Building on key pieces of work
The plan, adopted by the Henderson-Massey, Waitākere Ranges and Whau local boards, builds on two key reports, Toitū Waitākere report 2017 and the West Auckland Mataawaka Report from 2014, and is in response to Auckland Council and the local boards' obligations to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
“Whakawhanaungatanga (growing respectful and reciprocal relationships) is the key principle of the action plan” says Henderson-Massey Local Board member Paula Bold-Wilson.
“This framework and action plan will help all three boards to take a number of actions that will respond to the aspirations of the Māori community, and is one of the main reasons I advocated for its creation,” she says.
Greg Presland, Waitākere Ranges Local Board Chair, welcomed the plan and the impact a new Māori broker role would have.
“A key new proposal is the establishment of a three-year local community-based Māori broker project,” he says.
“This role would look to strengthen connections and capacity across west Auckland Māori communities, as well as fostering the relationship between west Auckland Māori communities and individuals and Auckland Council at elected member governance and staff operational levels.”
Big step forward
Tracy Mulholland, Whau Local Board Chair, says the plan will represent a big step forward for the local boards’ ability to deliver on commitments to Māori and achieve meaningful outcomes for mana whenua and mataawaka locally.
“Introducing this action plan will have a hugely positive impact on the local board’s ability to connect with our Māori communities and achieve great outcomes locally,” she says.
“As a board we are committed to effectively representing all our constituents, recognising their respective needs and doing more to encourage a community that is so diverse. The local board has recently finalised ethnic and Pacific Peoples plans.
“This plan partly complements those in terms of enabling us to respond better to our community, but more importantly it will support the local board in meeting our obligations to Māori under Te Tiriti o Waitangi and responding better to local mana whenua and mataawaka as our key partners in decision making.
"We are sure that Waitākere ki Tua will make a positive difference going forward that will benefit Māori in our community.”