Auckland’s three most southern local boards, Manurewa, Papakura and Franklin, have been praised for committing to working alongside Māori.
Papakura and Manurewa have the largest Māori populations across Auckland, while Franklin has joined both in including Māori outcomes in its board plan.
Papakura Marae chief executive Tony Kake last week updated the board on progress towards kaumatua housing, telling members the outcome, “a partnership with Māori that creates a Papakura where Māori identity, culture and aspirations are embraced”, was welcome.
“In all the years we have worked together, never has there been an outcome that so clearly states the board wants its relationship to be a partnership, and I thank you for that.”
He singled out the board, Manurewa-Papakura councillors Daniel Newman and Angela Dalton, and Auckland Council Māori Housing lead Shane Cook for their support of the housing project, which now has the funding it needs to begin building.
Papakura Local Board chair Brent Catchpole says the board held its inauguration at the marae, where each member was gifted a pounamu taonga to symbolise partnership.
“We were challenged to move towards a partnership with mana whenua and mataawaka, and it’s a challenge we are happy to take on.”
The Manurewa board has a stated outcome, “we are proud of our strong Māori identity and thriving Māori community”, in its plan, now open for consultation.
It has also established a sub-committee, Tira Kapuia Roopu, made up of chair Joseph Allan, deputy Melissa Atama, and members Anne Candy and Rangi McLean, to work with Māori to ensure that outcome remains central to the board’s work.
That move towards a co-governance approach was widely applauded by iwi and mana whenua at a hui where boards outlined their commitment to Māori.
Board members were inaugurated on Manurewa Marae.
“As a board we are keen to recognise the strength that diversity brings to our area, and the crucial role Māori play in that,” Allan says.
“Marae are focal points for social, economic and cultural leadership. We want a partnership approach that leaves a legacy for generations to come.”
At Franklin, board chair Andy Baker says two outcomes feature Māori influences, one that the area’s cultural heritage and Māori identity are expressed in the area’s communities, and the other in the environmental space.
“We are happy to talk about environmental protection in the concept of kaitiakitanga, a well-accepted view that has become part of our everyday lives. Most of us accept we can only be guardians of the land and that it is our duty to care for it.”
All three boards have consultations on their plans, which shape their directions for the next three years, open until 13 August.
Access information on Manurewa plan or make a submission here, for Papakura here and Franklin here. You can also visit Facebook for Manurewa, Papakura or Franklin, where you must use the hashtag #lovelocal for your comment to be recorded.
Your library and local service centre also have submission forms.