Policies for engaging with Māori
Council’s aim is to continue to develop and maintain a strong relationship with Māori. We have developed a process for engaging with Māori in the work that we do.
At the beginning of a project, our project managers must consider whether there is a need to engage with Māori by using Council’s Tangata Whenua Engagement Guidelines and Protocols. These protocols were developed alongside iwi and hapū and provide the basis for engagement and what engagement should look like. Under the Tangata Whenua Engagement Guidelines and Protocols, there are five levels of engagement that we might undertake with Māori, as follows:
Levels of Engagement
Whakamōhio – inform
Council will keep iwi/hapū informed about what is happening
Information-giving is the most basic form of engagement as there is no participatory element. We may use this level of engagement when we are implementing a small change to service levels. This could be done by way of a flyer, letter or email.
Whakauiuia – consult
Council will listen to iwi/hapū and make our decisions
At this level of engagement, the objective is to seek the views and opinions of Māori on proposals, analyses, alternatives and/or decisions. This is not about putting ideas into action. Consultation can be done face-to-face at hui and requires a time allocation that enables iwi or hapū to undertake follow up discussion and wider consultation amongst themselves.
Whakaura – involve
Council will involve iwi/hapū in the decision-making process. Council will make the final decision
The aim at this level is to have Māori more involved in the decision-making process. Iwi or hapū representatives can be appointed to committees, focus groups or working parties in an advisory capacity. An example is the appointment of iwi/hapū representatives to an advisory group for Council’s wastewater treatment plant discharge consents, where we are required to look at alternative discharge options.
Mahi ngātahi – collaborate
We will discuss and decide together
The goal of this level is to have processes that allow for sharing and acting together and to have all parties holding equal power. An example is the development of cultural monitoring protocols by a working party with representatives from iwi/hapū and Council staff. The protocols were adopted by Council’s Partnership Forum (Governance) and Council’s Management Team (Operational).
Whakamanahia - empower
Māori will decide. Māori may choose to discuss with us
This level is the most ambitious. It aims to maximise empowerment of Māori and, at its farthest reach, will see Māori having complete decision-making power. An example of this may be Council invoking section 33 of the Resource Management Act transferring any of its functions to another public authority such as an iwi authority.
When choosing the appropriate level of engagement, staff will consider the following:
- Statutory obligations, for example the need for a special consultative procedure as required under the Local Government Act;
- Consent requirements such as the need to engage with affected iwi and hapū on a consent;
- Treaty Settlement obligations including work proposed in an area covered by a statutory acknowledgment;
- Iwi and hapū management plans lodged with Council pursuant to the Resource Management Act and the engagement expectations outlined in them.
Te Ihu o te Waka o Te Arawa and Te Kāhui Mana Whenua o Tauranga Moana
Council has for many years operated a governance forum where iwi/hapū representatives, Councillors and the Mayor work together to progress issues of significance for Māori. Over the years the composition of this forum has taken different forms, including Te Kōmiti Māori, the separate Te Arawa ki Tai Partnership Forum and Tauranga Moana Partnership Forum and the joint Tauranga Moana and Te Arawa ki Tai Partnership Forum.
Te Ihu o te Waka o Te Arawa and Te Kāhui Mana Whenua o Tauranga Moana are our current Māori governance arrangements. Te Ihu o te Waka o Te Arawa includes iwi and hapū representatives from the Te Arawa rohe within Council’s boundaries as well as the Mayor and Councillors from the Te Puke/Maketu Ward. This relationship is governed by the terms outlined in a document named Te Kawenata and is a commitment from the parties to work together on issues of significance for them.
Te Kāhui Mana Whenua o Tauranga Moana includes iwi and hapū representatives from the Tauranga Moana rohe within Council’s boundaries as well as the Mayor and Councillors from the Kaimai Ward and the Waihī Beach/Katikati Ward. This relationship is governed by the terms outlined in a document named Te Toka Tū Moana and is also a commitment from the parties to work together on issues of significance for them.
Through Te Kawenata and Te Toka Tū Moana, Te Ihu o te Waka o Te Arawa and Te Kāhui Mana Whenua o Tauranga Moana will develop a work programme with actions, budget and deliverables against the identified issues of significance.
Deed of Agreement
The Western Bay of Plenty District Council has one Deed of Agreement with the Te Arawa Māori Trust Board. With the development of the Te Arawa Lakes Trust as the successor body to the Te Arawa Māori Trust Board the Deed is under review by the signatory parties.
For details of our approach to engaging with Māori, please contact the Kaupapa Māori Team.