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A forum to discuss cultural and local government issues has been formed between Otago's councils and the region's runanga.
The newly created Te Ropu Taiao Otago became official yesterday with the signing of a charter between the Otago Regional Council, Dunedin City Council, Clutha District Council, Central Otago District Council, and the Hokonui, Otakou, Puketeraki, and Moeraki runanga.
Representatives of the runanga and the mayors of the councils will meet every three months.
Runanga spokesman Edward Ellison said the meetings would help councils meet their legislative requirements and enable the runanga to deal with issues on a regional basis rather than with each council.
"Having face to face meetings with the mayors is fantastic. I think it will work well."
Mayors' spokesman ORC chairman Stephen Woodhead said it would enable councils to get on a "firmer footing" with runanga.