Ngai Tahu asks for involvement in ORC policy-making

Michael Laws
Michael Laws
The Otago Regional Council is seeking more Ngai Tahu input on its decision-making, but the logistics are proving difficult.

A council meeting this week discussed a request by the iwi to be involved in its policy committee.

The committee makes decisions on wider policy, but they need to be passed at a full council meeting.

Cr Gretchen Robertson said the council should carefully consider how the arrangement would work, especially with conflicts of interest in the Resource Management Act process.

However, the partnership was a "great opportunity", she said.

Cr Michael Laws was concerned about involving only Ngai Tahu rather than all Maori.

"There seems to be a good strain of tokenism."

Mr Woodhead said while it was important the council was clear about the expectations and protocols for Ngai Tahu involvement, he welcomed iwi representation and input "as soon as practicable".

Council chief executive Sarah Gardner said councils often had arrangements with organisations where there were some conflicts of interest.

"It's a little bit of the reality of the world we live in."

The council approved a motion by Cr Laws that staff should seek more information on the agreement before making a decision.



It seems very undemocratic to have any unelected body involved in policy making. I would suggest if they they want a bigger influence they should put forward candidates to stand for election like all the other councilors that have there own personal agendas.

We don't have a Treaty with all other candidates with personal agendas. Having Kai Tahu involvement in the Council could be a great opportunity.