Renewed agreement about ‘making sure we are doing the right thing’: mayor

A renewal of a relationship agreement between the Waitaki District Council and the Waitaha Taiwhenua o Waitaki Trust Board has been welcomed by both parties.

First signed in 2011, the agreement was a "living document" that had since been renewed every few years, Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said.

An updated version was signed in the council chambers yesterday.

The relationship was part of the council’s obligations under the Local Government Act, and also its moral obligation to stakeholders in the district, he said.

The agreement meant the parties would meet several times per year, and have a clear consulting process.

"It’s a bit of the intangible as well ... it is making sure we are consulting with them on things that are of interest or concern to them," Mr Kircher said.

"It’s not about just doing the minimum ... we have to make sure we are doing the right thing."

Members of the Waitaha Trust and the Waitaki District Council. PHOTO: GUS PATTERSON
Members of the Waitaha Trust and the Waitaki District Council. PHOTO: GUS PATTERSON

The Te Waitaha Iwi had been in the South Island for almost 1200 years, Waitaha Taiwhenua o Waitaki Trust Board spokeswoman Kelli Te Maihaaroa said.

 

"It’s fundamental that we have this relationship," Ms Te Maihaaroa said.

"We have always had this relationship with the council so it is just really formalising and outlining how we engage with each other."

The Waitaha Trust had members who travelled from across the country to be at the signing yesterday.

"We have long ancestral fires we keep burning and this is an example of that, for us to come together as an iwi.

"It is about us being good Treaty partners to each other, and having that respect and how we will engage."

gus.patterson@odt.co.nz

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