We maintain an active presence in all our local government relationships.
During the first quarter of 2021 we challenged the Hamilton City Council around its decision to delay the introduction of Maaori wards in time for the 2022 local government elections. We are pleased they revisited that decision consistent with the positions adopted by Waikato Regional Council, Waikato District Council, Waipaa District Council, Ootorohanga District Council and Matamata-Piako District Council. Waitomo will follow in 2025.
We have a number of Joint Management Agreements with the various councils and retain a very active interest in representing a tribal perspective on these committees. Of particular interest has been our position around water with councils playing a key role in allocation while acting as the conduit to regulate usage.
We see our input here as critical for a number of reasons:
To protect our rights and interests in freshwater.
To ensure our Waikato River Settlement mechanisms are upheld through the implementation of any new reforms.
To reduce the ongoing pressure on our awa to support development. Alternative sources need to be explored and advanced to protect the overall health and wellbeing of our awa.
There will be a number of new regulatory requirements that will be imposed on our marae and the potential impacts need to be mitigated as much as possible.