MENU

NEWS
& views!

Co-governance a step closer

AUTHOR Frank Newman DATE 29 Apr 2017

In a supplementary item tabled at the 18 April Council meeting, staff recommended that two of the four councillors on the Council's working committees be replaced with members appointed by the Te Tai Tokerau Maori Advisory Committee (TTMAC). These unelected members would have equal status as councillors.

A few weeks ago the Northland Regional Council (NRC) entered into a warm, strong and mutually beneficial  Memorandum of Understanding with a Chinese state-owned conglomerate to investigate infrastructure opportunities in Northland. A request for further details about that entity has been unanswered by the NRC.

It appears the NRC is also extending the hand of co-operation to local iwi. In a supplementary item tabled at the 18 April Council meeting, staff recommended that two of the four councillors on the Council's working committees be replaced with members appointed by the Te Tai Tokerau Maori Advisory Committee (TTMAC). These unelected members would have equal status as councillors.

There are four working groups involved. Working groups typically do detailed work and make recommendations to the full council. From my experience, the recommendations of a delegated working group are usually accepted by councillors, but that is not always the case. The danger, of course, is that if half of the members of a group are appointed to represent a particular vested interest group then inevitably the decisions of the group will be biased towards that view.

It looks to me like this is another step towards a goal to have a 50/50 "partnership" between iwi and elected councillors. It seems councillors were divided on this issue as the matter is sitting in abeyance for the time being. Not for long I suspect. One hopes councillors will show respect to residents and ratepayers - the people they represent - by asking them what they think before they vote on this matter.

First published in Property Plus.

The views expressed are those of the author alone and may not reflect the views of Better! Whangarei.
LEAVE A REPLY

More topics


Latest News