< April 2019 newsletter


‘Partnership’ - a way of heading off costly litigation?

Last month we reported on the Horizons Regional Council vote to create a committee of councillors and iwi leaders to come up with strategies for managing Manawatū waterways.

One councillor objected, and according to reports, he was roundly criticised by two fellow councillors, see Stuff article HERE. In a further development Point of Order’s Bob Edlin has emailed councillors Naylor and Te Awe Awe with a set of questions about their remarks. Bob’s questions are listed below:

  1. Can you direct me to the words in the treaty that refer to a Maori-Crown political “partnership” and which oblige your council to think of a “co-governance” arrangement?
  2. When an elected council cedes part of its decision-making powers and functions to or shares them with non-elected citizens, how are your region’s democratic and accountability arrangements enhanced?
  3. Or have I misunderstood the proposal and the form of co-governance you advocate, and does it simply mean the council alone ultimately will make the decisions because only elected councillors can be held accountable to voters?

Councillor Naylor’s answers included the admission that early engagement with iwi is a way of heading off what could be costly processes, including litigation. To see the full text of his response to these questions, please see Point of Order article

 ‘One lone councillor argued for others (eg farmers) to join iwi in shaping Horizons water strategy’

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