The appointment of four iwi representatives – Te Kanohi – to enable one to have voting rights on each of Waipā District Council’s standing committees – appears to be working well.
A poll of councillors by the News found only positive comments about the appointments, though several said it was too early to determine the true value of the move.
“Our Iwi representatives are high skilled individuals and reflective thinkers. They have asked some great questions in the Chamber which at times give a uniquely Te Ao Māori perspective,” Mike Pettit said.
Roger Gordon said Te Kanohi, the collective name for the four representatives, “have been, in my view, a very valuable addition to the governance process of Council”.
Mayor Jim Mylchreest said gaining an iwi perspective was invaluable in all decision making “and as a community we need to be inclusive if we are to get the best results for all of our community”.
He said the existing system had largely precluded that opportunity.
“Whether the appointments have been successful I would have to say it is early days as they have only been appointed for a short period of time in the most tumultuous period over the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Liz Stolwyk said iwi appointments have been valuable, but it was “very much early days” to assess the overall impact to date.
“I was happy with the process we put in place where appointments were selected for their skill and expertise in each governance role. These appointments have seen a high calibre of competence introduced to our decision-making.”
Lou Brown said there had not been enough time to make any informed decision on the appointed iwi’s impact on the policy process.
Susan O’Regan believed the appointments had been beneficial. Marcus Gower said he thought it was too early to see how the new iwi appointments had been beneficial but added “they do add a different view around the table which is always welcome”.