The Local Government Act 2002 (the Act) contains a number of provisions that relate specifically to Māori. The Act recognises and respects the Crown’s obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi by placing some specific obligations on councils.
The Act requires all councils to:
• Establish, maintain and improve opportunities for Māori to contribute to local government decision-making processes.
• Ensure processes are in place for consulting with Māori.
• Consider ways to foster Māori contribution to local government decision-making processes.
• Provide relevant information to Māori.
Taken as a whole, they are an obligation to consider what steps the council can reasonably take to encourage and assist Māori to participate in local affairs. These provisions do not confer special rights and privileges on Māori that are not accorded to other tauiwi (other members of the public).
Early in 2014 the four southern Local Boards; Manurewa, Otara-Papatoetoe, Otahuhu-Mangere and Papakura agreed to engage with Maori to explore how they can best meet the specific obligations placed on them by the Local Government Act 2002.
The Local Boards invited a small working group consisting of Mana Whenua representatives and Non-Mana Whenua Māori (Mataawaka) later that same year in 2014, to work on the matter of how to 'improve Māori input into Local Board decision making'. The outcome of the group's work would assist and inform Local Boards about what they (the Boards) might do to comply with the Act and at the same time genuinely improve their relationships with Māori.
The outcome of the Mana Whenua and Mataawaka hui instead saw a submission made to Local Boards requesting that
Three of the four southern Local Boards; Manurewa, Otara-Papatoetoe, Otahuhu-Mangere agreed to engage with Maori on the terms outlined in the submission received and approved at each of the Local Boards' business meetings held in 2015. The Papakura Local Board decided not to accept the recommendations offered within the submission, instead choosing to continue with their current approach of engagement with Māori.
The Mana Whenua and Local Boards' joint project commenced in 2015, applying a mix of both Twyford's Power of Co' framework, and Mark Friedman's Results Based Accountability framework. Both frameworks collaborative in nature, guide the facilitated approach for effective and productive discussion between the parties. They also provide a map of the milestones marking the group's progression and achievement toward developing their collaborative plan for change and improvement.
The group was of course not satisfied with the overall performance as depicted in the population level indicator data. Having gained through this process already, a better understanding of the two levels of accountability applied within the RBA framework, they realised a multi stakeholder approach would be required if they were to have any hope of significantly turning the curves on each of these population level indicators. Without the funding available as necessary for engaging at a multi Inter-sectoral level, the group opted instead to focus their joint efforts on a smaller client population.
They accepted that their joint efforts would be more about making a contribution only, toward the achievement of the overall desired population level outcome they were otherwise collectively seeking. Rather than accepting accountability for delivery of a population level outcome they couldn’t achieve on their own, they acknowledged that by genuinely Improving Maori Input into Local Board Decision Making, even if for a smaller, targeted client population, this approach could still have significant influence on the level and achievement of successful outcomes overall. This was not to say that the group might not at another time in the future decide to work together, in order to bring about a grand coalition of influential and interested stakeholders, to tackle the wider social issues plaguing their respective communities.
Our Strategy is to "Improve Māori input into Local Board decision making".
Notwithstanding the obligations placed on Local Boards, derived from both the Local Government Act and the Treaty of Waitangi for improving Maori Input into Local Government Decision making, the working group recognised there was a real need for them to understand the value of engaging, whether compelled or otherwise, and for what real purpose in the end. And so with a Results Based Accountability (RBA) approach, the group as individual entities explored first the purpose of their existence, and what importance this held for each of them.
Through this process they found they shared a common purpose that was simply about ensuring a physical, economic and cultural environment exists. One sufficient to allow all people in Otara-Papatoetoe, Mangere-Otahuhu and Manurewa the same opportunity of being healthy, well, thriving and fulfilled spiritually, mentally, culturally and physically’.
It became clear if not acknowledged already, that whether required by the Act or Tikanga Maori, both Local Boards and Mana Whenua enjoy a shared role of responsibility. And from the very nature of their existence, each possesses a genuine desire and motivation to see their common purpose, realised.
And so by the third hui, applying the RBA approach; the group agreed a common population level outcome meaningful to them both.
In order to ensure a clear understanding of the population outcome sought after by the group, the membership provided a list of what this looks like for them if happening today. The list is provided further below.
Continuing with the RBA approach, together the group translated these conditions into seven population level indicators. They followed this up with an exercise to determine just how well the population group was actually doing on these. Without actual data at hand, they applied a group think approach drawing on their professional, personal and lived experience to do this. The population indicators listed below, and presented within the next section in graphic form, contain a base line with a short narrative of the story behind each. In some cases the group think data may be replaced with that from other sources.
 Group think is the term used throughout this scorecard to describe that the data, views, information provided is the working groups professional, personal or lived experience, and may or may not align or agree with data captured or recorded from other sources.
|Stakeholder||Where do we stand on the issue of Maori input into Local Board decision-making?||What is important to us about this issue?||What question(s) must this project resolve?|
|Local Board Chair/Advocate||Dissatisfied|
Participate in society
|Can we get housing for under $450k?|
How do we lower rent costs?
Why are house prices so high?
|Local Board Chair/Maori||We need healthy engaged families||Need to reduce obesity and diabetes in our communities||How can we help our families lead healthy full lives?|
|Local Council||Employment for all |
Free public transport
|How can we engage with Maori youth to be proactive in politics and local issues?|
|Local Board Chair||I support this kaupapa as a critical part of local board decision-making, the LGA did not influence my choice to be here||Trust, respect for each other, ability to disagree and get through it, solidarity on the important issues when they fly in the face of convention||How can Maori have a mandated role in decision-making alongside local boards which is acknowledged by all stakeholders?|
Mana Whenua representative - Te Akitai
|I support this kaupapa 'in principle' |
Still in cogitation mode
|Equal representation for iwi |
|Define for 'us'|
Meaningful engagement with iwi
|Mana Whenua||Maori under-represented in Local Board decision-making||Mutual respect, share in our commonalities and celebrate/respect our differences||How do we further develop this relationship?|
|To tautoko Maori in their aspirations to achieve Whanau Wellbeing||Collaboration|
|Whanau are empowered and achieving their goals and their aspirations||How do we work together?|
“As leaders within our respective rohe how will we enshrine Maori aspirations that drive Local Board decisions, whilst maintaining trust and respect for each other?"
Mana Whenua and Local Board Representatives Working Group
The Otara Papatoetoe, Mangere Otahuhu, and Manurewa Local Boards, and Mana Whenua representatives (The Roopu) agreed at a hui held Tuesday 28 January 2016 that for the purpose of improving Maori Input into Local Board decision making they would focus their collaborative efforts on members registered with each of the Mana Whenua Iwi within the rohe of the three Local Board areas represented.
A further distinction of the terms 'members registered' and 'Mana Whenua Iwi' was agreed at a hui held Monday 02 May 2016. In the context of "who we serve" -
"Members registered" means - the members of local Mana Whenua who currently reside in one of the local Board areas and are recognised and listed as Mana Whenua, with and by a Mana Whenua Iwi group.
"Mana Whenua Iwi" means - The Mana Whenua Iwi groups who possess a footprint i.e. Marae, Urupa, Business entity, resident in one of the local Board areas.
Originally Agreed Client Population:
“All Mana Whenua Iwi members registered with each of the Mana Whenua Iwi situated within the rohe of the three Local Board areas represented - Otara-Papatoetoe, Mangere-Otahuhu, Manurewa (and Papakura)“
Since the group's original agreement of their client population, it was noted that there are Mana Whenua iwi and Mana Whenua entities also who reside outside the three Local Board areas rightly possessing a level of interest in the rohe. It was raised however that the views and decision making authority of Mana Whenua groups and their memberships who are both resident, and demonstrate an active foot print should not be unfairly displaced by larger or more resourceful (non-resident) Mana Whenua individuals or entities. This led to a call about sharpening the definition to protect both local Mana Whenua entities and their registered members who are resident within the three local board areas concerned.
For the purposes of the discussion Mana Whenua were categorised in the following ways:
Residency was described as demonstrating a footprint where:
The rights of all registered members of each of the Roopu groups listed are acknowledged, but with greater consideration and focus applied to the registered members of Mana Whenua who are residents of the area. The purpose of this distinction is that it is this group most likely to be directly affected by any decisions made about them and the rohe within which they currently reside.
Thus changing the client group to:
Our Client Population is:
“All resident Mana Whenua members who are registered with a Mana Whenua entity also resident, and demonstrating a footprint within the rohe of the three Local Board areas represented - Otara-Papatoetoe, Mangere-Otahuhu, Manurewa”
Our Strategy is to -
Improve Māori input into Local Board decision making focusing initially on the Mana Whenua and Local Boards relationships, and then later and together engaging with Mataawaka in order to achieve an improvement for all Māori.
What does Māori input in Local Board decision-making look like?
|1||Provide a representative Mana Whenua body for Local Boards to engage directly with at a Local Board governance level||on Hold||Mana Whenua|
|2||Initiate Te Ao Maori 101 training as a prerequisite to standing for the election – for all Board Candidates (standing for the three Local Board areas)|