It has been an historic day for Te Arawa and for Rotorua.
With over 300 in attendance to witness the decision, whānau, hapū, iwi and tauiwi came to tautoko a stronger indigenous voice in Council. The Rotorua Lakes Council, headed by Mayor Steve Chadwick, approved a modified version of the Te Arawa Partnership after a year long consultation process.
The model, developed by Te Arawa over a 19 month process, was a response to inefficiencies that have emerged during the past 15 years, but recalled with the setting up of the County Council back in the 1800’s. Although the Te Arawa Standing Committee existed, Council rarely took into account their advise. The 2013 elections saw a new Mayor with a new vision and hopes that a better relationship with Iwi could be developed.
With a record 1900 public submissions put forward over a 7 week consultation period, the vote today confirmed that the city of Rotorua and the iwi of Te Arawa are looking toward a brighter and better future for all.
The vote this morning saw 8 councillors vote in favour of Model 2: Te Arawa Partnership (with 5 against).
Just before the vote, Cr Trevor Maxwell lead a rousing version of Te Arawa e!
The vote at this Special Meeting will now be heard at the Full Council meeting this coming Thursday, where the final vote will be held.
And though a few important decisions were made after the vote (which we will follow up on shortly), this is a day in history for Te Arawa, for Rotorua, and for Aotearoa New Zealand.
Te Arawa e!