A public meeting planned in Hastings to explore the topic of co-governance appears to be aimed at being an antidote to the stirrings of Julian Batchelor’s widely protested tour of Hawke’s Bay.
Cake, a cuppa and co-governance is a free event open to the public on Monday, September 18 from 7pm to 9pm at St Matthews Church, 200 King St South.
The event is organised by St Matthew’s vicar David Van Oeveren, minister of Hastings St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Jill McDonald, former Hastings District councillor Geraldine Travers MNZM, Napier City Councillor Maxine Boag and Napier event organiser Neill Gordon.
Gordon said it would include a panel discussion, question time and speakers with direct experience of co-governance in action.
“Many people are unclear about Treaty of Waitangi issues generally and how co-governance relates to this. We aim to provide a safe forum for people to hear local experts discuss the topic and to be able to ask questions about what it all means for everyone living in Aotearoa New Zealand,” Gordon said.
“It will be a fact-based, fair-minded exploration of the topic. The meetings are not associated with any political party.”
Travers will be the moderator for the event and a panel of speakers will include Hawke’s Bay Regional councillor Martin Williams, Hastings lawyer Mark von Dadelszen, Haumoana writer Keith Newman and Ngāti Kahungunu chairman Bayden Barber.
“There has been a marked lack of honest public debate on co-governance and a lot of misinformation and fear-mongering,” Gordon said.
“Our panel of straight-talkers will include people with direct local experience of how co-governance works in practice in Hawke’s Bay.
“People are wired to fear the unknown but once they’ve got some facts in front of them they can make up their own minds.”
Gordon said in a statement that co-governance meant the sharing of governance, which decided long-term strategic directions.
“One of the best-known examples is the Waikato River Authority, established in 2010 to focus on restoring the health of the Waikato River,” he said.
Ngāti Kahungunu iwi chairman Bayden Barber said he was a councillor alongside Travers on Hastings District Council.
“She gets what co-governance is.”
Those with questions about the Cake, a cuppa and Co-governance event, or questions to put to the panel, can email email@example.com.
* Update: This story has been updated to include the addition of Ngāti Kahungunu chairman Bayden Barber as a member of the panel of speakers at the meeting, confirmed by organisers on September 14.