A new appointee within the Dunedin City Council's senior leadership group says Maori voices will have a broader influence in shaping the organisation's strategies.
Jeanette Wikaira, 50, has been appointed manahautu, or general manager of Maori, partnerships and policy.
The position was created as part of a restructuring affecting senior staff. Council chief executive Sandy Graham confirmed the appointment amounted to a promotion of Wikaira and the nature of her work.
Wikaira had been kaiwhakamaherehere (Maori senior policy manager) since last December, a position since disestablished.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
As well as promoting understanding of the organisation's responsibilities under the Treaty of Waitangi, her focus would be on integrating commitment to mana whenua with the council's aspirations to foster a thriving city.
"It's a privilege to be in this role and to have the opportunity to work for the Maori community of Otepoti," Wikaira said.
"It's an opportunity to shape the way the organisation operates in terms of culture and language."
The council has been revising its approach to strategies and Wikaira said she would seek to ensure they were inclusive of Maori voices and responsive to Maori communities.
Wikaira is of Ngati Pukenga, Ngati Tamatera and Ngapuhi descent.
She worked with Otago Polytechnic Emeritus Professor Khyla Russell to develop a Maori strategic framework there, carried out similar work at the Hocken Collections and at the University of Otago and was a senior research fellow at the university's law faculty. She is completing a PhD in Maori and indigenous studies.
Graham said the DCC would keep building a strong relationship with mana whenua to incorporate that approach across the organisation.