Taupō District Council is strengthening its relationship with local iwi partners by including Māori representatives on five of its council committees.
The decision follows discussions with the district's iwi partners on how to co-design an appropriate and genuine approach to involving Māori in local decision making, after council opted not to include Māori wards.
While that dialogue is continuing, the decision to include Māori representation on council committees was an important step, said Taupō district mayor David Trewavas.
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"I'm proud to further our partnerships and create genuine opportunities for council and Iwi to work more closely together for the benefit of our community.
"Of course, we already have existing partnerships with iwi in place, including being the first district to sign a joint management agreement with iwi back in 2009 for joint decision-making in some matters of the Resource Management Act.
"This is about strengthening those relationships and we are now seeking expressions of interest for those interested in representing Māori on the Emergency Management Committee, the Taupō East Rural Ward Committee, the Taupō Reserves and Roading Committee, the Mangakino-Pouākani Representative and Kinloch representative groups," Mr Trewavas said.
Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board chairman John Bishara said this was the first step in a process that council had initiated to create more meaningful, longer term relationships with Ngāti Tūwharetoa, whānau, hapu and neighbouring iwi.
"We look forward to true partnership for the betterment of our community and our rohe," he said.
Further information on each of the committees is available on council's website, including a role description and terms of reference. Each committee will include one Māori representative.
Expressions of interest must arrive no later than 5pm, Monday, January 13 to be considered by council, in conjunction with its iwi partners.