The Ruapehu District Māori Council (RDMC) was established by Council to help encourage greater participation by Ruapehu Māori in local government decision-making.
RDMC was appointed by resolution of Council at its meeting on 28 April 2009 and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on 15 February 2013 at Morero Marae. The MoU sealed a partnership between the RDMC and Ruapehu District Council (RDC).
The intention is for the RDMC to comprise a collective of nine representatives being three members from each of the three main iwi within the Ruapehu District:
• Southern Iwi.
At this stage not all iwi have chosen to appoint representatives to the RDMC. Council and the current RDMC members are hoping to see all allocated seats filled as soon as possible.
Council sees the RDMC as an important part of their governance structure that provides:
- Opportunities for iwi to contribute to local government decision-making that affects them.
- Capacity to build relationships and to consult with iwi and hapu.
- Access to a knowledge base of information otherwise unobtainable.
- An opportunity for local iwi and hapu to develop a deeper understanding of RDC's role as a local authority.
Meeting schedule for 2017
RDMC meetings are held Tuesdays and Fridays on a six to eight week cycle with four meetings being held in the Council Chamber, Taumarunui and two in the Council Chamber, Ohakune
Every meeting provides an opportunity for discussion with the general public. The RDMC welcomes all iwi and the wider community to attend its hui.
Work program and successes
• KiwiRail Ongarue Optimised 7 (OO7) project.
• Resource Consents Consultation and Process.
• District Plan Review.
• Rating of Māori Land, Māori Schools and Preschools.
• Māori Freehold Land Rates Remission Policy.
• Rates Remissions Policy.
• Abandoned Land Properties.
• Extensions of Urupa.
• Food Safety on Marae.
• Alcohol Licensing Regulations.
• Wastewater and Water Treatment Plants.
• Roading Issues.
• Cycleway Tracks.
• Civil Defence Emergency Management Planning.
• Whanganui River Channel Management Proposal at Kakahi.
• Local Government Act 2002 Overview.
• Annual and Long Term Plan Process.
• Discreet Remedies Process.
• Iwi Management/Strategic Plans.
• Manunui Stock Effluent Disposal Facility Proposal.
• Xtreme Zero Waste.
- Rates – assists with information sharing and to establish a communication network with wider family groups.
- Resource Consents – assists with identifying local boundaries for their respective iwi/hapu/marae representation.
- King Tāwhiao Sign Project (northern entrance to Taumarunui) – influenced public discussions with local Iwi and the wider community.
- Para Kore Project – setting up initiatives to encourage iwi/hapu to work towards zero waste on Marae.
Future Direction (from the Chairperson).
RDMC aims to put in place systems for information sharing, which will aid in removing the mystique around the activities of Council and improve communication between Iwi and RDC. This will benefit the wider community as a whole.
It is the fervent wish and desire of RDMC to be seated at the table with RDC as equals.
It is important that the wider community understands that RDMC is not in any way selective in its approach on any issue from Iwi or the community but remains steadfast to address matters of concern and if appropriate, in tandem with like mannered groups.
RDMC welcomes iwi/hapu/marae who are not represented on the RDMC to become actively involved in this process.
Along with Iwi and the wider community, RDC will be reviewing the best way Māori participation in decision making can continue and will be looking at a wide number of options, including the RDMC and Māori Electoral Wards.
Iwi Partnership Role – Te Awa Tupua.
The legislative framework for Te Awa Tupua (an indivisible and living whole, comprising the Whanganui River from the mountains to the sea, incorporating its tributaries and all its physical and metaphysical elements) gives recognition to its status as a legal person.
Council will, over the next ten years, need to partner with Te Pou Tupua (the representative body for Te Awa Tupua) and undertake the activities in relation to Te Awa Tupua that will be required from time to time.
This might include the exercise of functions in relation to granting consents relating to the Whanganui River or activities in the Whanganui River catchment that affect the Whanganui River and carrying out environmental protection works including flood protection in relation to the Whanganui River.
It could also include entering into relationship/partnership agreements.