by Guy Burns
Strains within Kapiti Coast District Council’s framework for Iwi consultation and engagement have reached a head—and a crack has become a chasm. Significant relationship issues have been kept under table for a while, but quietly on 24 November 2019; Waikanae based Te Atiawa Iwi withdrew from the much vaunted Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti alliance. The long term future of Whakaminenga o Kāpiti is unsure, but remaining partners Ngati Toa and Ngati Raukawa have a long history of cooperation.
The partnership formed in 1994 between Te Atiawa, Ngāti Toa and Ngāti Raukawa was the backbone and vehicle for Kapiti Coast District Council consultation with Iwi in Kapiti. Rather than directly engage with local iwi, it appears KCDC have been using the Whakaminenga o Kāpiti alliance as a proxy for consultation—despite the Whakaminenga o Kāpiti Memorandum of Partnership requiring separate consultation.
Council, perhaps not happy with these developments, have taken a shot across the bows, stating Te Ātiawa may not be able benefit from some future Council funding and resources (1). Kapiti Coast District Council still has a responsibility to consult and engage with Te Atiawa and a new system of communication will have to be developed.
Te Atiawa’s action makes a mockery of the partnership model and highlights the need for direct Iwi consultation. I suggest future consultation should be local and hapu based; better reflecting the need of smaller communities and local knowledge.
1. Point 7.4.29. Agenda: Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti. KCDC, Tuesday, 11 August 2020. reference
Guy Burns is the Deputy Chair of the Paraparaumu Raumati Community Board. The above are his personal views.