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Ruapehu District Maori Council provides for united Maori voice

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Ruapehu District Māori Council (RDMC) decided to delay the appointed of a Deputy Chairperson at their first meeting of the year last week (Tue 7 Feb) to allow more time for Ngāti Maniapoto and southern Ruapehu Iwi to make decisions on who to appoint as their representatives.

The RDMC was established in 2009 to help encourage greater participation by Iwi Māori in local government decision-making. It is a collective of nine representatives made up of three members from Tuwharetoa, Maniapoto and Iwi in the southern reaches of the District.

RDMC Chairperson Edwin Ashford said that Maniapoto and southern Iwi were currently working through their process to appoint representatives that can best speak on their behalf.

"Having all the seats filled will put the RDMC in a lot stronger position when dealing with a wide range of issues that are confronting our whanau and communities," he said.

"Since its inception the RDMC has been involved in a wide range of issues and been able to ensure that Tikanga Māori values and principles are taken into account when these issues are of concern to Māori."

"A current example of this is the township revitalization projects underway across the District where the RDMC has been able to stress the importance of ensuring that projects of this nature acknowledge and recognise the significance of Iwi Māori and their place within the community."

At the meeting Chairperson Ashford also gave Members an update on the recent Māori Land Service Hui held in Taumarunui on 27 January 2017.

"Significant aspects of this discussion included legislation outside of the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 such as the Rating of Māori Freehold Land, Public Works Act, Māori Landlocked Land and the provisions and implementation of the new Māori Land Services which is set to be in place by October 2018," he said.

RDMC hui are held Tuesdays and Fridays on a six to eight-week cycle with hui in both Taumarunui and Ohakune.

Every hui provides an opportunity for discussion with the general public and all Iwi and the wider community are welcome to attend.

Edwin Ashford

Chairperson

Ruapehu District Maori Council

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