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Maori representatives on Kapiti standing committee

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

When Caleb Royal sat at the Kapiti Coast District Council table this week it was an historic moment in the history of council .

Mr Royal is one of three Maori representatives recently appointed to three of Council’s standing committees and he sat in for the first time on a meeting of the Resource Management Committee. Other appointees recently approved by Council are Russell Spratt, who will sit on the Corporate Business Committee and Rupene Waaka, who was appointed to the Environment and Community Development Committee.

In 2012 Council resolved to consider under Schedule 7 of the Local Government Act 2002 the appointment of Maori representatives with voting rights to each of the three major standing Committees of Council. In June last year Council voted to proceed with the process, which has been managed through Council’s partnership advisory body, Te Whakaminenga o Kapiti.

"It has been a long journey to get to this point," said Mayor Jenny Rowan, in welcoming Mr Royal to the Council table. "My belief has always been that the Tangata Whenua of this district as our treaty partners should be involved in the decision making process, to challenge, inform and assist us in developing the best outcomes for this district." Mayor Rowan said it was fitting the historic moment was happening during Matariki.

Speaking in Maori, Mr Royal told the meeting he was honoured to be representing the three Iwi of the district on the committee.

"For me it is about being responsible for upholding and pursuing our collective dreams and aspirations for the district. I would like to acknowledge the Mayor and Councillors and Te Whakaminenga o Kapiti for all their work in making this opportunity available.

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