Proposed disestablishment of the Turangi – Tongariro Community Board
Currently we have a Turangi-Tongariro community board, whose job is to represent, and act as an advocate for, the interests of the Turangi-Tongariro community. It also reviews and provides advice on proposals that affect the area, and makes decisions on local matters. The community board membership is a mix of two councillors, four elected representatives from Turangi, and two elected from the wider Tongariro area.
Ngāti Tūrangitukua is the mana whenua (the iwi that holds authority) of the Tūrangitukua rohe (area) which includes the Tūrangi township and its surrounds. Ngāti Tūrangitukua has a special relationship with the whenua (land) and people located within its rohe which is reflected through their role as kaitiaki (guardians) and landowners of most reserves located within its rohe.
Historically, Ngāti Tūrangitukua land was acquired for the purposes of constructing the Tūrangi township. This was not agreed to by Ngāti Tūrangitukua and was held to be a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi by the Waitangi Tribunal. The Ngāti Tūrangitukua Settlement Act 1999 saw the return of some of this land and as a result of Ngāti Tūrangitukua’s generosity, a vast majority of their land including public recreational reserves located in Turangi remain accessible for the wider community and visitors alike to enjoy.
To support the partnership aspirations of both Council and Ngāti Tūrangitukua, we are currently developing a Mana Whakahono partnership agreement which will cover a range of matters including opportunities for Ngāti Tūrangitukua to make certain decisions either jointly with Council or alone as landowners over what happens within their rohe. The Mana Whakahono will also see the establishment of a co-governance committee responsible for the implementation of the Mana Whakahono which will effectively fulfil the role that the current community board does within the Turangitukua rohe.
As a result, we are proposing to replace the community board with two Council Committees.
- A co-governance committee for Turangi township and its immediate surrounds, which will involve a partnership with Ngāti Tūrangitukua and therefore ensure their active involvement in making decisions on Council-related functions within its rohe. The co-governance committee will be established once the agreement has been signed. The Committee will be made up of an equal number of members to represent Ngāti Tūrangitukua and the Council. It is likely to include:
- The Mayor
- The local Councillor
- 1-2 Turangi locals appointed by Council
- 3-4 members appointed by Ngāti Tūrangitukua
- Once the Community Board is disestablished in October 2022, a representative group for the remainder of the Turangi-Tongariro Ward (known as the Tongariro part of the Ward) is planned to be established to cover the wider Tongariro ward including the areas listed below. It is likely to include the Mayor, the local councillor, appointed members from these local settlements, and iwi.
- Whareroa – Kuratau/Omori – Pukawa
- Waihi – Tokaanu, and the wider Tongariro / Rotoaira settlements
- Korohe - Motuoapa – Tauranga-Taupō - Hatepe
The main difference between the community board and the new bodies is that they will be committees of Council, meaning that their members are appointed by Council, rather than elected (voted-in by the public).
One councillor for the Turangi – Tongariro ward
Our one councillor proposal for the Turangi – Tongariro ward represents 3,200 people on the general electoral roll, broadly in line with the level of representation for the other areas of Taupō District.
This is a reduction from the current two councillors representing the ward, but it should be noted that this is because of the relatively high Māori electoral population in that ward.
These proposed changes ensure that Turangi and the wider Tongariro area will still have a strong voice at Council, and influence over local decisions on council services. Ngāti Tūrangitukua as Treaty settlement partners will be empowered to make decisions in partnership with Council in relation to their rohe, and the representative group model which has worked well for other areas will ensure representation for people living in the Tongariro part of the Ward.
Feedback wanted – How do we ensure Turangi-Tongariro has a local voice and decision making?
We want to ensure that Turangi and the wider Tongariro areas have a strong voice at Council, and influence over local decisions on Council services.
We also want to ensure that you have a number of people you can contact if you have an issue or need some help with Council’s services.
We think the disestablishment of the Turangi–Tongariro Community Board and instead having two Council committees to represent the Turangi, and wider Tongariro areas will achieve this, as well as achieve our goal to work more closely with our Treaty settlement partners Ngāti Tūrangitukua.
Make sure to let us know if you agree, or instead suggest another approach.
Thank you for all of the submissions received. Submissions closed at 4.30pm on Monday, 9 August 2021.