New era of partnership for Tūrangi
The inaugural meeting of the newly established Tūrangi Co-Governance Committee, created by Mana Whakahono partners Ngāti Tūrangitukua and Taupō District Council, was held on Wednesday 1 March.
This new partnership replaces the Tūrangi-Tongariro Community Board, which was disestablished in October last year. The committee is one of the agreed outcomes of the Mana Whakahono-a-Rohe agreement between Taupō District Council and Ngāti Tūrangitukua and will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the agreement and considering a range of community matters in Tūrangi township and its immediate surrounds.
The remainder of the southern Lake Taupō area will be covered by a separate group, known as the Tongariro Representative Group.
The new committee is comprised of four members elected by Ngāti Tūrangitukua - Te Takinga New, Christian Asher, Lauren Fletcher and Amy Walker – and four members appointed by Council – Mayor David Trewavas, Deputy Mayor Cr Kevin Taylor, Cr Sandra Greenslade, and community representative Amanda Martin. Mr New and Mr Trewavas will be the committee’s co-chairs.
Mr Trewavas said it was an important day for all involved and the innovative model of community governance for Tūrangi would enable a wide range of benefits for the town, including sharing the responsibility for creating positive opportunities and outcomes for the benefit of the wider community.
“This meeting marks a new era in relations between Council and Ngāti Tūrangitukua and I would like to congratulate everyone who has been a part of the journey,” he said.
“A great deal of work has gone into this and it is a ground-breaking initiative that we can be proud of and embrace. I believe that some really great things will come from this partnership, and we are already seeing this in the form of the new sports facility being built at Tūrangitukua Park. This cooperative project by landowners Ngāti Tūrangitukua and Taupō District Council is due for completion this year next month, and it will be an asset all of Tūrangi can celebrate and enjoy for decades to come – and none of this would have been possible without Ngāti Tūrangitukua and Council coming together to make it a reality.”
The first voice to be heard at the inaugural committee meeting came from Ngāti Tūrangitukua co-chair Te Takinga New, who said Ngāti Tūrangitukua tikanga and kawa would provide the foundation for the way the committee worked together.
“Collectively, our co-governance committee wants to make a greater impact for the future of Tūrangi,” he said.
“We want to capture the voice and aspirations of our community to help set the future direction for those that reside under our kui maunga Pihanga.”
Mr Trewavas said it was fantastic to see the new partnership becoming a reality and he was very proud to have been involved in the initiative.
“This partnership model embraces the core principles of partnership, protection and participation that are central to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and our district is at the leading edge of having working partnerships not only in principle but in practice.
“This is already bearing fruit with the sports facility at Tūrangitukua Park, and a further example is the new playground planned for Te Kapua Park, with construction due to start later next month. This project which was also made possible by the generosity of landowners Ngāti Tūrangitukua. Together, Ngāti Tūrangitukua and Council share a passion for the community, and by working together we can see that passion be made real in our community.”
For more information, head to www.taupo.govt.nz/manawhakahono.