Pōwhiri to welcome local government to Arowhenua for historic hui

Jan 18, 2023

18 January 2023

Newly elected Mayors, Councillors, and Community Board members were welcomed to Arowhenua Marae over the weekend in the first step in forging a collaborative partnership.

Environment Canterbury (ECan), Ashburton, Mackenzie, Timaru, and Waimate district councils all operate within the Arowhenua takiwā (area) and representatives from each council attended the hui on Saturday.

Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua Chairperson Fiona Pimm says it was the first time all four district councils and ECan had been welcomed to Arowhenua Marae as a roopu.

“This was an opportunity to come together and for Arowhenua to welcome and celebrate Mayors, Councillors and Community Board members after last year’s election. Arowhenua were delighted with the positive response from the councils, and it was a great opportunity for us to get to know our local governors and to hear their aspirations for the communities within our takiwā.”

Fiona Pimm says in the past some agencies have either engaged retrospectively with mana whenua on issues of significance or not at all.

“Mana whenua are keen to engage with councils around a broad range of community wellbeing matters. Councils have largely been good at engaging with mana whenua on te taiao (environment) related matters, but Arowhenua is just as interested in collaborating with councils about economic development, tourism opportunities, health, education, and all things that contribute to whānau and community wellbeing.

“We believe by working more collaboratively we can share resources, consider different perspectives, and improve outcomes for the betterment of all whānau living within our takiwā.”

Te Manahuna Ki Uta – Destination MacKenzie is a Destination Management Plan for Te Manahuna MacKenzie District as part of a wider tourism journey that includes Aoraki Mt Cook National Park, the Upper Waitaki Valley and Lindis Pass.

Fiona Pimm says MacKenzie District Council engaged with three local rūnaka, Arowhenua, Waihao and Moeraki to develop this plan.

“The result is a culturally rich plan informed by mana whenua values, history and aspirations that aims to create a sustainable and resilient tourism eco-system for the benefit of the local community.

“The result of this collaboration however, is far more than the final published plan. There is now a greater understanding of each party’s history of, and aspirations for, Te Manahuna. New collaborative projects, such as Te Matariki Festival have already resulted from the initial engagement.”

Arowhenua and all five councils will meet quarterly moving forward to discuss mutual priorities such as social wellbeing, improving economic wellbeing for whānau, and job creation alongside environment and water related kaupapa.

“We look forward to continuing to work together in partnership kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) to achieve better outcomes for all,” says Fiona Pimm.