Introducing the Tumu Taiao – mana whenua experts for the Canterbury Regional Council
Anei kau ana te reo maioha o Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu me te Kaunihera Taiao ki Waitaha i ruka i te ekeka mai o Iaean Cranwell rāua ko Yvette Couch-Lewis hai Tumu Taiao – Mana Whenua Experts – ki te pae Kaunihera Taiao ki Waitaha.
Environment Canterbury and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu are proud to advise the appointment of Iaean Cranwell and Yvette Couch-Lewis as our new Tumu Taiao – Mana Whenua Experts – to the Canterbury Regional Council (Environment Canterbury).
The successful candidates – Iaean Cranwell and Yvette Couch-Lewis
I tohua mai a Iaean Cranwell rāua ko Yvette Couch-Lewis e kā Hēmana o Kā Papatipu Rūnaka, nāna nei te tukaka whiriwhiri i whakatau. Ka tīmata a Iaean Cranwell rāua ko Yvette Couch-Lewis i roto i ō rāua tūraka hai te Whiringa-ā-nuku.
Iaean and Yvette were appointed by the ten Papatipu Rūnanga Chairs of the Canterbury region, following a robust selection process. It was important that Papatipu Rūnanga hold the mana (authority) to decide who would fill the positions that will represent them.
Iaean Cranwell was previously an appointed Councillor for Environment Canterbury, representing Ngāi Tahu from 2016-2019, and has extensive governance experience particularly in Māori and commercial areas.
Yvette Couch-Lewis has a wealth of experience in the natural resources area and has been a Resource Management Act Hearings Commissioner.
They bring both unique and complementary skills to the roles.
Roles unique to local government in New Zealand
Environment Canterbury Deputy Chair, Peter Scott says, “Our Tumu Taiao roles are unique to local government in New Zealand. We worked closely with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu to develop this new way of enabling mana whenua views and values to be incorporated with our decision-making.
“We are extremely proud of this achievement, and we look forward to having the advice, wisdom, and knowledge of the Tumu Taiao around our Council table.”
Liz Brown, Te Taumutu Rūnanga Chair, also sees this as a positive development, “It is disappointing that a Local Bill which sought to continue mana whenua representation on Council did not proceed. However, we are pragmatic and supportive of this as an approach to enable us to still contribute in a proactive and constructive way to Council decision-making.”
More about our Tumu Taiao – Mana Whenua Experts on Council
- The purpose of the Tumu Taiao roles is to provide advice to Council in the interests of mana whenua. The Local Government Act 2002 does not allow the Tumu Taiao to have Councillor decision-making powers to vote at Council meetings, but they will support the opportunity for better decision-making outcomes for mana whenua and for Environment Canterbury.
- The appointment of the Tumu Taiao reflects the trust that Papatipu Rūnanga have in the Council to make the right decisions, in lieu of them being able to vote themselves.
- Previously, under The Environment Canterbury (Transitional Governance Arrangements) Act 2016, Environment Canterbury had the privilege of mana whenua representation on Council through two appointed Councillors. The Act expired in October 2019.
- In anticipation of the expiry of The Act, Environment Canterbury and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu put forward a Local Bill which sought to continue mana whenua representation on Council due to the enormous value it provided. Unfortunately, the Local Bill did not proceed through Parliament at that time (April 2019).
- Since then, Environment Canterbury and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu have worked together to establish this new governance arrangement. Appointing the Tumu Taiao – Mana Whenua Experts on Council – is the best recognition Environment Canterbury can give to the Treaty of Waitangi and mana whenua within the current constraints of the Local Government Act.
This is a joint media release with Environment Canterbury.