Monday, March 4, 2024

Auckland Council recommits to Māori cultural wellbeing

Auckland Council has released its Te Pūrongo a Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau Ngā Huanga Māori / Auckland Council Group Māori Outcomes Report for 2022-2023, which is now in its fifth edition.

The report measures how successfully the Council is contributing to the 10 mana outcomes of Kia Ora Tāmaki Makaurau and the priorities laid out in the 10-year Budget.

“In recent years, Tāmaki Makaurau has faced many challenges as well as heartening successes. This report provides valuable insights into Auckland Council’s delivery of Māori outcomes, for and with Māori. As we move forward, know that we are committed to keeping Māori wellbeing at the heart of all we do,” said Deputy Chair of the Planning, Environment and Parks Committee, Councillor Angela Dalton.

“I am proud of the successes highlighted in the report including the provision of this year’s Manaaki Fund to support flood and cyclone relief services, the Māori Outcomes Fund, Te Matatini Herenga Waka Herenga Tangata festival and some incredible success stories in our efforts to enhance te taiao (the environment) to restore the mana of the area.”

Portfolio Lead for Māori Outcomes and Auckland Council’s first wahine Māori councillor, Kerrin Leoni, endorsed the report.

“This report reaffirms Auckland Council’s commitment to fulfilling our legal and core policy objectives, while also identifying areas where we can improve, to ensure that Auckland Council’s commitments to Te Tiriti o Waitangi are truly realised,” said Cr Leoni.

“While we celebrate the achievements in the report, it is essential to acknowledge that there is still work to be done. We must look beyond the confines of colonisation and engage with the diversity of Māori communities, acknowledging the unique needs of aspirations each iwi, hapū and mataawaka group. By doing so, we can forge a true partnership that fosters an environment where all can succeed.

“This future is one where Māori are active participants in decision-making, where cultural heritage is celebrated and protected, and where the well-being of Māori communities and the environment are prioritised.”

Highlights for the 2022-2023 year include:

The commissioned review of Auckland Council’s engagement with Māori and the resulting ‘Beyond Obligations’ report

As a direct result of this report, Auckland Council has increased the capacity funding for mana whenua, and up to six mataawaka, commencing in the upcoming financial year 2023/2024, to resource their engagement in core Auckland Council processes, including the 10-year and annual budget, and bi-lateral engagements with Auckland Council.

Use of the Manaaki Fund to support the Flood and Cyclone Response

“The provision of this year’s Manaaki Fund, which enabled support for flood and cyclone relief services, exemplified our commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of whānau Māori during challenging times,” says Cr Leoni.

Fifteen Māori-led active responders representing mana whenua entities, marae and Māori community providers in Tāmaki Makaurau received grants to support whānau Māori with flood and cyclone relief services during both the Auckland Anniversary Floods and Cyclone Gabrielle to a total of $266,444.

Working in partnership for te taiao / the environment

Māori and the Auckland Council group have worked together on many large-scale projects that aim to enhance the mauri (life force) of te taiao (the environment).

Auckland Council and mana whenua can be proud of the partnerships that have been formed during these projects. Some, such as Te Auaunga (Oakley Creek) and Awakeri wetlands have developed over many years, and they proved invaluable during the January floods, in addition to their many other benefits.

Te Matatini Herenga Waka Herenga Tangata

Auckland Council invested $1.3m of the Māori Outcomes Fund in the festival, with Tātaki Auckland Unlimited taking the lead to coordinate council support and involvement.The festival is estimated to have made a direct economic contribution of almost $22 million to Tāmaki Makaurau and provided an incredible boost in cultural pride and wellbeing for Māori in Tāmaki Makaurau and across Aotearoa.

“Te Matatini, a beautiful showcase of Māori performing arts, has helped to weave Māori performing arts into the fabric of Tāmaki Makaurau,” says Auckland Council Tumuaki Huanga Māori, Acting Director of Ngā Mātārāe Māori Outcomes, Lou-Ann Ballantyne.

“Organisations across the council group engaged with the festival, from Tātaki Auckland Unlimited’s ‘Haka is Here’ promotional campaign to Auckland Transport providing integrated ticketing services and its own bus campaign featuring haka stars.

“The festival not only welcomed over 70,000 spectators at Ngā Ana Wai Eden Park, but also reached its biggest ever broadcast audience of 2.5 million, taking Māori language and talent to a national and global audience.”

Māori Outcomes Fund

Projects and longer-term programmes funded using the Māori Outcomes Fund progressed, although significant underspend was incurred in the Marae Infrastructure Programme due to staffing and supply issues. Delays to the development and roll out of the Capacity Uplift project was also a contributor. Of the 24 initiatives funded during the year, nine are complete; one, the Western Kiosk – will be completed early in 2023, one is on hold and 13 are scheduled to continue.

Read the full Te Pūrongo a Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau Ngā Huanga Māori 2022-2023 / Auckland Council Group Māori Outcomes Report 2022-2023.

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