It’s Time Our City Embraced Its Distinctive Bicultural Relationship, Efeso Collins Says

Published: Tue 13 Sep 2022 02:04 PM
Issues of co-governance, our Te Tiriti partnership and Auckland Council’s responsibility towards Māori have been a regular theme of this campaign.
But it’s also been clear on the campaign trail that many would like to rewind the clock on how New Zealand treats Māori, and return to an approach that ignores our Treaty obligations, and undermines the 50 years of incredible work of campaigners to have the Māori language celebrated as it is being this week, Auckland mayoral candidate Efeso Collins says.
“Our Māori identity is our point of difference in the world and iwi mana whenua, as traditional kaitiaki of our city, should have more influence in how the city develops, accommodates growth and meets the social, cultural, economic and environmental challenges ahead,” Efeso Collins says.
Collins says Māori deserve more than empty words on improving our Treaty partnership which is why he supports Māori wards being in place by 2025 to increase elected Māori representation at the Governing Body and Local Boards.
“I will also support our Māori heritage and identity through the naming of Council facilities, public roads, and public spaces such as parks that tell the story of our rich Māori culture.”
Additional to these policies, Collins will support initiatives for Council staff and elected members to engage better with mana whenua and our Māori communities through training as well as increase the Māori Initiatives fund in Council’s Long-term Plan 2024-34 to support a 10-year programme of marae refurbishment, papakāinga development and Māori community initiatives.
“I will continue to work with the Independent Māori Statutory Board to deliver the Māori Outcomes Framework - Kia Ora Tāmaki Makaurau.
“Auckland is a city with a long history of both injustice against Māori but also moments of positive and meaningful engagement and partnership,” Collins says.
“So while some of my fellow mayoral candidates would rather wind back this city to its days as an antiquated colonial outpost of the British empire, ignore our Treaty obligations and relegate Maori to the sidelines of our society, I want us to be a modern, confident and global city, that's proud of its bicultural relationship and ensures Māori outcomes are cherished and enhanced.”

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