Iwi Leaders and Local Government New Zealand sign Memorandum of Understanding

 Today, the Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group, on behalf of the Iwi Chairs Forum, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) to support and encourage strong relationships and collaboration between councils and iwi.

Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group chair, Tā Tumu Te Heuheu said, “this signals our intent to work with all communities on areas of common strategic significance including economic development, environment and infrastructure. We believe that these areas, interests and responsibilities are important for all New Zealanders, not just iwi.”

Local Government New Zealand President, Lawrence Yule, said “we are pleased to formalise today the relationship between the organisations. The Memorandum of Understanding establishes an engaged and constructive way of working together on areas of mutual interest into the future.”

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding was a part of the Iwi Chairs Forum meeting, being held in Hopuhopu, Ngāruawāhia.  It was attended by iwi leaders from across the country and representatives of LGNZ’s National Council along with local regional and district council representatives.

The Memorandum identifies matters of common strategic significance which include economic development, environment, infrastructure, employment, social issues, health, housing and energy and local democratic representation and decision-making.

“There is a need for us, iwi and the community, to work together on these issues.  The issues that we are all confronted with are issues that no one can fix alone.  We are of the view that good solutions will come from understanding where we have come from and where we want to get to, collectively,” said Freshwater Iwi Leaders deputy chair, Tā Mark Solomon. 

“Together we can grow regional economies and we are both committed to strengthening our communities for New Zealanders,” said Mr. Yule.