19 Dec 2013

Survey suggests councils have tick-box attitude to tribes

6:31 am on 19 December 2013

Councils come off badly in a study of iwi and hapu making resource management applications.

The Kaitiaki Survey is the first national research of its kind, carried out by Te Puni Kokiri - the Ministry of Maori Development.

Some respondents have criticised local authorities for their approach towards engaging with tribes.

One said councils have a tick box attitude - and they talk at the tribes, and then leave, while another complaint is that iwi and hapu provide a timely response - which is then ignored.

One remarked that councils consider that consultation with tangata whenua once a year is good enough.

Other comments include:

"Among many council officers and planners there is a lack of understanding of cultural issues related to Wahi Tapu".

"There is a lack of tangata whenua representation".

"Councils lack commitment to Treaty of Waitangi policy and practice".

Seventy nine out of 120 iwi and hapu took part in the survey, which found that, on average, groups spend about 40 hours a week on environmental work.

Te Puni Kokiri says it did the study because Maori voices have been underrepresented in public research and knowledge on resource management.