Porirua City Council signed off its new Māori and Pacific strategies this morning, in an emotive meeting full of tears, applause and song.
At its regular Te Puna Kōrero meeting, councillors and Porirua Mayor Anita Baker adopted "Ola Kamataga - Beginning of Life 2024-2027: Pacific Strategy for Porirua City", along with the Māori Strategic Plan, called "Maungaroa 2050". The two were developed together and will be in place in time to align with Council’s Long-term Plan, which is developed next year.
Around 50 people packed the Council chamber’s public gallery to support the strategies, and emotional waiata were performed to celebrate their adoption.
In introducing Ola Kamataga, Senior Partnership Advisor Pacific, Dr Taima Fagaloa, said it was a milestone moment to be able to present something that strengthens "our story, our history, our people", and is a genuine, responsive partnership between Council and Pacific people in Porirua.
Manager Strategic Māori Steve Kenny, meanwhile, said Maungaroa 2050 was aspirational, and needed to be as it was designed to safeguard future wellbeing, as communities and the population continue to change.
Porirua Mayor Anita Baker said the city’s large Pacific and Māori population means this work is important. More than a quarter of people living in Porirua are Pacific, while about a fifth are Māori.
The strategies will aim to improve the already-strong relationships Council has with both communities, which includes the well-established working relationship with mana whenua Ngāti Toa.
"It makes sense that, in the everyday mahi that we do for our city, and looking forward, that there are strategies in place to guide us, ensuring that Māori and Pacific people are included and engaged, and we’re looking at positive outcomes for sectors of our population that don’t always have a voice when it comes to local government," Mayor Baker said.
"We have high aspirations for all our people, so this work matters. We embrace and celebrate the diversity we have in our city, so these strategies can only strengthen that."
The strategies are likely to have an official launch next month.
They are not on our website yet, but the two documents can be found in the agenda for the 19 October Te Puna Kōrero, in the Meetings section on our website.
19 Oct 2023