Rotorua Lakes Council and Te Arawa celebrated the inauguration of the new partnership board and the signing of a partnership agreement today.

Te Taru White has been elected as the inaugural chairman of the Te Arawa partnership board – Te Tatau o Te Arawa. The name reflects both meanings of the word “tatau” – it means unity as well as door, symbolising a unified Te Arawa and the opening of the door to Te Arawa.

The new board held its first AGM as part of today’s formalities at Tamatekapua, Ohinemutu. Ngaroma Grant was elected deputy.

The board members also agreed on their nominees for positions on council committees, which will go to the council early next year for consideration. Ana Morrison and Eugene Berryman-Kamp are the board’s nominees for council’s Strategy Policy and Finance committee; Raina Meha-Rangitauira and Potaua Biasiny-Tule are the nominees for the Operations and Monitoring committee; Gina Mohi is the nominee for council’s Resource Management Act (RMA) committee.

Mr White said the Te Arawa “door” in the new partnership would swing both ways. He described it as a door of reciprocity, good faith, good will and unity.

Our community is always in our hearts,” he said of Te Arawa. “It will be our endeavour to work together to achieve great things.”

The new board were “very solid” and would serve Te Arawa and Rotorua well, Mr White said. “We are up to the challenge to make a difference.”

Mayor Steve Chadwick said the inauguration and agreement signing heralded a time of great opportunity for Te Arawa, the council and all the people of Rotorua.

Over the last year, while we have waited for the board to be elected, there has been an understanding between council and Te Arawa that I have not seen before, either as a Rotorua district councillor in the 1990s or while I was an MP,” she said.

“With this new understanding and trust in each other, just imagine where we can go from here.”
A taonga (treasure), a carved patu, was presented to the council and the board in memory of the late Mauriora Kingi, who was council’s Maori advisor and died earlier this year. The taonga signifies a changing of the time and the coming together of the two parties. It will be put on display at council’s Civic Centre.