Iwi move to Parakai signifies genuine treaty-based partnership with council
29 March 2022
A symbolic move to new premises at Parakai has helped seal a genuine and equitable treaty-based partnership between Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara and the Auckland Council.
Dame Naida Glavish, Chair of Ngā Maunga Whakahii o Kaipara says obtaining a true balance of mana in managing Parakai in partnership with the council has been a long and arduous journey.
“It’s been a difficult process and council couldn't quite grasp the concept of joint management with Iwi in the beginning. Council saw themselves as the decision makers and key authority in the relationship. Ngā Maunga Whakahii refused to accept that and maintaining ongoing kōrero and momentum has helped build understanding and awareness in this space.”
Ngā Maunga Whakahii o Kaipara will move to its new office ‘Te Whare Oranga’ located at the heart of the Parakai Community Hub. The new location will make it easier for whānau to access services and provide a surrounding environment alive with activity.
“The council is happy and we are happy, our new leadership team has played an integral role in getting us here. There have been plenty of ups and downs and hurdles along the way.
Our management team has maintained focus on the bigger picture and secured this meaningful move.”
In celebration of the return of Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara to whenua it has been isolated from since the early 1900’s, dedicated pou whakairo are being crafted and will sit at the entrance to the building.
“These Pou will represent the strength, resilience and endurance of our people and the rangatira we have lost along the way. The Pou will stand as a symbol and herald the long-awaited return of Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara to this whenua. These Pou will also signify an achievement and partnership built on understanding and respect, not division.”
Next year a formal opening ceremony will be held to celebrate the new space and serve as a tribute to rangatira of the past and serve as a constant reminder of their mana to younger generations.
“Our younger generations will not be confronted with the same challenges their tūpuna faced and the pathway ahead for them has been strengthened as a result of their dedication. We will ensure they are never forgotten and we will honour them in everything we do.”