Election time makes for some interesting claims by those vying for a seat at the council table.
One aspiring mayoral candidate was recently holding forth on the train about stopping further land being given to Iwi. Well I’m not sure how they plan to achieve this. Anyone with even a small knowledge of local government knows that councils have no say over the Crown’s settlements with Iwi through Treaty of Waitangi claims.
What South Wairarapa District Council has chosen to do however is work with both parties to support the process because it heralds exciting prospects for the district.
The Wairarapa Iwi’s settlements could see the largest opportunity for economic investment that this region has seen for a very long time, perhaps ever. We should be excited not angry.
The other bit of daft nonsense is around appointed Iwi representation on committees. SWDC has had appointed Iwi representation since 2002 and nobody has batted an eyelid. It works well, costs little and enables us to meet our Treaty obligations. At the end of the day though, all decisions are made by Council and only elected members can vote.