Hutt City Council celebrates Te Herenga Kairangi, its first Rautaki Māori

 banner image

Published: 9 May 2024

Hutt City Council has approved Te Herenga Kairangi, a rautaki (strategy) consolidating all council work aimed at improving outcomes for Māori.

After consultation with Mana Whenua and hapori Māori (Māori communities), three key outcomes are set out in the strategy.

  • Council and hapori Māori have strong and trusting relationships.
  • Māori are healthy, culturally accepted, sheltered and economically secure.
  • Te Kaunihera o Te Awa Kairangi is a Te Ao Māori capable organisation.

Te Herenga Kairangi sets out a range of current and planned council initiatives and projects.  Bringing them together creates a mechanism to allow the Council to measure the delivery of work tied directly to outcomes. These will be reported to the community.

Mayor Campbell Barry says Te Herenga Kairangi – meaning The Interwoven Ambition to Thrive - is a tangible expression that continues Council’s commitment to activating Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

“The aspiration for developing Council’s first rautaki Māori is to help set the direction for Council to further our partnership with Māori to achieve better outcomes.

“Working collaboratively with Mana Whenua benefits everyone in our community, and I’m excited to see the outcomes of our shared ambition for Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai Lower Hutt.”

Central to the Council’s work with hapori Māori is the Tākai Here (Memoranda of Partnership) agreed with Mana Whenua. Te Herenga Kairangi adds another layer, bringing together measurable actions to focus on. It’s designed to interweave with many existing Council initiatives, including our 2024-2034 Long-Term Plan.

Communities, Culture and Partnerships Committee Chair Cr Keri Brown says the rautaki will provide greater transparency while intentionally supporting the enabling of Māori cultural, social, economic and environmental wellbeing.

“The rautaki will see local government, Mana Whenua and Hapori Māori continuing to work together on shared goals to improve the wellbeing of whānau, anchored in connection between people, place and environment.

“Mana Whenua has a wealth of knowledge and expertise regarding the historical, cultural, natural, physical, economic and social environments of our region. Our partnership can effectively leverage this to enrich decisions we make for everyone in our communities,” says Cr Keri Brown.

Chair of Te Rūnanganui o Te Āti Awa Kura Moeahu says the priorities and actions expressed in Te Herenga Kairangi set a framework for Council and Mana Whenua to work with.

“This strategy is a pathway to move forward. When all parts of our community are thriving, we are much better off as a city and community. The development of this strategy allows council to keep aspirations and outcomes for Māori as a high priority. We are looking forward to implementing the strategy alongside all Māori living in Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai Lower Hutt.”

Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira Chair Callum Katene says Te Herenga Kairangi is a solid example of the quality relationship and partnered efforts with Hutt City Council and Mana Whenua to work together in a mutually mana-enhancing way for the benefit of our communities.

Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika Trust Chair Te Whatanui Winiata says it is important to have mechanisms in place to ensure that the ambition to thrive outlined in the strategy holds the interest of Mana Whenua and Māori at heart. “The expression of kotahitanga and manaakitanga through Te Herenga Kairangi will be a good start to provide meaningful solutions to address the inequities within Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai”, says Te Whatanui.

Liz Mellish (Palmerston North Māori Reserves Chairperson) and Anaru Smiler (Chairman Wellington Tenths Trust) said it was fantastic to have the rautaki Māori in place. “Having the history of this rohe set out in Te Herenga Kairangi is an important starting point for our shared understanding of Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai. We fully support the inclusion of the ōhāki by Te Wharepōuri which reflects the role Te Āti Awa has in providing manaakitanga to all people in Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai,” says Liz Mellish.

Read Te Herenga Kairangi  here.

The naming of Te Herenga Kairangi - “The Interwoven Ambition to Thrive”

The name Te Herenga Kairangi is deeply embedded in a significant element of the city, the river itself - Te Awa Kairangi. Historically, our awa was previously known as Heretaunga. The Māori word ‘herenga’ can also be used to describe binding or joining together. This combination of meanings acknowledges the history of our region; and in doing so, we bind together our past with our present.

The name ‘Kairangi’ also holds dual significance. Firstly, it refers to the life-sustaining water source which traverses the western side and centre of our city, merging with waters flowing from the various streams that were once plentiful and significant. The second part explores the meaning of ‘Kairangi’ in Māori culture, which can denote something esteemed or the finest variety of greenstone. This serves as a reminder for us to strive for success, recognising that success can vary for different people. In this context, Kairangi unites us in one’s ongoing pursuit of excellence and wellbeing.