Horizons Regional Council and Ngāti Kahungunu ki Tāmaki nui-a-Rua sign Memorandum of Partnership

Horizons Regional Council and Ngāti Kahungunu ki Tāmaki nui-a-Rua have signed a Memorandum of Partnership, formalising their mutual goal to develop a relationship of mutual respect and meaningful partnership.

The memorandum was signed by representatives of both parties on Wednesday 20 March at Awakura, a property returned to Ngāti Kahungunu ki Tāmaki nui-a-Rua as part of their Treaty settlement with the Crown in late-2022. 
The day involved Ngāti Kahungunu ki Tāmaki nui-a-Rua taking Horizons representatives to Awakura and sharing the history of the area, then signing the memorandum, waiata, kōrero and kai. 
Horizons chair Rachel Keedwell says the memorandum sets out the parties’ aspirations and how they will work with each other to achieve them. 
“Memorandums of partnership create a formal, written base for us to begin our relationship within this post-settlement environment. Although a legally non-binding document, we see it as an excellent starting point for how Horizons, as a Crown party, can work with Ngāti Kahungunu ki Tāmaki nui-a-Rua on realising their aspirations,” says Cr Keedwell.
“Being a regional council, Horizons has a mandate to manage the region’s natural resources. Ngāti Kahungunu ki Tāmaki nui-a-Rua is a major iwi within our eastern regional boundaries. With their array of interests, coupled with our scope of responsibilities, I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do together. 
“Ensuring our community is connected to the regional picture and working with each other to bring about enduring benefits, coupled with the development of aspirational programmes which give us regional pride, is key to our success.
“The memorandum creates levels of connection through governance and operational layers. Provisions have been added which identify what projects we want to work on together. Key to our success is ensuring we have open, sometimes robust conversations, all within the spirit of achieving our goals stronger and more united.”
Ngāti Kahungunu ki Tāmaki nui-a-Rua chairperson Hayden Hape says the signing reaffirms the relationship the iwi already has with Horizons Regional Council.
“The relationship we have had up until now is really positive, and it works. This signing is reaffirming that we are prepared to continue this into the future,” says Mr Hape.
“We see each other all the time – we’re a very tight-knit community – so it’s important that we work together and get along.
“This is more than just a memorandum with Horizons. It’s about creating friendships so we can help and support each other. Knowing each other on a personal level is the most important thing.
“Bringing Horizons to Awakura shows our aspirations of connecting to the taiao and having something we can bring our community to. 
“If you touch and feel, you really feel the treasure that lies here at Awakura.”

Photo: Ngāti Kahungunu ki Tāmaki nui-a-Rua chairperson Hayden Hape signs a copy of the Memorandum of Partnership as Horizons Regional Council and iwi representatives watch.