MINUTES OF An extraordinary meeting of the Regional Council



Date:                          Wednesday 18 November 2020

Time:                          3.00pm


Council Chamber

Hawke's Bay Regional Council

159 Dalton Street



Present:                     R Graham - Chairman

R Barker

W Foley (via Zoom)

C Foss

N Kirton

C Lambert

M McIIroy – Māori Committee Co-chair

H Ormsby (via Zoom after 4.12pm)

M Paku – Māori Committee Co-chair

A Tapine – Regional Planning Committee Representative

J van Beek

M Williams (via Zoom until 4pm)


In Attendance:          J Palmer – Chief Executive

P Munro – Te Pou Whakarae Māori Partnerships

L Hooper – Team Leader Governance

N Tomoana – Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated Chair


1.       Welcome/Karakia/Apologies

The Chairman welcomed everyone and invited Haami Hilton to open the meeting with a karakia.

Pieri Munro welcomed everyone with a mihi whakatau.


2.       Conflict of Interest Declarations

There were no conflicts of interest declared.



Māori Representation on Hawke's Bay Regional Council


The Chair introduced the item and Pieri Munro, who provided summary of the key points relating to the decision being considered today, as described in the agenda item.

Pieri Munro also advised that tangata whenua representatives of the Regional Planning Committee and Māori Committee met prior to this meeting to discuss this kaupapa and agreed unanimous support for the establishment of Māori constituencies.

Leeanne Hooper explained the timeframes and consequential processes of the options available to Council, as outlined in the Decision Processes Flowchart attachment, in considering whether or not and when to establish Māori constituencies.

Mike Paku, Māori Committee Co-chair, spoke about the promise made to Maori through the Treaty, the right to have the Māori voice recognised and vote for their convictions, and that Taiwhenua representatives on the Māori Committee have been waiting for 12 years for councillors to have the courage to make this decision. Asking for unanimous decision of Council to establish Māori seats.

Michelle McIlroy, Māori Committee Co-chair, spoke about Māori carrying the inherent responsibilities bestowed upon them by their ancestors to take care of the precious taonga of the environment for everyone’s mokopuna and that today’s decision is about fair and effective representation for Māori at the Council table, to honour what was promised by Te Tiriti. Asking that council demonstrates equality and fairness with a yes vote today.

Apiata Tapine, as the tangata whenua representative of the Regional Planning Committee, expressed the collective view of the PSGEs in support of the Council establishing Māori constituencies. Asks that Council, through voting yes today, commits to equality, fairness and justice, recognising everybody’s science and contributions and challenges councillors to walk into the fray with Māori.

The Chair invited Ngahiwi Tomoana to speak as Ngati Kahungunu Chairman, who spoke of how papatuanuku healed herself through Covid-19 lockdown and that this is an opportunity to heal the rifts in Hawke’s Bay. On behalf of the iwi, asks that Council be triumphant for the region and establishes Māori constituencies so that Māori sit at the Council table as partners, not just advisors.

Discussions traversed:

·    not a new conversation however is new for councillors newly elected in 2019

·    potential to hold poll next election in 2022 to allow time to engage with the wider community and advocate for Central Government to change the legislation to remove the ability to overturn Council’s decision with a poll

·    Not about race or favouritism but about relationships and true partnership as guaranteed by Te Tiriti and Council needs to be united behind this and take the community with it on this journey

·    Needs to happen to have true partnership with tangata whenua, with equal voting rights to make decisions

·    If a poll is successful in vetoing a Council decision to establish Māori seats then it will be another six years before Council is able to consider it again

·    Worry that such a significant decision seems to have been rushed, not enabling councillors to fully understand all the implications and potential unintended consequences

·    Simple issue about being generous and sharing, returning the generosity shown by Māori to pakeha

Martin Williams left the meeting at 4pm

·    Need to have the discussions in a meaningful way so that everyone in the community understands

·    So much happening, the view expressed that council needs to get back to concentrating on its core business to protect and enhance the environment

·    Pakeha have reduced Māori, taken their land and mana and this is a small step on the journey to correct the wrongs of the past

·    Reluctant to hand the decision over to constituents and abdicate Council’s delegations and responsibility as elected officials who represent their community

Hinewai Ormsby left the meeting at 4.12pm

·    Realise that either way there will be constituents who won’t be happy, and support was expressed for a process that takes the whole community on the journey

·    Trust the community and the potential that a poll will not be demanded

Hinewai Ormsby re-joined the meeting at 4.20pm



That the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council:

1.      Receives and considers the “Māori Representation on Hawke's Bay Regional Council” staff report.

2.      Resolves in accordance with s.19Z of the Local Electoral Act 2001 to establish one or two Māori constituencies to allow for the election of two representatives for the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council with effect from the 2022 triennial elections.

3.      Resolves that, in accordance with s.19ZA of the Local Electoral Act 2001, a public notice be issued, of Council’s decision and of the public’s right to demand a poll on the matter of establishing Māori constituencies.


For: Barker, Lambert, Kirton, Graham

Against: van Beek, Foss, Foley, Ormsby

No majority, so resolution was LOST


Alternative recommendation was moved by Cr Ormsby and seconded by Cr Kirton

·    Practical option as a fall-back position

·    Totally opposed and not a decision of Council, but a weak decision to ‘kick for touch’ and dereliction of leadership

·    Māori are the ones taking the risk and have unanimously said they are willing and prepared to face the challenges and enter into the conversation with the community

·    The decision for Council is simple - take the advice you’ve asked for from tangata whenua which is to establish Māori constituencies

·    tangata whenua are asking councillors to demonstrate leadership by making the decision to establish Māori constituencies today, and not back away from their partners

·    Tangata whenua are devastated and angry that their advice has once again been ignored by Council deciding to hold a poll instead of establishing the Māori constituencies.

·    hope held, that Central Government will change the legislation and remove the possibility for 5% of voters to demand a poll to overturn Council resolutions to establish Māori constituencies.



That the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council:

1.      Receives and considers the “Māori Representation on Hawke's Bay Regional Council” staff report.

2.      Instructs the Chief Executive to give notice to the Electoral Officer that a Poll on the question of whether the region should be divided into 1 or more Māori constituencies is to be held at the next election on 8 October 2022, subject to legislative change in the interim; to be preceded by robust community engagement and consultation.


For: 5

Against: Barker, Lambert, Graham



Pieri Munro offered a karakia to close the meeting.



There being no further business the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 4.38pm on Wednesday, 18 November 2020.

Signed as a true and correct record.




DATE: ................................................               CHAIRMAN: ...............................................