Hauraki Gulf Forum
Thursday, January 19, 2017 at 4:58PM
Bill Barclay

Here is the paper that goes to Council next week (Tuesday 24th note - Workshop 9 - 11 am and then the Meeting from 11am)

This paper sets out all the issues that are to be discussed by the current members prior to a meeting of the Forum on 20 February in Auckland at which presumably the final form of the revised constitution will be decided.

You will note that there are certain matters (ii, iv, v, vii, ix, & x) on which input is required from Council.  The complete list follows with discretionary questions underlined.:

i  that particular attention is paid to Treaty settlement processes and the Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari process alongside this governance review process;
ii    that the governance model for the Forum is changed to a co-governance approach; comprising equal numbers of mana whenua and other members;
iii    that mana whenua appoint their members directly through a process designed and approved by mana whenua;
iv    that the size of the Forum is reduced to 16 members;
v     that the Forum membership is made up as follows; 8 members appointed by mana whenua 5 members appointed by the Minister of Conservation (for example political, business, or NGO leaders rather than Crown representatives); and 3 members appointed by local authorities (1 from each of the Auckland Council. Waikato Regional Council and the territorial authorities collectively) – these may or may not be elected members;
vi    that the term of appointments be 3 years with the ability to reappoint up to a maximum number of terms to be agreed, with a staggering of terms to ensure that there is some continuity of knowledge across terms;
vii    that in addition to the other changes recommended in this report, the Forum undertakes a process to promote a clear understanding of and focus on the governance task of the Forum, including the relevant purpose, objective and function provisions of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act 2000;
viii    that any reform of the governance arrangements for the Forum should include provision for the Forum to have more statutory authority and a stronger and more direct role in terms of statutory decision-making over the Hauraki Gulf.
ix    that, as an interim step, the Forum creates a smaller ‘core group’ of 12 members to drive more focused and strategic governance for the Forum, and at the same time advance a case for legislative amendment to the Hauraki Marine Park Act 2000; and
x    that the Chief Executives of the local authorities and relevant ministries/departments work together to implement these recommendations immediately following the 2016 triennial local authority elections.

Note that the key issue is embodied in (iv & v) - relating to membership. What is being proposed is a totally unworkable (in my opinion!) 50:50 Manu Whenua/Other make-up that would inevitably result in Manu Whenua domination by the simple expedient of one or more Government appointees falling into this category. The chair will inevitably carry substantial weight in dtermining policy and outcomes.

Restricting the local authority representatives to three (Auckland, WRC and one representing TCDC, MPDC and HDC) is offensive in my opinion to ratepayers of these three districts who will inevitably have to foot the bill for much of what is proposed elsewhere in the document - particularly the grand bureaucratic structure that will inevitably emerge to implement the controls that will emerge in time.

I would suggest the 16 members is unwieldy - the result of a fevered professional review referred to in the opening paragraphs, and that 14 would be more than adequate to carry out the tasks envisaged - say 6 Manu Whenua, 3 Government and 5 local authority. Surely that is break-up that our Council could at least consider on Tuesday in framing its response.

Much of the remainder of this document is simply rhetoric, and 'best intentions' - a sorry return from several years of debate and 'investigations.



Article originally appeared on BillBarcBlog (http://billbarclay.co.nz/).
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