In early June, members of the Wellington Regional Leadership Committee held a breakfast with Members of Parliament (MPs) at Parliament. All MPs from across the Wairarapa-Wellington-Horowhenua region were invited.
The purpose of the breakfast meeting was to present what the Committee is, its work programme and how MPs can support and interact with that work. Creating the space to engage with people at all levels of the system is vital to ensure we understand how and where we can better address our regional challenges.
The Hon. Tracey Martin, Independent Chair of the Committee, shared the following messages with MPs:
- The success of the Commitee looks like:
- Improved ability to engage as a region with central government – we want to be the place central government knows they can come to for answers, to partner on initiatives, but also for them to know that when we come to central government for assistance, we speak with one voice as a region.
- A closer governance relationship between local government, mana whenua and central government
- Joined up planning and aligned action across the region, for more efficient and effective solutions
- Integration across key issues of collective importance for the region and a leadership voice for the region
- We have moved from working in silos to working across the wider region (Wairarapa-Wellington-Horowhenua) that reflects a geographical area with common housing, transport and climate change issues. This happens at not only the governance level but on all our projects
- We need to accommodate unprecedented projected scenario of up to 200,000 people over the next 30 years – presenting both challenges and opportunities relating to our five key areas of responsibility: housing, spatial planning, transport, climate, iwi and economic development across all council and iwi boundaries
- These challenges need to be addressed together not individually. When central government, councils and mana whenua partner together, we can leverage opportunities and deliver more.
- Collaboration ensures we maximise our individual and collective skills, resources and potential, and get better at collectively agreeing priorities. This is about setting our region up for success by improving our existing communities and developing new communities to be places where people want to live and work.
- Right now many of our Iwi partners are unable to participate at every level of input and decision making to the same level as other partners. There is a “thinness” of iwi capacity and capability in the partnership.
- If we cannot empower our iwi partners to participate from the beginning to the end of the conversation then we have not truly shifted to and equitable relationship. We recognise that both local and central government have responsibilities to support this. It is our view that if we get this right the benefits will ripple out across all work areas and provide a template for other committees.
We plan to hold these meetings on a regular basis.