If we’re going to be successful in achieving some of the things we want, the council can’t work in isolation. Partnerships help build a broader understanding of the community and allow others to share the load and the benefits. This fresh approach sees council working alongside the community rather than acting as separate bureaucracy and that’s very much how I like to work.
Top of the South Iwi /Nga Iwi of Te Tau Ihu o te Waka a Maui
The Treaty of Waitangi Settlement legislation for Te Tau Ihu was enacted in 2014 and outlines Council’s obligations and relationships with local iwi. The Settlement provides a platform for a strengthened relationship and we are all currently working through various ways to ensure that occurs. A forum of Te Waka a Maui iwi Chairs and Top of the South Mayors is forming to facilitate this partnership for Tasman, Nelson and Marlborough and Memoranda of Understanding are already in discussion. The Post-Settlement environment is one of great opportunity for the whole region and working in partnership with iwi and Maori organisations will achieve numerous benefits for the whole community.
The relationship between Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council has grown considerably stronger over the last three years. Joint Council workshops are now formalised and held regularly throughout the year with chairing of these workshops alternating between the two Mayors. Together we are now taking a regional approach to representing Nelson and Tasman in order to better attract business and engage with government and government agencies. Council staff are working more closely together and shared services and resources are common. We are also committed to a joint approach to formalising governance, management and marketing of Saxton Field and this will be progressed as a priority in the new Council term. In addition to this, Regional Transport Planning extends across the Top of the South to encompass Marlborough District Council also.
If we can enter into project partnerships that distribute a share of the load from ratepayers then these should be explored thoroughly – whether through engagement with local groups, central government, or with investors from further afield who are increasingly identifying Nelson as a city with a very bright future. The potential is undoubtedly there for others to share the costs and also benefit from the outcomes.
To date, this approach has delivered across the board with new successful initiatives that will continue in the next three years. Here’s a few of them:
Nelson Nature is a priority project for the Council, which targets $6 million over ten years toward protecting and restoring Nelson’s world class natural environment. Here we have taken an integrated and coordinated approach to environmental management for the region by partnering with the Department of Conservation (as project managers) and tapping into their technical expertise. In addition, local conservation groups work alongside to deliver truly amazing results for our environment.
Nelson Nature is receiving New Zealand-wide attention and stands to become one of the most holistic, all-encompassing biodiversity projects carried out in the country.
The Council has partnered with iwi, community groups, schools, government agencies and private companies to work together to restore and protect the Maitai for the benefit of those who enjoy it today and for generations to come.
This project focusses on improving the environmental health of the Maitai River. It’s a four year programme running through to 2018, which focusses on improving the environmental health of the Maitai River and all its tributaries. These include Brook Stream, York Stream, Sharlands Creek, Groom Creek and Saltwater Creek.
The Maitai /Mahitahi is important to each and every one of us as a source of water, as a flood channel, and as a place to swim, fish, walk, cycle, take time out or picnic. And of course the river is also of immense significance to iwi.
Community Investment Funding
Here we’ve taken a new approach to investing in community capacity-building that allows council staff to work alongside community organisations who are able to deliver results toward key council priorities. This means that organisations with a focus on social development activities that support the well-being of the wider Nelson community are able seek partnership funding and support. One significant partnership success has been the Warmer Healthier Homes scheme, which has seen over 500 homes insulated to date and will provide benefits to the community for decades to come.
And there are plenty more partnership projects and relationships currently delivering great returns. These include the Nelson School of Music, Race Unity Day, Arts Council Nelson, and Light Nelson – to name just a few.