Buddy and Margaret to debate hot issue

Margaret Murray-Benge and Buddy Mikaere will be debating ‘The Treaty and Maori at the governance table’ on Tuesday, March 30. Photo: John Borren.

The Greerton Lions are tackling the hot issues around Maori governance this month with a charity event focused on the Treaty of Waitangi.

Historian and iwi representative Buddy Mikaere and Western Bay Councillor Margaret Murray-Benge will go head-to-head at the debate in late March.

The topic, ‘The Treaty and Maori at the governance table’, is highly relevant following the recent announcement regarding the passing of the Local Electoral (Maori Wards and Maori Constituencies) Amendment Bill. The bill gives councils the ability to create Maori Wards which will give Maori a more equitable say in how our local communities are run.

“We want to raise the profile of our Greerton Lions club,” says Greerton Lions member Terry Molloy, “and we also want to inform people on a difficult issue and raise funds for the club and the community.”

The Treaty of Waitangi of 1840 underpins expectations among iwi and hapu that they will be equal partners with regional councils in collaborative planning and decision-making. Governance in its widest sense refers to how any organisation, including a nation, is run. It includes all of the processes, systems and controls that are used to safeguard and grow assets.

More than one-in-five members on state sector boards and committees is Maori. This figure emerged in 2019 from the annual stocktake of women on boards, which for the first time also included ethnic diversity.

The Greerton Lions debate, on March 30, will be held at the Tauranga South Bowling Club, at 15 Tutchen Street.

The evening begins with the Lions dinner at 5.30pm, which needs to be pre-booked and paid for. Following the dinner, the public debate will begin at 7pm, with entry by gold coin donation. The bowling club rooms can take up to 200 people, and the Lions are expecting every seat to be taken.

“Lions as an organisation do not have a position on the subject,” says Terry. “We understand some find the subject challenging and some find it painful, but we can only grow by listening to one another.

“We are expecting a lively and entertaining debate. All going well we could have a good night.”

To pre-book for dinner, contact Eugene on: 021 103 7784 or: 07 5432206. Dinner is $27 per person.



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