Gift of Crown Apology to Ngāi Tahu anchors partnership with mana whenua

We are proud to display a copy of the 1998 Crown Apology to Ngāi Tahu, recently gifted to us by the 10 Papatipu Rūnanga of Waitaha/Canterbury, in our Council chamber.

The Crown's Apology has special significance for Waitaha and for Ngāi Tahu Papatipu Rūnanga as it was delivered in person by then Prime Minister Jenny Shipley at Ōnuku Marae near Akaroa on Horomaka/Banks Peninsula. The apology was given by the Crown as part of the Ngāi Tahu Deed of Settlement and the accompanying settlement legislation to acknowledge that Ngāi Tahu suffered grave injustices that significantly impaired its economic, social and cultural development.

A visual reminder

Te Rōpū Tuia Co-Chair and Te Taumutu Rūnanga Chair Liz Brown said as the regional council's Te Tiriti o Waitangi partner, that the Crown's Apology will serve as a visual reminder to councillors and kaimahi of Ngāi Tahu history, challenges, and successes.

"The Crown's Apology highlights the significance of the Ngāi Tahu Settlement to Environment Canterbury and the partnership that we are continuing to develop and strengthen," she said.

Environment Canterbury Chair and Co-Chair of Te Rōpū Tuia, Peter Scott, described the apology as an anchor point for our journey together. Having it displayed in the Council chamber will serve as a daily reminder of what the partnership with Waitaha mana whenua represents, and of the promises and commitments made to protect our taonga and honour Te Tiriti.

"This apology is the foundation of our cooperation today. With two Ngāi Tahu selected Councillors and through our partnership, we are moving forward with an integrated planning process that will be the most progressive in Aotearoa New Zealand. I am hopeful that this joint and inclusive way of working will move us a few more steps along the path to honouring Te Tiriti.

"The framed copy will take pride of place in our Council chamber, joined by a timeline of our achievements since we reset our relationship with Ngāi Tahu in 2010."

Timeline to celebrate our ongoing relationship

The timeline features a kōwhaiwhai designed specifically for Council, symbolic of partnership and representing the connection between Tangaroa (atua/god of the sea), Papatūānuku (earth mother) and Ranginui (sky father) in Ngāi Tahu creation stories. Flourishes of kōwhaiwhai also represent the natural world, people and the community.

Chair Scott said, "This timeline is significant because it serves to highlight each milestone we have reached over the past 12 years working in partnership; it shows how far we have come and inspires us to set new exciting and challenging goals for the future."