17 Mar 2014

Mayor defends partnership with iwi

7:59 am on 17 March 2014

The mayor of Lower Hutt is defending his council's record on promoting symbols and signage that represent local iwi.

Ray Wallace.

Ray Wallace. Photo: RNZ / Eru Rerekura

Cultural advisor Kura Moeahu, who belongs to Wellington's Mana Whenua Iwi - Te Atiawa, wants the Wellington, Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt city councils to incorporate the Raukura or the plume of white feathers into the council logos.

But Lower Hutt mayor Ray Wallace says his council has a very positive relationship with tangata whenua which goes right back to the founding of Wellington which is displayed on the city's crest.

He says Maori symbols are already on city's coat of arms which has been around for 123 years which depict an early European settler and a Maori chief - which is how Lower Hutt honours the local iwi.

Mr Wallace says that is proof that a partnership has already been established, but he says what Kura Moeahu raised is a very healthy conversation to have.

Mr Wallace says his council is one of the few local authorities, and the only city council in the Wellington region, to donate funding to Te Atiawa marae.