The stress of "consultation fatigue" is being felt by tangata whenua, according to two Māori ward councillors who have spoken out at recent meetings.
At a Sustainable Tairāwhiti meeting last week, the issue was discussed after being mentioned in a progress report on the region's resource management plan.
"Consultation fatigue poses a real risk in 2024 due to multiple consultations on freshwater, (the) regional policy statement and future development strategy," the report read.
"This could result in less effective and meaningful engagements."
Māori ward councillor Aubrey Ria said the issue was a real problem and asked what could be done to address it.
"There are multiple organisations ... and they are all trying to get a minute of our hapū, iwi and community time for that consultation process.
"Is there an opportunity, or a want, to regionally work a bit more collaboratively?"
Ria suggested planning hui in advance across multiple organisations as a possible solution to streamline the process.
Gisborne District Council sustainable futures director Jo Noble said it had been a "long-held aspiration" of the organisation to do a better job of coordinating engagement.
"We've still not quite nailed it but we are ever optimistic and ever hopeful," she said.
Later that day, the issue came to the fore again at a wastewater management meeting where Māori ward councillor Nick Tupara said he noticed through all the reports there were "various tangata whenua commitments".
Tupara said he hoped the input tangata whenua provided was acknowledged.
The wastewater management meeting was also attended by four tangata whenua members - Pene Brown, Ronald Nepe, Angus Ngarangione and LeRoy Pardoe.
Māori wards were introduced at Gisborne District Council at the October 2022 election.
The council is made up of a mayor and 13 councillors - five of them elected under a Māori ward and eight under a general ward.
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