Warwick Smith / Stuff
Maori wing candidate Khan Ngarutata Hansen speaks at the “Meet the Candidate” event in Fielding, while his opponent, Bridget Bell, looks on to the left.
Two young candidates are vying to represent the Maori wing of Manawati in the upcoming local elections.
The nominees for the Ngā Tapuae o Matangi Māori Bridget Bell and Khan Ngarotata-Hansen pavilion, both in their twenties, want to ensure that the views and aspirations of Wanao, Happu, Iwi and Mari are included in local decision-making.
Bill and Ngarutata Hansen emphasized the need to strengthen the troubled water infrastructure in the region, address environmental challenges and ensure safety and well-being.
Bell said she will focus on securing good water infrastructure.
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“Floods are a big problem for us. They are not new to Maori.
“We need to have a clear discussion about what Three Waters means to us and how this will affect the Board’s decisions to prevent flooding.”
She said her people saw an advantage in Three Waters.
“I will ensure that we have our Luanao water infrastructure [particularly] In the Te Rorio Valley, where 24 of the 26 homes have no water infrastructure.”
Ngarotata-Hansen said he wanted to see the region doing well at fair rates, and to balance its social environment that includes all age groups and diverse cultures.
“The current climate emergencies have made me think about the purpose of the unit, and I am primarily concerned with the survival and well-being of Tangata when.
“Cultural intelligence and ability require a cultural transformation to enact effective constitutional rights and employment, and transformative change in all areas essential to health, stability, and well-being.
He said it is important to ensure that infrastructure and associated financing mechanisms allow for growth, regeneration and maintenance across housing, construction, transportation, broadband, tourism, Three Waters and flood control infrastructure.
Bell said she would ensure that the plan to place the pyrolysis plant in Fielding did not go ahead.
“We cannot have incinerators in the air. It is not in line with our goal of our environmental sustainability.
“[During a consultation process] One of the questions the committee asked us was whether we would be OK if it [air] Was the discharge less than 1%? We said “no”. Our position will not change.
“Western culture specifies the amount of harm and discharge, while Maori reject any kind of harm that harms nature. We treat nature as an object.”
Describing herself as a “servant of the people,” Bell said her seat would belong to everyone in 12 Marai, Ewi, Happu and the community, particularly those who protested in 2021 against the county assembly to claim the Maori wing.
Interestingly, Bell did not use any social media platforms prior to launching her campaign for local elections.
“I had no social media at all [accounts]. The first time I used a Facebook page was a startup [election] Campaign.
“I was always busy doing things that were important to me in the iwi spaces, reading, boxing, karate, theater and more.
“I made a conscious decision to make sure I read more and watch the news because I don’t want to be poor in time.”
Ngarotata-Hansen emphasized the importance of working with young people.
“Learn the skill of manners and life will take you further than you ever imagined.”
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