Regional | Dunedin - Ōtepoti

Dunedin council's new Māori boss to develop Treaty partnership

Dunedin City Council's new Māori general manager wants to strengthen partnerships with mana whenua and mātāwaka.

The council has appointed Jeanette Wikaira of Ngāti Pukenga, Ngāti Tamaterā and Ngāpuhi as Manahautū  (general manager, Māori, partnerships and policy).

Wikaira, previously the council's kaiwhakamāherehere (senior policy manager – Māori), aims to lead the integration of the council's Treaty of Waitangi obligations, as well as its commitment to mana whenua.

Building Māori engagement 

She will also be working on a Māori Engagement Plan to guide the council’s Māori partnership approach, plus a Māori Cultural Capability Plan to help staff engage with mana whenua and mātāwaka communities.

“It’s a privilege to be in this role and to have the opportunity to work for the Māori community of Ōtepoti," Wikaira says.

"This role is an opportunity to support and lead the council to further progress its Treaty partnership with mana whenua and support Dunedin’s aspirations to be a thriving city for all.”

Council chief executive Sandy Graham says it is exciting to continue to build a strong relationship with mana whenua, as a Treaty partner.

"Jeanette’s knowledge and experience will play a key part in that work,” she says.

Māori leadership in Otago

Last month Paula Enoka was appointed NZ Police Otago Lakes Central commander - the first woman and Māori to do so.

The appointment was made after six years as Queenstown police station's response manager.

Enoka, of Ngāti Whātua and Te Uri o Hau, has been in the Police since 2001 after completing a bachelor of commerce.

She also represented New Zealand in the Black Sticks in 2002 at the Manchester Commonwealth Games.