New partnership . . . Gore mayor Tracy Hicks and Hokonui Runanga executive vice chairman Terry Stott sign a charter of understanding between the two entities at the runanga. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

A charter which provides a framework for the Gore District Council and the Hokonui Runanga to work together was signed in Gore last week.

The charter of understanding was signed at the runanga before councillors and runanga representatives.

Signing on behalf of the runanga was executive vice chairman Terry Stott and executive member Amanda Webster.

Gore Mayor Tracy Hicks and chief executive Stephen Parry signed on behalf of the council.

Runanga kaiarihi taiao Riki Parata said it was encouraging the charter had been signed.

“The renewal and strengthening of this charter assures the Hokonui Runanga of the dedication and commitment from the council.

“It means we can progress forward with the Gore District Council collaboratively.”

It also meant the council could meet its obligations to liaise with iwi required by the Local Government Act but in partnership with the iwi, he said.

“It’s a positive day for us and its a positive day for the council.”

Runanga kaiwhakahaere Terry Nicholas and executive chairman Taare Bradshaw were unable to attend.

Mr Hicks said both groups had similar goals and it was good to formalise their relationship.

“People are why you are here.

“People are why we are here.”

The charter showed a maturity within the council, in terms of its understanding of the role of iwi in the community, Mr Hicks said.

The charter was much broader and future focused than the previous charter of understanding, which was in response to Solid Energy’s coal mining proposals a decade ago, he said.