Waikato Regional Council received its first oral submission in te reo Māori today.
James Alexander Hope, a Hamilton based lawyer, was the first person to ever give an oral submission in te reo Maōri at a council hearing.
His submission is for the 2018-2028 Long Term Plan (LTP), which looks at the goals and aspirations we have for the Waikato region over the next 10 years. The submission period ran from 16 March to 16 April, during which time the council received 356 submissions.
Mr Hope was provided with an interpreter during his oral submission on two of the eight proposals. “It was important to me that my oral submission be in te reo as it is the first language of the land and we are trying to protect it and bring it back, as close as possible, to its natural state.”
“We have worked hard to connect with iwi and Māori through this LTP process so are more than happy for Mr Hope to present his feedback in te reo,” says regional council deputy chair Tipa Mahuta.
“This is the first time the council has ever received an oral submission in te reo Māori, so it’s exciting and I hope we have more submitters who chose to do so in the future.”
Councillors will be hearing 111 oral submissions this week. The long term plan is set to be adopted on 26 June.