Our Bicultural Journey
Rotorua Lakes Council is committed to working in partnership with the people of Te Arawa who are Tāngata Whenua (people of the land) of the Rotorua district.
The aim of the agreement is to create a future that benefits the community as a whole with iwi and hapū actively involved in the planning and decision making for the city of Rotorua.
Recognised as a leader in this space, Council, together with its Te Arawa partners, have been honoured with awards for our ground breaking work in local governance.
Rotorua Lakes Council offers a number of initiatives to increase the bicultural capability of the organisation:
- Reo Māori and Tikanga – learning support to improve language skills and understanding of Māori customs
- Noho marae – overnight visits to local marae for wānganga or workshops
- Te Arawa Lecture series – local speakers discussing the culture and heritage of our district
- Te Amorangi Unit – a team that supports Council to perform effectively as a bicultural organisation
- New staff pōhiri – regular welcomes for new staff and their families
- Māori events and celebrations – Matariki and Te Wiki o te reo Maori
In 2017 Rotorua was officially declared the first district in New Zealand to become bilingual. Since the declaration Council has been working alongside Te Tatau o Te Arawa to implement changes that reflect the city’s commitment such as bilingual road signs and community learning resources.