At a time when co-governance is being widely discussed in Aotearoa, we wanted to highlight a deliberative community governance experiment that is starting in Porirua, which combines Māori, Pacific and deliberative democracy concepts and ideas. We invited Helmut to address the AGM to explain what is going on, his vision for it and what is driving this work.
We came up with the idea of a talanoa-wānanga where the talanoa … is a standing committee … where community leaders ... are inclusively invited to come together and to deliberate and discuss and agree and act, and that that talanoa forum would be augmented periodically by the operation of a wānanga or citizens’ assembly.Helmut Modlik
You can watch or listen to Helmut’s speech and the Q & A below, or read a transcript of it, but his metaphor of an ocean-going, double-hulled waka, or waka hourua, will give you a sense of the inclusiveness and power of the vision.
We’re thinking about our talanoa-wānanga, where one hull is the tāngata whenua, which Ngāti Toa in Porirua is representative of, and the other hull is representative of the tāngata tiriti or the rest of the community, who are binding ourselves together in an authentic Treaty-based way, bringing the best of our collective cultural and experiential backgrounds, to create our own waka hourua for the deep waters of our community.Helmut Modlik
In addition to talking about the work in Porirua, Helmut openly and honestly shared his thoughts on some of today’s big questions: the integrity of community dialogue, the inability of central and local government to deliver universal outcomes, and the factors and policy settings that have led to the impoverishment of Māori people.
Reflecting on the questions and discussion after the AGM, Helmut noted:
The matters canvassed are part of the dialogue we need to have in this land to get to a better place in our heads and hearts and I am always happy to participate in sincere, respectful conversations!
Trust Democracy would like to sincerely thank Helmut for presenting at our AGM and sharing his passion for, and the aspiration behind, the Porirua experiment in community-led democratic governance.
Our overall aspiration [is] to do everything we can to enhance the well-being, prosperity and mana of our people and community, … [outcomes] our current democratic processes and its machinery cannot deliver.Helmut Modlik
For those of you interested in what else happened at Trust Democracy’s AGM, please click here to access the draft meeting minutes, our Annual Report 2021-22 and our Financial Statements 2021-22.
If you’d like to support the work of Trust Democracy, please click here.