Check out the latest news from around the rohe, thanks to our partnership with RNZ and the Local Democracy Reporting programme.


Covid-19: Iwi collective urges whānau to prepare to be frontline carers

24 November 2021
The 15th of December is D-Day for the Ranga Tupua iwi collective as it scrambles to protect vulnerable communities in the central plateau, Rangitīkei, South Taranaki and Whanganui against Covid-19.

Iwi collective mobilises Covid-19 teams to reach vulnerable communities

23 November 2021
The Ranga Tupua iwi collective will use millions of dollars of government funding to send mobile units into isolated, rural and vulnerable communities to help them prepare for Covid-19.

Up to 33 unvaccinated Whanganui DHB workers could lose jobs

16 November 2021
Up to 33 health workers employed by Whanganui District Health Board will be stood down on pay and may lose their jobs because they have not been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Housing a priority focus for central North Island iwi Ngāti Rangi

15 November 2021
A Ngāti Rangi leader says housing is a top priority for the central North Island iwi.

Six stand for seats on Whanganui board of one of country's biggest farmers

2 November 2021
Six people are standing for two positions on the board of one of the biggest farmers in the country, the Ātihau-Whanganui Incorporation.

Crown and iwi appoint new ‘face and voice’ of Whanganui River

28 October 2021
The government and Whanganui River iwi have jointly appointed a new Pou Tupua to act and speak on behalf of Te Awa Tupua, the special status accorded to the Whanganui River.

Iwi leaders to drive World Expo's first ever Festival of Indigenous and Tribal Ideas

25 October 2021
Aotearoa New Zealand is leading a world-first event at Expo 2020 Dubai to support the resurgence of Indigenous and tribal economies.

Māori electoral option will fail Māori voters in council elections – Justice Minister

15 October 2021
Māori voters will only be able to vote for Māori ward candidates in the 2022 local elections if they are already on the Māori electoral roll – and the next opportunity to switch rolls is currently…

New $50m courthouse and police hub for Whanganui

13 October 2021
A new courthouse will be built in Whanganui with “community-led wellbeing” central to its design, Justice Minister Kris Faafoi announced today.

Māori ward advocates plan hīkoi protest against Ruapehu District Council

4 October 2021
Māori advocates will march against Ruapehu District Council in Taumarunui in protest at what they describe as the minimising of Māori representation, participation and “an undertone” of institutional…

Whanganui river leaders bring dawn ritual to Dubai world trade experience

1 October 2021
Whanganui River iwi leaders have performed a dawn ritual in Dubai to dedicate Aotearoa New Zealand’s immersive pavilion “experience” ahead of the opening of the six-month world trade exposition.

Mayors, tangata whenua set up group to develop regional climate action plan

28 September 2021
Seven mayors, the regional council chair and seven tangata whenua representatives are setting up a working group to develop a regional climate action plan for Whanganui-Manawatū.

Ruapehu council holds workshop to help decide on karakia at meetings

22 September 2021
Ruapehu District councillors are to hold a workshop to help decide whether to open meetings with a karakia or any prayer, after a councillor walked out in protest at a karakia.

Whanganui film office set up to boost economy, support local talent

17 September 2021
A Regional Film Office has been established in Whanganui to stimulate economic growth, support local film industry talent and potentially help grow Whanganui as a regional screen production hub.

Horizons Regional Council moves forward with climate risk planning

14 September 2021
Whanganui and Manawatū can expect more hot days and fewer frosts, less rain in the east but more and heavier rain in the west, and more floods, according to a new climate risk assessment.

Iwi partner with council to tackle climate change head on

9 September 2021
The second meeting of the Horizons Regional Council’s Climate Action Joint Committee this week has been hailed as a milestone in the council’s response to climate change and its partnership with iwi.

Horizons Regional Council proposes two new Māori wards

8 September 2021
Horizons Regional Council is proposing two new Māori constituencies for its local election in October next year, each with one elected member.

Vaccination clinics prioritising Māori 'swamped by Pākehā’

7 September 2021
The national strategy of vaccinating against Covid-19 through general and mass events is not working for Māori, a Covid-19 researcher says.

Māori wards: ‘They've wasted our time'

2 September 2021
A Māori wards advocate says Ruapehu District Council’s refusal to lift its proposal for Māori ward seats from two to three is “another example” of why Māori turn their back on participation in local…

Iwi collective urges Māori to take whānau to get vaccinated

26 August 2021
A collective of iwi is urging Māori to take their whānau for Covid jabs without delay.

Marae hui call for more Māori seats in Ruapehu council proposal

16 August 2021
The Ruapehu District Council is being asked to increase the number of Māori seats under its representation proposal.

Whanganui strategy to tackle poor Covid-19 vaccination rates among Māori

9 August 2021
The gap between Covid-19 vaccination rates for Māori and the general population in Whanganui, Ruapehu and Rangitīkei is expected to narrow as Whanganui DHB’s pro-equity strategy gathers pace.

$5m grant puts 'Māori voice front and centre' of health reforms – researcher

27 July 2021
An iwi-owned research institute has received $5m in health research funding for a programme to drive better health outcomes for Māori.

Māori land owners conference to discuss whenua use and opportunities

26 July 2021
Māori landowners are being called to a whenua Māori conference in Whanganui next month to identify and support land development and economic opportunities.

Covid-19 vaccines available for all in Whanganui communities

15 July 2021
Covid-19 vaccinations for entire communities in rural Whanganui have begun.

Suicide prevention strategy calls for radical change to help those in distress

14 July 2021
Many people are living in an extreme state of stress and the mental health services sector is “overwhelmed”, a new community-led strategic group for suicide prevention says.

'Same old colonial approach' – Iwi leader on collective plans

10 July 2021
Group of local and Crown entitities is meant to aid Whanganui region, but draws fire from iwi leader.

Iwi in residence: Whanganui museum trials revolving curatorial role

8 July 2021
Hapū and iwi of the Whanganui region will each have a curator-in-residence under a concept being explored by the Whanganui Regional Museum.

Whanganui 'ready and waiting' for Covid-19 vaccine

7 July 2021
A “surge” of people are lining up for Covid-19 vaccinations across the Whanganui, Ruapehu and Rangitīkei districts as vaccination teams prepare to ramp up the rollout with the expected arrival of one…

Whanganui museum looks to fill Māori curator vacancy

5 July 2021
Whanganui Regional Museum is searching for its first Māori curator.

Manawatū-Whanganui transport plan brings greater focus to rail, buses and bikes

28 June 2021
Horizons Regional Council has signed off a 10-year transport investment plan that prioritises fixing roading problems in and around Palmerston North and speeding up inter-regional road travel.

'It's a win-win' – Council foots bills to plug town's water losses

22 June 2021
A district council is trying to solve the mystery of why hundreds of thousands of litres of drinking water is disappearing every day in a small mountain town.

Marae bridge digital divide through nationwide connectivity scheme

4 June 2021
Marae trusts have been studying digital technology as part of a $24 million plan to connect hundreds of marae around the country with broadband.

Police stats show 'systemic racism' – iwi leader

27 May 2021
Iwi leader Ken Mair is calling for an independent investigation into what he describes as “disgraceful” use of police force against Māori.

Whanganui misses out on Māori wards

25 May 2021
Whanganui has lost the opportunity to introduce Māori wards at next year’s local body elections but Mayor Hamish McDouall says iwi may get seats this year on key council committees.

Covid-19: Whanganui to start vaccinations for Māori and Pasifika over-50s

24 May 2021
Māori health providers in Whanganui will begin vaccinating Māori and Pasifika aged 50 and older against Covid-19, and Whānau aged over 16 who live with them will also be offered the vaccine.

Manawatū District Council revokes two-week-old Māori wards decision

20 May 2021
Manawatū District Council came to a virtual standstill today as councillors and staff faced more than 150 tangata whenua demanding one thing: a Māori ward.

Petition urges Horizons council to move on Māori wards

18 May 2021
Māori wards supporters are planning a final push to show Horizons Regional Council they want Māori wards next year.

Māori wards: Overwhelming support from Māori in Horizons Regional Council survey

17 May 2021
Māori voters who responded to a Horizons Regional Council survey overwhelmingly support bringing in Māori wards next year.

RMA and water reforms: 'Crunch time' for Māori grappling with flood of reforms

15 May 2021
Tangata whenua grappling with a deluge of environmental and water reforms say setting up “super-entities” to deal with water would widen the gap between Māori and decision-making.

Councillor walks out of meeting in protest over opening karakia

13 May 2021
A Ruapehu District councillor left over 12-second speech, saying that he prefers “politics and religion did not mix”.

Whanganui health providers grapple with Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy

11 May 2021
Iwi and iwi health providers pushing for earlier Covid-19 vaccination for Māori over the age of 50 are at the same time searching for ways to deal with vaccine hesitancy.

Mayor says local government review will find 'major systemic' flaws

4 May 2021
Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall says the two-year government review into the future of local government will find major systemic issues but local decisions should continue to be made locally.

Whanganui DHB considers earlier vaccination for Māori over 50

30 April 2021
Whanganui District Health Board is considering earlier vaccination for Māori over the age of 50 in the third tier of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout starting in May.

Housing crisis: Whanganui considers joint initiative with iwi

29 April 2021
Whanganui District Council and iwi are looking at partnering in a joint initiative to address the housing crisis recently described as horrific by local iwi.

Opera House to get the Whanganui ‘H’

9 April 2021
Whanganui District Council’s property and services committee has agreed unanimously to change the name of the Opera House to include an ‘h’ in Whanganui.

Māori land rating bill 'corrects 100 years of disadvantage'

7 April 2021
A Bill giving councils power to write off rates arrears, make unused Māori land unrateable, and allow multiple homes on Māori land is a start to a wider conversation about Māori land, a Ruapehu…

'Something really special' – community-based service for at-risk mothers

3 April 2021
A Māori-led programme for at-risk mothers and their babies in the Whanganui district is an example of allowing community health practitioners to design local services that are relevant and meet…

Tangata whenua given role in council's climate change initiative

3 April 2021
Iwi representatives will be appointed with full voting rights to a new committee formed by the Whanganui-Manawatū Regional Council, Horizons.

Whanganui facing future GP shortage

2 April 2021
Half the general practitioners in Whanganui plan to retire within five years, sparking a search for new doctors for the region.

$20m option on cards to replace Whanganui Velodrome

31 March 2021
Whanganui District Council favours a proposal to replace the city’s failing Velodrome with a $20 million roofed facility.

Māori heritage boosts Whanganui UNESCO bid

30 March 2021
Whanganui is aiming to join 38 cities recognised, hoping to become New Zealand’s only UNESCO Creative City of Design.

Most Māori experience racism every day – new research

22 March 2021
New research released today shows that 93 percent of Māori in Aotearoa experience racism every day, and even more – 96 percent – say racism is a problem for their whānau.

RMA changes: relationship building critical to outcomes – iwi leader

1 January 1970
Stronger recognition of Māori environmental views in the first draft of the new resource management law won’t by itself create the change needed, a Whanganui iwi leader says.