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MAYOR MOKO TEPANIA

The Far North is the Birthplace of the Nation. It is the cultural and historic homeland for all of Aotearoa New Zealand. From remote valleys to pristine bays, tourist towns to service communities, Te Hiku o te Ika - the Far North is a unique and beautiful part of our country.

The Far North District Council serves a population of 75,000 who are spread across over 40 towns and settlements. Despite the beauty, history and culture of our district, a high proportion of Far Northerners are only just surviving. I want to see them thriving! How then, do we address the significant challenges that we have

across employment, housing, education, transport and water infrastructure as well? This added with gambling and alcohol and drug related harm is not a recipe for success for Far Northerners. We need to do better for our people!

Our council’s mission is ‘He Whenua Rangatira - a district of sustainable prosperity and wellbeing’. Partnership is key to being able to get ahead in the Far North. Partnership starts with whanaungatanga - coming together around a table to share whakapapa, who we are and where we are from. From here it can grow so that we can see a truly collaborative approach to wellbeing for our people.

This rings true when we look at gambling harm and what we can do together, what we can share, and how we can tackle and reverse the effects that this has on our communities.

I look forward to being able to share more about the demographic landscape of the Far North, the challenges that we face, and more constructively, the incredible opportunities that we have to work together.

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