The approval of the Joint Management Agreement by the Gisborne District Council today, marks the beginning in a new chapter in partnership between Ngati Porou and the Gisborne District Council, said Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou Chairman, Selwyn Parata.
The Joint Management Agreement over the Waiapu Catchment, will enable Ngati Porou and the Council to jointly perform or exercise any of the local authority’s functions, powers, or duties under the RMA and other legislation relating to natural or physical resources.
The approval of the JMA is the culmination of thirty consultation hui that Te Runanganui conducted with Ngati Porou hapu and landowners over the past twelve months and the efforts of the joint Ngati Porou WaiMaori and Council working group.
Te Runanganui acknowledges the vote of trust and confidence, demonstrated by the Council in recognising that, sharing decision-making powers and responsibilities with Ngati Porou over natural resources in the Waiapu Catchment gives us more opportunities to utilise and sustainably manage resources for the benefit of all the people living in the Waiapu Catchment area.
Ngati Porou WaiMaori working party member, Tina Porou acknowledged this watershed decision and paid tribute to the leadership provided by the Board and Management of Te Runanganui, the Council and in particular, Council CE, Judy Campbell, Planning Manager David Wilson and the rest of the Council planning and resource management team.
Working Party member Amohaere Houkamau, also acknowledged the confidence and trust that nga hapu o Ngati Porou had demonstrated in supporting and in many cases directing the working party throughout the past twelve months. “This kaupapa was always destined to succeed’, says Ms Houkamau, ‘because it was principled, inclusive and focussed on “te mana o te wai’.
Te Mana o te Wai is a values based framework, adopted by Iwi Leaders in 2012, to ensure the health and wellbeing of the wai (freshwater) and, for enabling iwi and hapu as Kaitiaki to be more proactively involved in the governance and management of the wai for the betterment of iwi, communities and the country.
“If we, through the JMA, are able to restore the health and wellbeing of the Waiapu and its many tributaries, through sustainable freshwater and land management, then we will have a better chance of restoring and improving the health and wellbeing of our whanau, hapu and communities”, said Ms Porou.
The Council’s decision is historic, in that this JMA is a first for the country. The Ngati Porou, Gisborne District Council JMA differs from other JMA’s, in that it applies to all the freshwater and land within the Waiapu Catchment. This JMA will provide a model for the recognition of iwi rights and interests in freshwater, as well as provide a practical ‘collaboration vehicle’ to enable effective, inclusive and robust management of freshwater and land resources, within the Waiapu Catchment.
To quote Councillor Wilson, ‘true democracy isn’t just about fourteen people sitting around a table making decisions, true democracy is when you involve the people that are directly affected by those decisions, in the decision-making process”, said Te Runanganui Chair, Selwyn Parata.
Selwyn T Parata
Chairman Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou.
Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou
Ph 06 867 9960