18. Tangata Whenua

Community group at a planting day.

Summary

RPS objective

· Involvement of tangata whenua in the management of the natural and physical resources of the region.

Tangata Whenua in Northland

· In the 2006 census, 31.7% of the Northland population (148,000) identified themselves as Maori, compared with 14.6% nationally.

· Within Northland there are nine iwi whose rohe or tribal boundary falls either partially or entirely within the region: Te Aupouri, Ngati Kuri, Ngati Takoto, Ngati Kahu, Te Rarawa, Whaingaroa and Ngapuhi are located within the boudaries of the region, while Ngatiwai and Ngati Whatua overlap into the Auckland Region.

· We have two settlement acts, Te Uri o Hau and Te Roroa both of whom have settled their historic grievances with the Crown through legislation.  The Te Uri o Hau Claims Settlement Act 2002 and the Te Roroa Claims Settlement Act 2008.

 

Tangata Whenua and the environment

· Tangata whenua traditionally have a holistic approach to the management of the environment and its resources. Their values, perspectives and traditions are underpinned in sections 6, 7 and 8 of the RMA. Because of this, the Council endeavours to provide opportunities for their involvement in the sustainable management of natural and physical resources in a way that is appropriate and meaningful.

· As at August 2007, approximately 10,530 archaeological sites in Northland related to Maori occupation are recorded on the NZ Archaeological Association's site recording scheme database, including wahi tapu sites, middens, terraces, pa sites, battle grounds and burial sites.

Progress to date

· At June 2008 the Council recognised nine iwi environmental management planning documents and holds a collection at Councils Water Street office. The council takes into account these documents when developing or changing policy.

· Council continues to circulate non-notified consent applications to provide Maori who have expressed an interest in reviewing resource consent.

· Council continues to distribute a panui (newsletter), to those Maori on its database (nearly 300 different organisations), which outlines activities of interest to Maori and opportunities for involvement in Council projects and processes.

· Various environmental monitoring projects have been funded throughout Northland over the last ten years through the Council's Joint Iwi Monitoring Fund, including kokako and freshwater macroinvertebrate monitoring and shellfish surveys.

· The Council has established relationships with Kura Kaupapa through the environmental education department of the Council.

· The Council works with Whangarei Harbour Kaitiaki Roopu in administering an annual fund of $50,000 for projects to enhance the health of the harbour.

Areas for improvement

· Provide more opportunities for kanohi ki kanohi (face to face) interaction between Maori and Council staff so relationships are built across the Council at all tiers.

· Ongoing training for Council staff on the Treaty of Waitangi, Maori concepts and values and basic Te Reo and marae protocol, as well as providing a higher level of training to ensure internal capacity grows.

· Work with iwi on formulating a robust and clear process for Council to fulfil its obligations under section 66 of the RMA to "take into account any relevant planning document recognised by an iwi authority and lodged with the council" when preparing or changing a regional plan.

· Establish working relationships with District Councils in the region to synergise approaches and provide better delivery of services to the Maori community.

· Establish and maintain a process for Maori to contribute to the decision-making processes of Council, partly by ensuring the cultural interest seats on the Council's standing committees are filled.


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Published: 23 Jul 2008