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Iwi congratulate Council for bold move to support rivers

MEDIA STATEMENT

On behalf of the River Iwi Governors Group

15 September 2016

Iwi congratulate Council for bold move to support Healthy Rivers

Waikato and Waipa River iwi say they support Waikato Regional Council’s decision today to publicly notify changes to the Regional Plan, which will help restore and protect the health of the Waikato and Waipa Rivers.

Chair of the River Iwi Governors group, Kataraina Hodge, says that while the iwi group has some concerns about specific points in the Plan, overall they are comfortable with the proposed changes.

“The five Iwi agreed to work collectively with Waikato Regional Council in the spirit of co-governance on the Healthy Rivers: Plan for Change/Wai Ora: He Rautaki Whakapaipai,” says Mrs Hodge.

Waikato and Waipa River Iwi and Waikato Regional Council are partners on the Healthy Rivers: Plan for Change, a partnership set out in Treaty of Waitangi settlement and co-management legislation for the Waikato and Waipa Rivers.

Te Ture Whaimana is the primary direction-setting document for the Waikato River catchment, and is administered by the Waikato River Authority.

Iwi say they are happy that the proposed changes set out how Te Ture Whaimana will be achieved in 80 years.

“We acknowledge that achieving the goals of Te Ture Whaimana will need intergenerational change and the commitment of the entire Waikato Region.

“This is the first of many steps that will be required on this 80-year journey,” says Mrs Hodge.

Kataraina Hodge says the changes to the Regional Plan will, over time, help to reduce sediment, pathogens and nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) entering water bodies (including groundwater) in the Waikato and Waipa River catchments.

“We accept that implementing the proposed plan changes will mean some costs to land owners and the regional community,” says Mrs Hodge.

“Equally, these costs will also fall on us as Māori land owners, and we include those in dairy, sheep and beef farmers, foresters, urban home makers and undeveloped land owners.

“However, we firmly believe that doing nothing is not an option, and until we act, the true cost of poor water quality will continue to be borne by the Waikato and Waipa Rivers.”

“As co-managers of the Waikato and Waipa Rivers, the five Iwi are in this project for the long-haul and we look forward to working with the Waikato Regional Council moving forward.”

Iwi say further improvements will be possible through the Resource Management process.

ENDS

About the River Iwi Governors Group:

The five Iwi Trusts include Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board, Te Arawa River Iwi Trust, Waikato Raupatu River Trust, Raukawa Settlement Trust, and Maniapoto Māori Trust Board.


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