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Launch Of “Te Raranga A Mahi”

Launch Of “Te Raranga A Mahi” Pipitea Marae, Wellington, 9.00am 12 September.

Enga mana
Enga reo, Enga iwi o te motu
Tena koutou katoa

Firstly, I would like to acknowledge the kaumatua, the kuia and the people of this marae, tena koutou

To the Wellington Tenths Trust, Te Ati Awa, tena koutou

To Kai Tahu representatives, tena koutou

To the representatives of Becca Carter Hollings and Ferner Ltd, tena koutou

And to all those that have come to support the launch of Te Raranga A Mahi, tena koutou katoa

To my colleague the Minister of Maori Development Parekura Horomia, kia ora.

I am pleased to be here today at the launch of “Te Raranga A Mahi” a tool kit to assist whanau, hapu and iwi develop environmental management plans.

At the outset, I want to acknowledge the Wellington Tenths Trust, Te Runanga O Kai Tahu and Becca Carter Hollings and Ferner Ltd in producing this kit. Also, all those individuals that were interviewed, all those iwi that provided case studies and examples of iwi management plans, and those individuals that peer reviewed this tool kit. They are listed in the introduction to the tool kit. All of these contributions resulted in quality product that I know will be useful to whanau, hapu and iwi. No reira tena koutou.

You all know that my government is committed to closing the gaps and building the capacity of iwi and hapu to have greater participation across all sectors of our society. One of the key areas that iwi and hapu want to participate in is the management of the natural resources. Most of you will know that the Resource Management Act 1991, the central piece of environmental legislation recognises the role of Maori and their resource management expectations. The purpose and principles of the Act state that all those exercising functions and powers under it in relation to managing the use, development and protection of natural and physical resources shall:

 recognise and provide for the relationship of Maori and their culture and traditions with their ancestral lands water, sites, waahi tapu and other taonga;

 have particular regard to Kaitiakitanga; and

 take into account the Treaty of Waitangi

So there is clear legislative recognition of the need to address Maori issues in the management of natural resources. We are now some ten years on in implementing the RMA and things have moved on. However, I am aware many iwi are dissatisfied with the practical implementation of these clauses. I recognise that more can and should be done to improve this situation and we are doing more work toward this end. A key focus for my Ministry’s efforts will be iwi management plans.

Some of the barriers I know iwi and hapu face are, their lack of capacity and resources to participate effectively in RMA processes, poor understanding by councils of iwi resource management issues and a reluctance, or not knowing by councils on how to take on board what iwi are saying. For many iwi this has meant, their issues and concerns are not reflected in council plans. The practical impact of this is that iwi are reacting at the resource consent end of the RMA processes and are continually fighting fires on many fronts.

Obviously, and this is what iwi and councils are saying, a better approach would be to ensure that iwi issues and concerns are incorporated in council plans and policies from the outset. The RMA provides for this. Territorial and regional councils are required to have regard to any relevant planning document recognised by iwi when preparing or changing their plans. (As an aside I will be promoting a change to this clause through the current amendments to the RMA for councils to “take account” of iwi plans, which will require a higher legal standard of consideration by councils of these plans).

Some iwi have produced these plans. Many have not and have said they wanted help. Te Raranga A Mahi seeks to provide iwi with tools to help prepare these plans. It has brought together current experience and models of many of those iwi and individuals that have produced them. Te Raranga a Mahi does not prescribe what an iwi management plan is, because they will be different in different iwi situations and they will evolve and change through time. The title best describe what it is, a “weaving together” using past and current, experiences and examples to produce something that it tailored to a meet a purpose determined by whanau, hapu and iwi.

I want to encourage the development of iwi management plans because they will allow for proactive participation of iwi in resource and environmental management. I know that just because iwi and hapu produce these plans, does not necessarily mean that things will improve. Councils will still need to incorporate them into their plans if they are to have any real meaning and effect. My Ministry will work with councils and iwi on how councils can incorporate them into plans. I know that many councils have made significant progress in this area. I applaud them and I think it would be good if councils got together to share their experience. I know that my Ministry would be interested in helping this happen.

The kaupapa (foundation) for environmental management in this country, has been established by the Treaty of Waitangi and the Resource Management Act. I acknowledge the significant contribution that iwi and hapu can make to sustaining our environment through the practice of kaitiakitanga. In the final analysis we all need to work together, iwi and hapu, councils, central government and others, to weave a whariki (mat) of practical plans and actions to maintain and enhance the wellbeing of the environment and that of our grandchildren yet to come. I think Te Raranga a Mahi will contribute to that vision.

Once again I want to thanks the Wellington Tenth Trust, Te Runanga O Kai Tahu and Becca Carter Hollings and Ferner Ltd in producing Te Raranga A Mahi.

Kia kaha
Kia manawanui

May this project produce the results we need.

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