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Crown and Ngati Maniapoto initial river agreement

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

Thursday 4 September 2008 Media Statement


Crown and Ngati Maniapoto initial river agreement

Ngati Maniapoto and the Crown today initialled an agreement that provides for co-management arrangements for the Waipa River.

“This agreement is an important further step in providing iwi engagement in the management of the Waikato River system. The Waipa is an important source of water for the lower Waikato River and has a profound impact on the effectiveness of the project to restore the health and well being of the Waikato,” Treaty Negotiations Minister Michael Cullen said.

Ngati Maniapoto has taken part in the development of a vision and a strategy for the restoration of the health and well being of the Waikato River through membership of the establishment committee of the Guardians of the Waikato River and this agreement proposes to extend the restoration projection to the Waipa, the most important tributary of the Waikato River.

“Ngati Maniapoto is one of the five iwi or groups with strong interests in the Waikato River clean up project. The Crown has concluded or will conclude agreements for participation in the co-management of the river with Waikato Tainui, Raukawa, and Te Arawa,” Dr Cullen said.

“The Maniapoto Trust Board will now take this agreement out for full consultation with their people and other interested parties,” he said.

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Background and Q&A

Co-Management Agreement on Waipa River – The Crown and Ngati Maniapoto

The agreement will set up a framework for co-management of the Waipa river and establish a statutory body (or bodies) on which iwi and non-iwi interests will have equal representation.

The agreement acknowledges the importance of the Waipa River to Ngati Maniapoto and the destruction of traditional fisheries associated with the river through pollution.

The statutory framework will ensure a Ngati Maniapoto environmental management plan is appropriately recognised and for integrated approach to the development of plans and policy for the Waipa River.

The agreement is integrated with key provisions of the recently signed agreement between Waikato Tainui and the Crown on the Waikato River.

The Waipa contributes significantly to the flow of the lower Waikato and will have a major impact on the effectiveness of vision and strategy developed by the establishment committee of the Guardians of the Waikato River under the Waikato Tainui agreement. For this reason, Ngati Maniapoto was represented on the establishment committee and will be a member of the Guardians.

Ngati Maniapoto through the agreement endorses the following components of the Waikato Tainui agreement:

• The Guardians of the Waikato River
• The vision and strategy for the restoration of the health and well being of the Waikato River developed by the Guardians
• The Waikato River Cleanup Trust
• The Waikato River Statutory Board established to manage the lower Waikato River and lower Waipa River

As part of the agreement, the Crown has agreed to provide an appropriate level of funding that will allow Ngati Maniapoto to participate in the statutory framework established by this agreement.

The agreement was initialled on behalf of Ngati Maniapoto by the Maniapoto Maori Trust Board.

• For a summary of the agreement between Waikato-Tainui and the Crown see www.ots.got.nz


ENDS

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