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Mana Whakahono Signals New Dawn For Tūrangi Township

A ground-breaking Mana Whakahono partnership agreement between Taupō District Council and Ngāti Tūrangitukua was approved at this afternoon’s council meeting.

Ngāti Tūrangitukua is the Ngāti Tūwharetoa hapū that holds mana whenua over Tūrangi township and its surrounds and includes its post-settlement entity, the Ngāti Turangitukua Charitable Trust.

The Mana Whakahono covers Resource Management Act [RMA], Local Government Act and Reserve Act matters and was agreed between the parties after extensive discussion and negotiation. It will be implemented by a co-governance committee equally made up of Ngāti Tūrangitukua and council appointees.

A Mana Whakahono ā Rohe is a tool provided for by the RMA designed to enable tangata whenua and local authorities to discuss and record how they will work together on resource management matters, including joint decision making. The new Mana Whakahono agreement embeds this into a wider collaborative framework aimed at establishing a genuine equitable partnership.

Taupō District Mayor David Trewavas said entering into this formal relationship was an exciting step forward for the people of the district, and Tūrangi especially.

“This historic move will allow the existing partnership between the council and Ngāti Tūrangitukua to flourish. It will build on the great initiatives for the Tūrangi community we have been working on together over the past couple of years, including a new sports facility and a destination playground.”

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Ngāti Tūrangitukua Maori Committee Chair Hinerauamoa Mohi said she and her whānau were pleased they could come together as partners with council on matters that are essential to the growth and potential of Tūrangi.

“We have been guided by our kaumatua and kuia over the years, they have been clear in their messages. This Mana Whakahono is an important tool in creating space for our hapu to share decision making for our town. We are excited for our future and confident in our vision for our whenua.”

Much of the Tūrangi township’s community amenities and three waters (drinking water, stormwater and wastewater) infrastructure is located on reserves owned by Ngāti Tūrangitukua and prior to the Mana Whakahono, decisions concerning these reserves and assets remained with council as an outcome of the 1998 Ngāti Tūrangitukua claims settlement.

Ngāti Tūrangitukua Charitable Trust Chair Lauren Fletcher said the treaty settlement enabled a range of outcomes as reparation for the breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi by the Crown.

“Today we give effect to the intent of that settlement with a unique and ground-breaking partnership with council. As well as being kaitiaki, we are a significant landowner in Tūrangi and we look forward to working with council and for our community to reach our potential together”.

The negotiation of the Mana Whakahono agreement reflects the recent positive working partnership and embedding mana whenua aspirations and Matauranga Māori into community planning, allowing efficiencies and the co-design of community projects, facilities and sustainable community outcomes.

The new Tūrangi Co-Governance Committee will take on the outgoing Tūrangi Tongariro Community Board’s roles and functions in respect of the Tūrangi township and its surrounds. Another council committee will be established to represent the rest of the Tūrangi-Tongariro ward beyond the Co-Governance Committee’s boundary.

Mr Trewavas acknowledged the community board’s support throughout the process of developing the Mana Whakahono agreement. “Board Chair Clint Green and his board members have been very supportive about achieving an outcome that best meets the needs for local government representation in the community here.”

Short video about Ngāti Tūrangitukua and the Mana Whakahono:

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