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Iwi Leaders applaud the PCE report into Freshwater

Iwi Leaders applaud the PCE report into Freshwater

The Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group has welcomed the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s report into freshwater.

“The recommendations, particularly concerning water quality, support the key messages the Freshwater Iwi Leaders group has been advocating for on behalf of all iwi. Te Mana o te Wai – improved water quality – is one of our key objectives in ‘Ngā Mātāpono ki te Wai’, our framework model,” said the Freshwater Iwi Advisors chair, Roku Mihinui.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment recommended six improvements to the Freshwater National Policy Statement. Those recommendations are:

Clarifying the requirement for councils to ‘maintain or improve’ water quality;

Providing guidance on freshwater management units;

Clarifying the policy around exceptions to national bottom lines;

Taking a strategic approach to implementation;

Including the Macroinvertebrate Community Index as a measure of freshwater quality;

Including estuaries in the National Policy Statement.

“As the Freshwater Iwi Leaders chair Tā Tumu Te Heuheu has said, through its engagement with the Crown, iwi leaders are not just concerned about our rights and interests in freshwater, but also about our responsibilities to the freshwater itself, in particular the quality.

We need to work together to develop a range of mechanisms that, in time, will improve water quality while also allowing people to use freshwater in a sustainable way. Only then can we give effect to our iwi responsibilities to exercise ‘kaitiakitanga’ to support the National Policy Statement’s objectives,” said Mr Mihinui.

“We continue to engage directly with the Crown to explore the options through which the rights, interests and responsibilities of iwi and hapū can be appropriately recognised and provided for as part of the freshwater regime. The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s report and recommendations are supported by the Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group and we will work with the Crown to help achieve them.”


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