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Trust Welcomes Local Government Support of Te Pou Tupua

Ngā Tāngata Tiaki O Whanganui Trust Welcomes Local Government Support of Te Pou Tupua
Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui Trust Chairman Gerrard Albert has welcomed statements of support for Te Pou Tupua from local government this weekend.

The statements come following the inauguration of Dame Tariana Turia and Whanganui Poukōrero Turama Harima as Te Pou Tupua at a pre-dawn ceremony at the Whanganui River in Taumarunui this weekend.

Te Pou Tupua is a unique station that acts and speaks on behalf of Te Awa Tupua - the new legal status recognising the Whanganui River as an indivisible and living whole. This was conferred by legislation passed in March 2017 establishing the Whanganui River as a legal person.

Horizons Regional Council Chair Bruce Gordon and Whanganui and Ruapehu Councillors Nicola Patrick, David Cotton and Bruce Rollinson welcomed the inauguration of Te Pou Tupua.

Mr Gordon says the Council sees this as a real milestone and one that has received international recognition.

“Horizons is excited by the opportunity to work with Te Pou Tupua to further our conversation with the Whanganui River and its communities. Together the communities’ collective efforts can only help enhance the health and wellbeing of the river.

“We congratulate Dame Tariana Turia and Poukōrero Turama Hawira on their appointment," says Mr Gordon.

Ruapehu Mayor Don Cameron said that the inauguration of Te Pou Tupua was a significant historic event for the future guardianship of the Whanganui River under its iwi and hapū for the benefit of all Ruapehu and river communities.

“The Ruapehu District Council is committed to the Te Awa Tupua Whanganui River Treaty Settlement,” Mr Cameron said.

“We saw this as a watershed moment for how all New Zealanders should think about their relationship to the natural environment. The inauguration of Te Pou Tupua provides a firm foundation for upholding the principles and cultural values of the river’s new legal status.”

“Ruapehu District Council congratulates Dame Tariana Turia and Poukōrero Turama Hawira on their appointment as the human face and voice of Te Awa Tupua as Te Pou Tupua, and looks forward to supporting them in their new role,” said Mr Cameron.

Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall said he was looking forward to working with Dame Tariana and Mr Hawira.

“It’s exciting to have a voice for the River, and have that indivisibility which recognises the water flowing here in Taumarunui also flows by my home in Whanganui.

“There will be challenges, but it’s a new way of doing things which I believe will only enhance the River and the people beside it,” Mr McDouall said.

The event was also attended by representatives of the Crown including the Department of Conservation and Ministry for the Environment, and local MPs Harete Hipango and Adrian Rurawhe.
About Te Pou Tupua
Te Pou Tupua is the voice and face of Te Awa Tupua – the status accorded the Whanganui River under the Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Act 2017. A single office, it is represented by Dame Tariana Turia and Turama Hawira who were jointly appointed by the Crown and the iwi of Te Awa Tupua in September 2017. They will both serve a three-year term. Te Pou Tupua will promote, advocate and protect the status of Te Awa Tupua by upholding Tupua te Kawa, the four innate values of Te Awa Tupua:
1. Ko te Awa te mātāpuna o te ora
Te Awa Tupua is a spiritual and physical entity that supports and sustains both the life and natural resources within the Whanganui River and the health and wellbeing of the iwi, hapū and other communities of the River.
2. E rere kau mai te Awa nui mai i te Kahui Maunga ki Tangaroa
Te Awa Tupua is an indivisible and living whole from the mountains to the sea, incorporating the Whanganui River and all of its physical and metaphysical elements.
3. Ko au te Awa, ko te Awa ko au
The iwi and hapū of the Whanganui River have an inalienable interconnection with, and responsibility to, Te Awa Tupua and its health and wellbeing.
4. Ngā manga iti, ngā manga nui e honohono kau ana, ka tupu hei Awa Tupua
Te Awa Tupua is a singular entity comprised of many elements and communities, working collaboratively to the common purpose of the health and wellbeing of Te Awa Tupua.
About Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui Trust
Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui Trust is the post-settlement governance entity for Whanganui Iwi responsible for working with whanau, hapū and iwi of Whanganui to support the management and implementation of the Te Awa Tupua settlement signed between Whanganui Iwi and the Crown in 2014.

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