Thursday, May 23, 2024

Northland signs resource management agreement

Northland Regional Council says an important agreement covering how Te Parawhau ki Tai hapū and the Council will work together on resource management issues within the hapū’s rohe (area) is now in place.

Mana Whakahono ā Rohe (MWAR) agreements were introduced into the Resource Management Act (RMA) in 2017 by the Crown as a way of improving working relationships among tangata whenua and councils, and to provide more opportunities for tangata whenua involvement in RMA decision-making processes.

On 29 April, Te Parawhau ki Tai hapū joined an existing Mana Whakahono agreement that had previously been signed in December 2020 with Te Patuharakeke Iwi Trust Board and Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Rēhia.

Northland Regional Council Acting Chair Tui Shortland, who signed the agreement on behalf of the regional council at Kākā Porowini Marae in Whangārei, says the binding agreement is a significant step in further developing the parties’ working relationship.

“While legally the decision-making responsibilities under the RMA remain with councils, MWAR agreements provide an additional, valuable opportunity for tangata whenua to influence and have their say on resource management issues generally.”

She says the Mana Whakahono ā Rohe agreement will help to develop greater mutual understanding of the parties’ expectations and aspirations across a range of resource management issues and will be a significant step in the practical realisation and implementation, through partnership, of those aspirations.

Te Parawhau ki Tai’s Chair Pari Walker says the agreement will support ongoing dialogue about the hapū’s priority issues and areas of interest and concern.

The NRC has committed to discussing amendment of the agreement’s wording within 12 months, acknowledging the desire of Te Parawhau ki Tai to arrive at a more nuanced agreement that better responds to the hapū’s specific needs and aspirations.

Any changes to the agreement will require consultation and agreement with the existing signatories Patuharakeke and Ngāti Rēhia.

Councillor Shortland says much of the MWAR agreement formalises processes the council is already undertaking.

“The agreement sets out, among other things, how Te Parawhau ki Tai will be involved in planning and resource consent processes, and how council will provide support through training, providing in-house expertise, and access to some funding.” 

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