Auckland Council recently released a discussion document on developing ‘a water strategy to ensure a secure, sustainable, and healthy future for water in Auckland’ - Our Water Future: Auckland's water discussion.
In the foreword, Cr Penny Hulse writes:
“Working in partnership with Māori is an essential part of this process.”
The document goes on to state that:
“Involving mana whenua in governance and decision-making roles is an ongoing part of this process, as well as making sure they are able to actively exercise kaitiakitanga in practical ways”.
(kaitiakitanga - guardianship, stewardship, trusteeship)
“We want to create a vision that includes the recognition of the role of mana whenua as kaitiaki within the region”.
(kaitiaki - trustee, custodian, guardian)
It is proposed that a process needing work on is ‘applying a Maori world view’. This is explained in the following way:
Putting te mauri o te wai* at the centre of our approach to water means that we must incorporate a Māori world view across all of the elements of our framework. So, how might a Māori world view shape our thinking and decision-making?
With advice from the Mana Whenua Kaitiaki Forum, we think there are three main issues:
- placing te mauri o te wai at the centre of decision making processes
- incorporating mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge and expertise)
- providing for mana whenua in governance arrangements.
We would like to explore how we might increase opportunities for mana whenua to exercise their enduring kaitiaki role over the waters of Tāmaki Makaurau. It could include a range of opportunities, from co-governance arrangements to hands-on projects (some of which might be enabled through the council's social procurement policy).
*‘te mauri o te wai’ – the life-giving capacity of water
A strategy to ensure a secure, sustainable and healthy future for water in Auckland is a worthy undertaking – but not if it is being used as a Trojan horse to usher in serious constitutional change. Please read the document and let them know what you think. You can give feedback online at akhaveyoursay.nz. Additionally, there are Have Your Say events across the region. Venues and dates are available HERE. Or you can fill out a submission form available at libraries, service centres and local board offices. Feedback must be received by 19 April 2019.