The partnership ideology under the Treaty of Waitangi is poised to extend to the management of Auckland’s 28 Regional Parks if provisions in the Draft Regional Parks’ Management Plan are adopted.
In drafting the Plan, Auckland Council report they received strong input from mana whenua, who are seeking to be involved in a more substantive way at all levels of regional park management, including the co-governance and co-management of all aspects of park management.
Iwi/Maori are also calling for opportunities under the new parks plan to build their capacity and capability through employment and business development, and access for customary activities, including cultural harvesting in parks. The Mana Whenua Kaitiaki Forum, (a collective of the 19 hapū and iwi authorities), also sought from Council the recognition of case law that confirmed Māori priority for business opportunities on Reserves Act land.
The draft plan provides for co-management but does not specify how this should occur, as there are a variety of emerging models of co-management, but it does determine that “Treaty obligations are overarching and not something to be considered or applied after all other matters are considered.”
Submissions on this important regional parks’ management plan are being sought over the summer break, for 12 weeks from December 10. The Plan is available on the agenda of the meeting of PACE (the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee), held on December 2. See item 8 on the agenda HERE.