Are the current murmurings of Mt Ruapehu a sign that the gods are not happy with the new Taupō Council agreement?
Taupō District Council recently signed a Mana Whakahono ā Rohe agreement with Ngāti Tūrangitukua that has taken a statutory obligation under the RMA much further than required under the legislation - to a whole new level of co-governance. This agreement includes of a range of policy, planning and operational areas outside of the RMA.
Mana Whakahono ā Rohe is a relatively new tool provided for under the RMA designed to enable tangata whenua and local authorities to discuss and record how they will work together on resource management matters. Taupō Council is the first local authority to sign such an agreement under the Mana Whakahono ā Rohe provision, setting a precedent that speakers at the meeting hoped other local authorities would follow.
“This comprehensive partnership agreement proposed to be led by a new co-governance committee will be tasked with overseeing the implementation of the agreement which includes a wide range of RMA, LGA and Reserves Act matters which provides for a more overarching and holistic relationship as opposed to one that is defined by statutory boundaries”. (Report presented to Taupō District Council meeting 26 April 2022, at which the partnership agreement was approved).
Matters include how Council will work in partnership with Ngāti Tūrangitukua on policy, planning, regulatory, road naming and three waters infrastructure projects.
According to the council report this partnership agreement strongly aligns with Council’s co-governance priorities and vision, supporting the Council’s strategic priority of applying co-governance across everything that it does.
As to the matter of the lack of consultation with the wider community in relation to this “historic move” (Mayor Trewavas), the council report claims that:
“Many elements of the agreement are of an operational nature and are intended to achieve efficiencies and better integrate Ngāti Tūrangitukua involvement in decision making. Those elements are not expected to be of significant interest to the community and engagement on those matters is not considered necessary”.
A copy of the Mana Whakahono ā Rohe Agreement with Ngāti Tūrangitukua is available from page 21 HERE
Press Release: Taupō District Council: Mana Whakahono Signals New Dawn For Tūrangi Township
Wellington jumps on the bandwagon too
A partnership agreement between the Wellington City Council three tribal groups - Te Ātiawa, Taranaki Whānua, and Ngāti Toa - was signed at Pipitea Marae on Friday 29 April.
Kura Moeahu from Te Ātiawa said signing the agreement was a further step towards “a co-led, co-driven, co-governance waka.”
Councillor Jill Day said the main change would involving mana whenua in council decisions much earlier – the council would not be asking for approval once a decision was already planned but engaging with iwi throughout the process.
“It means asking how, at every level, do we achieve Te Tiriti partnership?”
Agenda - Ordinary Meeting of Wellington City Council 31.03.22
Wellington City Council: Tākai Here to be signed at Pipitea Marae