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Tangata Whenua
Māori Engagement

Tangata whenua image

Wai/Water is considered a taonga/treasure to Māori. Māori culture and values have always placed a high importance on the energy, value and need to respect wai/water. Marae have always been established close to water, and the rivers, harbours and sea have always been a source of food. This is particularly evident in Hawke’s Bay. For Māori and communities, the health of the water is connected to the health of the people; we are one and the same.

He tāonga te wai ki te Māori. Kua roa nei te ahurea Māori me ōna uaratanga e aro ana ki te ia, ki te wāriu me te manaaki i te wai. He pātata ngā marae ki te wai, ki ngā awa, ki ngā whanga me te moana, inā rā he pātaka kai ēnei. Ka tino kitea tēnei āhuatanga i Te Matau-a-Māui. Hei tā ngā Māori me ngā hapori, he hononga tō te oranga o te wai ki te oranga o te tangata, e rua e rua.

Ko au te awa, ko te awa ko au – I am the river, the river is me.  Māori proverb

The Review acknowledges Māori’s relationship to this taonga and recognises that the development of any model must acknowledge the importance of providing a meaningful role for Tangata whenua/Māori.

I whai wāhi atu te hononga o te Māori ki tēnei taonga i roto i te arotakenga, ā, ki te hangaia mai he rautaki whakawhanake, me whai wāhi atu te hirahiratanga o te urutanga mai a te Tangata Whenua/Māori ki taua rautaki rā.

Tangata whenua/Māori are our treaty partners which means we are committed to engaging and partnering with Māori. In addition, the project team is guided by the Local Government Act to ensure we provide opportunities for Tangata whenua/Māori to contribute to the decision-making process.    

He hononga ā-Tiriti i waenganui i a mātau ko te Tangata Whenua/Māori, he tohu tērā o tā mātau ū ki ngā whakawhitinga kōrero me te mahi tahi ki te Māori. Waihoki, e ārahi ana te Local Government Act i te tīma mahi e tika ai tā mātau pōhiri i te Tangata Whenua/Māori ki te tēpu i te wā o ngā whakataunga.

The kōrero so far

The project team has been having ongoing kōrero with the Māori Standing Committees of the five councils, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Regional Planning Committee and Māori Advisory Committee. We have been engaging with Te Taiwhenua o Tamatea Inc in place of a formal committee of Central Hawke’s Bay District Council.

Kua roa nei te tīma mahi e kōrero tahi ana me ngā Māori Standing Committees o ngā kaunihera e rima, te Hawkes Bay Regional Council Planning Committee me te Māori Advisory Committee. Kei te kōrero hoki ki Te Taiwhenua o Tamatea Inc hei kōmiti ōkawa o te Central Hawke’s Bay District Council.

Through our kōrero it is clear how culturally significant water is for Māori and that this Review should incorporate Te Ao Māori (Māori world view), kaitiakitanga (guardianship) and acknowledge mātauranga Māori (traditional Māori knowledge). There is a strong desire from Māori for the option to include true partnership, co-design, and co-governance. 

I roto i ngā whakawhitinga kōrero, he mārama te kite i te hirahiratanga o te wai ki te Māori, me te aha, me mātua whai wāhi atu Te Ao Māori, te kaitiakitanga me te mātauranga Māori ki roto i te arotakenga. E manako nui ana te Māori ka whai mana taurite te Māori, e noho tahi ai ngā taha e rua, i ngā taumata katoa.

This korero has also highlighted the importance of Māori’s holistic approach to water – there is only one wai. This is particularly relevant when our Review is based on the service and delivery of stormwater, drinking water, and wastewater. For Māori all water is considered one, whether it is water that we drink, water running down the drains, or water used to flush the toilet, it is considered one. We need to acknowledge this view and look at how this principle is considered as part of the different service delivery options.   

Ka hua ake hoki te hirahiratanga o tā te Māori tiro whānui ki te wai, arā kotahi noa iho te wai, i roto i ēnei kōrero. Hāngai rawa atu tēnei i te mea ko te tūāpapa o te arotakenga ko te ratonga me te mahi o te wai i te rangi, te wai inu me te wai para. Hei tā te Māori, kotahi anake te wai, he wai inu, he wai ka heke i ngā waikari, he wai i te wharepaku rānei. Me mihi mātau ki tēnei tirohanga, ā, me wānanga i te whai wāhitanga o tēnei mātāpono i roto i ngā kōwhiringa tuku ratonga rerekē. 

Mai i te rangi, ki te whenua, Mai uta, ki tai - from the sky to the land, from the hinterlands to the sea Māori proverb

Next steps

Once the Review report is presented to councils in September, our Review programme will be suspended, as Government has asked us to consider opting in to the Central Government reform process. Should the councils of Hawke’s Bay decide to opt in, Government requires councils to work with stakeholders and Iwi to consider multi-region groupings before the end of June 2021.

Our independent review report highlights the importance of a future service delivery model where Māori values and participation are critical at all levels – co-design, governance, engagement, and cultural performance indicators. We will be strongly advocating our Review’s cultural case to Government.

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