Ngāi Tahu and the consent process
We have a legal responsibility under the Local Government Act 2002, the Resource Management Act 1991 and within the resource consent process to take account of tangata whenua with regard to the management of natural resources. Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu is the statutory authority representing iwi members and includes ten local rūnanga within Canterbury, known as Papatipu Rūnanga.
If you have any queries about Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Papatipu Rūnanga within the resource consent process, including whether you need to undertake consultation, please talk to us. Our consents planners provide an hour of free advice after which there is an hourly charge + GST.
- Read about Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu's story
- Use the online Māori dictionary for help translating any unfamiliar terms
- Read about how we work with Ngāi Tahu and the Tuia programme
Tangata whenua will generally expect that:
- They have access to all of the relevant information.
- There is a willingness to meet face to face and that their values will be respected.
- If a meeting is agreed to on the local marae, any costs are met as part of the consultation process.
- You are aware of and will consider any relevant Settlement Act legislation or iwi management plans.
Tangata whenua may expect you to commission and pay for a Cultural Impact Assessment report. This is not a legal requirement, but it is good practice — especially for large-scale applications and developments that might have a big impact on tangata whenua.
Tangata whenua are not the consent authority, but they are interested — and sometimes affected — parties. While a fee may be required of you from the rūnanga or their business, you are under no legal obligation to meet these expenses. However, there may be circumstances where you could benefit from contracting the services of tangata whenua in the same way you might contract an environmental consultant.
Environment Canterbury does not take part in negotiations between a consent applicant and tangata whenua. If you are unsure about the need to consult with tangata whenua, contact us for advice.
Questions to answer when drafting an application
- Which Papatipu Rūnanga cover(s) the site where the activity is to be located? Click here to find out .
- Is the activity within, adjacent to, or likely to affect a Statutory Acknowledgement Area or Mātaitai – Taiāpure?
- Is the activity within a silent file area, Rūnanga Sensitive Area or the Te Waihora Cultural Landscape/Values Management Area?
- What matters of importance to Ngāi Tahu are likely to be affected by the activity?
- What is the best way to avoid, remedy or mitigate effects on Ngāi Tahu values?
- How does the activity fit within Part 2 of the RMA?
- Is the activity consistent with policies and objectives of iwi and council planning documents?
Part 2 of the RMA, through Sections 5 to 8, makes specific reference to cultural values, the relationship of Māori to land and water, kaitiakitanga (guardianship by mana whenua) and the Treaty of Waitangi.
An application must meet the purpose of the RMA, which incorporates the above elements for consideration. Iwi and council planning documents provide guidance, through policies and objectives, about what needs to be considered in relation to Ngāi Tahu values in order to satisfy Part 2 of the RMA.
Ngāi Tahu has produced planning and reference documents which are available to help applicants identify matters of importance to iwi. These are called iwi management plans (IMPs).
IMPs also provide direction on how best to avoid, remedy or mitigate effects on cultural values. Copies of the IMPs are available here.
Ngāi Tahu as an iwi, and specifically Papatipu Rūnanga representing mana whenua, are considered an affected party where effects on cultural values are minor or more than minor, in accordance with Section 95E of the RMA.
In this case obtaining written approval from Papatipu Rūnanga is an important step for an application to proceed without notification and requires direct consultation with Ngāi Tahu.
Without approval, applications to undertake those activities with minor or more than minor effects are notified, which means they are open to submissions and may result in a hearing. Where there is more than one rūnanga affected, approval is required from each.
In addition, written approval from Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu is needed for activities with minor or more than minor effects within, adjacent to, or affecting, statutory acknowledgment areas.
Rūnanga sensitive areas
In addition to the silent file areas, since October 2015 other areas have been added to Canterbury Maps (or download this PDF) to highlight where there are cultural values that may be sensitive to adverse effects. These areas are a guide only, but provide some more direction to likely areas of concern.
Te Waihora Cultural Landscape/Values Management Area
Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is a significant cultural taonga to Ngāi Tahu and is also known as Te Kete Ika o Rākaihautū (the fish basket of Rākaihautū).
At the consenting level, this means that Environment Canterbury must have regard to the significance of the lake when making recommendations on the notification of applications and the affected party status of tangata whenua.
The Te Waihora Cultural Landscape/Values Management Area is the area of land comprising the Lake Zone and River Zone identified in Section 11.8 of the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan.Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan.
The Lake Zone encompasses Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere, its margins and wetlands and is shown on the planning maps.
The River Zone is 20 metres either side of the rivers listed in Section 11.8 of the Land and Water Regional Plan, with some exceptions. The 20 metres is measured from the edge of the river bed and from the source of the river to the lake.
If your application is within the Te Waihora Cultural Landscape/Values Management Area you need to consider the effects of your proposal on the management area.
Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu is the statutory authority representing iwi members and includes ten local rūnanga within Canterbury, known as Papatipu Rūnanga.
‘Papatipu’ refers to ancestral land. Local Papatipu Rūnanga have the status of mana whenua with kaitiaki status (guardianship) over land and water within their takiwā or territory.
For that reason, local Papatipu Rūnanga are the primary points of contact in the resource consent process. Most of the Papatipu Rūnanga have a consultancy (Tangata Whenua Advisory Service) working on their behalf on resource consents.
Use Canterbury Maps or read below to see which Tangata Whenua Advisory Service you need to contact. In some cases, you need to contact two Advisory Services due to a cross over of takiwā/areas.
Where the proposal affects a statutory acknowledgement area or other areas referenced in the Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998 also contact:
Ngāi Tūāhuriri Rūnanga
Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke Rūnanga
Te Rūnanga o Koukourārata
Te Taumutu Rūnanga
Mahaanui Kurataiao Ltd (MKT) has a general mandate to represent the interests of the Papatipu Rūnanga who hold mana whenua rights and interests over the lands and waters from the Hurunui River in the north, to the Hakatere/Ashburton River in the south, and inland to the Southern Alps.
Mahaanui Kurataiao Ltd also assist Kaikōura Rūnanga with resource consents.
Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua
Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua hold mana whenua rights and interests over the lands and waters within their respective takiwā (from Rakaia River in the north to the Waitaki River in the south, and inland to Kā Tiritiri o Te Moana (the Southern Alps).
For all consent applications, please contact Aoraki Environmental Consultancy Limited in the first instance.
Contact:PO Box 885, Timaru 7940
Office: 03 684 8723
Te Rūnanga o Waihao
Te Rūnanga o Moeraki
The takiwā of Te Rūnanga o Waihao centres on Wainono, sharing interests with Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua to Waitaki, and extends inland to Omarama and the Main Divide.
Te Rūnanga o Moeraki, while based in the Otago region, also has interests in the Waitaki catchment.
Aukaha is the consultancy who works on behalf of Waihao and Moeraki in respect to resource consents.
Iwi management plans (IMPs) are important in assisting with the identification of Ngāi Tahu cultural values.
They are prepared as an expression of rangatiratanga to help iwi and hapū exercise their guardianship roles and responsibilities and help to identify natural and physical resources in each area.
- North Canterbury/Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura Environmental Management Plan
- Mid Canterbury/Mahaanui Kurataiao Ltd plans
- South Canterbury/Kāi Tahu ki Otago Ltd
- Waitaki Iwi Management Plan (PDF File, 6.93MB)
- IMP - Oruaka Historic Reserve Management Plan Dec 2019 (PDF File, 7.81MB)
- Te Waihora Joint Management Plan (PDF File, 3.23MB)